The Guinea Pig Post.

by Janelle Hanchett


As I mentioned in my last post, apparently I was really bad last year, because Santa brought my kids guinea pigs.

Okay, fine. We got the kids guinea pigs. But let me explain. Rocket and Ava have been haranguing us for at least 8 months for a pet rodent of some sort – they started with hamsters and moved to guinea pigs – and like any rational mother, I denied their pleas with unswerving resolve, citing various reasons (all valid, I might add), regarding their uniformly inconsistent interest levels, which inevitably result in ME taking on the no-longer-amusing item, which in this case would be a rodent and therefore, not happening.

After a few weeks of this discussion, they suddenly ceased bringing it up. Instead, they started quietly plotting, together. All the sudden they were all into doing extra chores (for which I give them a little cash) and the next thing I knew they had SAVED THEIR MONEY and almost had enough for freaking guinea pigs. They saved for like 6 months. Uncool. Though impressive focus, I must admit.

It was precisely this focus which led me to consider that perhaps those kids meant business, and maybe, perhaps, actually wanted them. This realization came around Christmas, when I was already trying to figure out their “big” gift, and the whole guinea pig package really isn’t that expensive…soooo…yeah. Now we have two guinea pigs.

Ava’s is “Button.” Rocket’s is “Gus Gus.” They are both female.

So they were super happy on Christmas morning and we were all in love and whatnot AND I gotta admit, those things are damn cute. Like super cute.

And they don’t really make too much noise. They don’t eat or scratch my couch. And they’re cute.

So I didn’t hate them.

Until a couple days ago.

Now I kind of hate them.

So a week or so ago Rocket brings Gus Gus into the living room and puts her on the ground. She immediately runs under the couch. Luckily, I was doing something critically important and consequently didn’t have to deal with the guinea-pig-retrieval process. Mac did.

I heard various expletives coming from the living room area as he tried to get the little bastard out from under the couch, along with “ROCKET! You better not EVER LET THAT GUINEA PIG ON THE GROUND AGAIN!!!!”




Twenty minutes later the guinea pig is in her cage and Rocket promises with a solemn oath that he will never, EVER leave Gus Gus alone on the living room floor.

And he didn’t, until the next morning.

When he left Gus Gus alone on the living room floor. And she ran under the couch.


Only this time, Mac was not here to handle it. I was though, so that’s good.

Fucking shoot me.

This is precisely the kind of shit that solidifies my suspicions that I lack a critical mothering gene, namely the one that brings patience and poise and tolerance to moments like this.

When your son tells you he let his guinea pig get under the couch again and you realize you have to handle it.

So I get the broom. I lie on the ground and start sweeping the broom under the couch. Ava has positioned herself on the other side with a flashlight, telling me where the guinea pig is at any given moment. At her word, I sweep in the appropriate direction, at which time the bastard furry fucker scrambles over the broom to the other side of the couch and I yell something derogatory.

Rocket’s contribution is to jump on the couch and squeal.

This, of course, scares the shit out of the guinea pig, increasing her terror and scrambling. My annoyance is reaching peak levels.

Georgia found the whole thing utterly hysterical – everybody on the ground like that, the broom, the jumping. She particularly liked the fact that I was wearing elastic-wasted flannel pajama pants and squatting down, resulting in a prime opportunity to PINCH MY ASS as I attempt to retrieve this guinea pig.

So there I was, on my knees with my butt up in the air, trying to sweep this guinea pig out, with Rocket body-slamming the couch, Ava yelling “she’s here! Quick!” and Georgia with her hand down my pants trying to pinch my butt cheeks.

Please, somebody.

Fucking shoot me.

After an hour of this, I got up and said “Done, children. The guinea pig can live under there or die under there or a little of both.”

Luckily, my 10-year-old has more patience than I do, and apparently better broom skills, since she got the damn guinea pig, eventually.

I’m sorry, Santa. Whatever it is, I’m sorry. Now take ‘em away!

  • Stephanie

    Damn, that’s hilarious! I hope my kids never develop a penchant for rodents.

    • renegademama

      Thanks, and yes, one can only hope. 🙂

  • Shan

    Damn Santa!

  • Sara

    I’m hacking into Ross’ account now and deleting this post notification…as I’m trying desperately to convince him that we do in fact need a animal.

    I’ll just tell him how responsible Ava was, helping her brother take care of Gus Gus. 😉

    Enjoy. I’m sure Rocket will never ever make this mistake again.

    • renegademama

      You guys TOTALLY need animals. Why is my brother such a stick in the mud? Make it happen, Sara. Don’t give up the fight!

      Although, no animals means no animal pee, poop, noise, feeding OR retrieval. Just sayin’.

    • Ross

      I still don’t want any animals! This solidifies my opinion even more!

  • Lisa

    I laughed out loud to the point of tears on this one. I can picture the entire event. I love you all.

  • k8

    my sister had guinea pigs when we were kids. one ran off, got into the walls with the other, nondomesticated rodents, and died. in the wall. where we could smell her, but couldn’t get her out. the other one hemorraged in the most traumatizing fashion while my parents were out, leaving our poor babysitter both to deal with the gruesome death and the aghast children. good times…

    • renegademama

      Kate this was one of the best things I’ve ever read in my life.

  • Kateri Von Steal

    OH MAN.

    Dear, Santa: Don’t do this to me.
    Love, KVS

    Gus-Gus.. like the mouse from Cinderella?

    Rodents freak me out.
    Klay wants to get my kid a Ferrett… I threathened to break up with him…. Conversation ended.

    • renegademama

      Yes, like the mouse from Cinderella. That’s pretty cute, right?

      We love him.

  • Jennelle

    I love guinea pigs… nothing cuter than a guinea pig chin! Seriously, though, they can be a handful. They are really social and REALLY enjoy having some freedom on the living room floor. I suggest getting some of those wire cube organizers (the ones that hook together in a variety of ways, popular in kids rooms and college dorms)… then you can just use come cable ties to make a big pen that you can use to keep the furries contained in a bigger play space or just put it around the couch to keep them from going under.

    Have the kiddos make houses and tunnels out of shoeboxes, bags, etc and you’ve got yourself hours of entertainment. Plus they love to eat up all your random veggie parts – watermelon rinds, carrot tops, etc.

    Embrace them – they live about 2-4 years and then are unfortunately prone to serious respitory problems, so watch out for that.

    • renegademama

      Thanks for the information. I do actually like the little things. I don’t hate them. Yet. Just kidding.

  • Jennifer

    This is a typical morning at my house with my English bulldog puppy. Except that she fucking bites. And the kids are too scared to get her because she will chew your face off in an instant.

    • renegademama

      For some reason this made me absolutely crack up. I mean it’s not funny that your kids may get their faces bit off, just the scene struck me as amusing, especially because it happens EVERY DAY. I can so relate.

  • Marisa

    When my hamster would escape, we would make popcorn and leave a trail to her cage with a big pile in her cage. I wonder if you could do that with lettuce or whatever they like to munch on, next time the guinea pig goes under the couch?

    • renegademama

      I’m totally doing this if it happens again. Thank you.