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The Hamster Project

My children want a hamster.

The fact that we have three cats seems to have been forgotten. The fact that as a result of those feline residents any hamster would live in a constant state of fear has also been forgotten. And the fact that similar to cat care, any hamster care would fall to me also seems irrelevant. My children's cousins have a new hamster so we need one.

As a result, last night the children and I created Project Hamster. In our house I like to try to enforce a set of house rules. My theory is that a household should be filled with kindness and laughter and always be a safe place.

My 6-year old daughter did a wonderful job last night of writing out the house rules and we have posted them on the refrigerator door:








Although pretty basic, the above rules are often followed more in the breach than the adherence. Punishments for their breach range from $1 from their tooth fairy and allowance money for a swear word and $5 for hitting; removal of beloved stuffed animals; time outs; and removal of tablets and phones for game playing.

Last night it occurred to me that in addition to sticks, I should try to introduce a carrot. Hence the kids and I decided together that for every day they follow the household rules, each of them will get a star. Once we have accumulated 90 stars, we can go buy that hamster.

My original thought was that 90 days would comprise 30 days x 3 older children, representing a month of good behaviour. My youngest son, a good mathematician, then insisted that our 20 month old be included in star gathering. The baby will contribute 30 pretty quickly. Her sister will also likely accumulate 30 stars long before either of her brothers. Thus I am predicting that the girls of my household will carry a disproportionate share of the load towards the purchase of a hamster. Nevertheless, we start the project today.

Hopefully we will soon have both a hamster and a kinder, gentler household.

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