It always starts at the most inopportune of times. I've just chased Thing 2 into his room for the fifth time that night and he is finally dropping off into that Netherworld where hyperactive kids go when their motor finally wears down. I've climbed into bed and warmed up the cold sheets, pulled the blanket up to my chin. One cat is snuggled into the crook of my neck and the other has found a home on my bladder. I reach for the remote, turn on the news and lay my head back on the pillow, my sleeping husband snoring to beat the band next to me.
And then it starts: Squeak, squeak, squeak, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK.
It's Sammy the Hammy on her nocturnal journey to California. She's in the guest bedroom/sewing room/man cave three stairs down and to the right and her hamster wheel needs oiling - a fact I never remember until I am comfortably settled into bed.
At first, I try to ignore it. I turn up the volume on the tv, remove the hand I had clamped down over my snoring husband's mouth and nose in an attempt to ratchet up his volume to blot out the squeak (an added bonus is that he can breathe now and will survive to make me coffee in the morning).
But I can't stand it. It's driving me crazy, like a Paris Hilton News-a-Thon. I feel the way I do in the middle of the night, when I have to go to the bathroom and wish I could delegate the task to someone else (a human catheter?)
So I get up, walk down the three stairs and then another flight of stairs down to the kitchen, reach for the cooking oil and a paper towel and trudge back upstairs to oil the hamster wheel. Cause I've got nothing better to do at midnight.
The obvious solution would be to buy an extra bottle of vegetable oil and a roll of paper towels and keep them in Sammy's room for middle-of-the-night emergencies. But I don't want to be known as that woman who keeps oil in the bedroom. Or do I?