The Great Escape



Do you ever have one of those moments where you stop and think, "Did that really just happen?  Really?"

One of those moments when you wonder if you're in a TV sitcom and basically the whole world forgot to tell you?

That feels like my life more often than not.

Especially last night.  And I've been told that I owe the world a blog with the details that surround this little Facebook post from 2:30 this morning.


I'm pretty sure that when Jason answered his cell phone at 1:30 AM, the last thing he was expecting me to say on the other end was "Come hold the baby so I can catch the hamster."
Posted by Ashley Harris on Sunday, October 25, 2015


It all started at midnight when I got up with the baby.  I'm not sure what's going on but this kid has gone from sleeping through the night with no problems (as long as he's not teething, congested, or dealing with an earache) to being up every two hours.  Last night was my night to get up first so I got up with him at 10:30 briefly and then again at midnight.  This one was not brief.  By 1:30 AM I had rocked the baby to sleep and laid him down four times.  And all four times he immediately woke up.  So I'm nearing my wits end when I hear what I suspect is my husband creeping down the hall.  Except he's being MUCH quieter than normal.  And except he never showed up.  So I continued to rock.  And then I heard footsteps in the hall again.  Much lighter this time so I wondered if it was Ty trying to keep from waking his brother.

The only problem with either scenario is that neither of my boys are this quiet.  And neither boy showed up at the door.  So, again, I continue to rock.

And then I heard a sound that I became all too familiar with last fall.  We had rodents of some sort that moved into the attic during the cold months last year.  Apparently when you keep gerbil food in the attic and the rodents looking for a warm place to bed down for the winter, your attic gets 5 star reviews from local pests.  I cringed as I heard what was obviously a rodent, whether squirrel or rat or whatever.  And then it dawned on me that the noise wasn't coming from above me, it was much nearer to the ground.

Obviously they must be in the walls because Link, the cat, is not a good host to any other type of animal in his home.  Which is why our recent addition, Sebastian, is kept behind closed doors when we're not home in a room that the cat is not allowed to go into.

But then I heard it again and it very distinctly sounded like it was coming from under the twin bed in Beckett's room.

I slowly crept up out of the rocking chair with the baby still in my arms and turned the flashlight on my cell phone on so that I could peek under the bed.

And then I saw them.

Two little eyes.

They stopped and looked at me.

"Well crud," I thought to myself.  My night just got a whole lot more complicated.  And it was much bigger than a small little field mouse that I would have considered the lesser of evils.  Obviously this was a rat.

And then it stood up on its back legs and I realized it wasn't a rat, and it wasn't just any rodent.  It was Sebastian.

"Double crud," I thought.  Letting the cat solve the problem obviously wasn't going to be a solution.  I would have to catch it.

I held the my phone with the light still on the hamster (who was doing a fantastic "deer in the headlights" impersonation) and dialed up The Husband.

"Hey Baby," he answered, "what's wrong?"

"I need you to come hold the baby so I can catch the hamster."

"Wait, what?" he responded.

I didn't know how to be clearer.  "I need you to come hold the baby so I can catch the hamster."

A minute later he came in the baby's room to find me crouched on the floor with the baby in my arms and my cell phone aimed under the bed.

"Take him in the living room and close the door," I told him.  I had this.  I knew I had this.  I've caught many a rodent in my day.  But I was sure hoping it wouldn't take an hour.  Fortunately, I had a terrified little hamster in my hands in just a matter of about five minutes.  And a wide-awake baby back in my arms in less than ten.

When I went to return Sebastian to his cage (which was on the top of a chest of drawers) I found the door to the cage wide open.  Either we have a Hamster Houdini on our hands or we have a little boy that wasn't careful to make sure the cage wasn't latched well.

Back into the cage he went and back to the rocking chair I went.

Finally at close to 2:30 I was able to get the baby to go to sleep and stay asleep.  But by that time my brain was wide awake.  I got back in the bed and my husband looked at me as if he was trying to decide if the whole hamster thing had been a dream.  I chatted away, speculating as to if the cage wasn't shut at all or if the latch just didn't get secured well.  The more I thought of it, and the more I heard Link's little jingle bell zooming around the room, the more I began to worry.  A cat is not a merciful creature when it has a live toy to play with.  They are also not worried about mess, either.  So I started worrying about how I was going to secure the cage.

I finally decided that if I had a clasp, I could put it around the door and the cage so that if it came unlatched, it couldn't swing open to allow the hamster out.  But where would I get one of those at almost 3:00 a.m.

And then I thought of the dog leash.  So up I was, and out to the garage I went.  I had just seen the leash a few days ago so I knew it was out there somewhere.  After searching everywhere I could, I snuck back into the house.

"Jason," I whispered.

"What is it?" he asked groggily.

"Where's the dog leash?"

"What?"  He was still groggy.

"Where's the dog leash?" I repeated.

"Why do you need the dog leash?" he asked.

"For the hamster."

He almost questioned it again.  Either he was too tired or he realized who he was talking to, he climbed out of bed and went out to the garage and retrieved the leash for me.  I then took it to Ty's room where I secured the gate closed.

I finally made it back to sleep at around 3:30.  And soon-after Jason was getting up with the baby.  Fortunately for him, his shift is never quite as exciting as mine.  But hey, I guess we at least got a story out of it.

Sebastian and The Great Escape.
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.