At 12:30 a.m. this morning, I was woken out of a deep sleep by the sound of toenails clicking on our bedroom hardwood floor. I laid there in the dark, half-asleep, thinking that Ron must have forgotten to put Happy out in his kennel. In light of all the potty accidents we've had lately*, I knew I should take him outside for a few minutes and then put him in his kennel. But the lazy half of my brain sleepily murmured that I could clean up any messes in the morning. I agreed with the lazy half of my brain and started to drift off to sleep.
The second time I heard the toenails, I snapped to attention with a different thought - had I remembered to put Johnny back in his cage? He'd been running in his exercise ball last evening, and at least three times I had thought to myself, "I really need to put him back in his cage before I forget" but I couldn't remember actually doing it. Oh crap. That feeling got even stronger when I found his empty exercise ball in the kitchen. How he got out is a mystery, but I suspect he bumped into a chair while he was speeding around and the door popped off.
I got out of bed and blearily looked around in the dark. I couldn't see anything but wasn't really expecting to. Johnny isn't really that big, after all, and there are tons of hiding spots for a small hamster. I decided my only choice was to make a hamster trap. I found an ice-cream pail, put some treats at the bottom of it, and started looking around for something to use as a ramp (the theory being, he'd climb the ramp, see the treats at the bottom of the bucket and drop down, then not be able to get up again). My sleep-addled brain wasn't cooperating and I couldn't find anything sufficiently ramp-y that would allow him enough traction to actually climb it.
Time for Plan B. I got a flashlight and started looking behind the dresser and the bookcase. The flashlight hadn't been on for more than 10 seconds when I felt whiskers brushing against my ankle. I shone the flashlight down and, lo and behold, there was Johnny looking up at me with his beady eyes. He came right to me, like a dog or a cat would. (I suppose he was probably hungry, after being out half the evening.)
After putting him back in his cage, I tried unsuccessfully to fall asleep in spite of the snoring taking place next to me in the bed. I finally moved out to the couch, where I listened to Johnny happily reuniting with his exercise wheel for the next hour before I finally dozed off. Shortly after that, Natalie woke up and started crying so I moved back to the bed with her in tow. And then Sam woke up and decided to join the party, leaving me approximately 2 inches of sleeping space.
Ron slept through the whole nighttime drama, and the kids got to sleep nice and late this morning. I still had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to head off to work. *yawn*
*Happy has not been the only source of potty accidents. A few days ago, Natalie removed her diaper and then took a dump in the hall. After I cleaned it up, she still excitedly pointed out the spot to anyone who'd listen: "Poop there! Poop right there!"