RODENT: any of an order (Rodentia) of relatively small gnawing mammals (as a mouse, squirrel, or beaver) that have in both jaws a single pair of incisors with a chisel-shaped edge

Did you know that beavers are rodents?  I didn’t.  Son told me they were rodents.  I pretended to believe him.  Then, I turned to my good friend Google.   Son was right.  He’s right more often than not these days.

It seems I need to reconsider my position on rodents.  I thought could safely say that I hated rodents…except squirrels.  But now, the list of exceptions had doubled.   I’m feeling especially fond of beavers tonight.

We went to the toy store today to make a list of birthday ideas for Daughter.  It was pretty amusing. Daughter picked up nearly everything in our awesome toy store (I love you Top Ten Toys!) and said, “I like this – put it on the list!”  I’m sure the other patrons thought I was wrapped around a two-year-old’s finger as I followed dutifully behind her acting as her scribe.  I was smiling from ear to ear because I had stumbled on a new secret shopping weapon.  The list absorbed all the energy of desire.  Neither kid asked me to buy them anything.   They were completely satisfied by the fact that I was taking their wants seriously enough to write them down.

In the end, I let them each select one of the realistic to-scale animals that the store carries.  They were the perfect price to match the cash Grandma had included in Son and Daughter’s Easter cards and seemed like a fun was to spice up play for the day.  Both children selected beavers.  It seemed like an odd choice given the exotic animals available, but it turned out to be the best $6 expenditure of my parenting career.

Both kids came home and decided they wanted to build dams with their new beavers.  They industriously gathered sticks from the yard and mixed mud in a Tupperware.  Then, they filled several containers (including my punch bowl)with water and set to work constructing their dams.  They occupied themselves for hours.  I’m not exaggerating…hours. 

I reaped the slightly off-color reward of giggling like an adolescent about some of the beaver related sentences they exchanged.  Wrong, I know.  But, funny.  It reminded me of the time we played the Italian game Bang with my mom.  She is not fluent in slang and does not read the Urban Dictionary.  She kept using “bang” in hilarious ways.  For example, when she clarified the rules by asking, “So I can bang anyone I want as long I have a big enough gun?”  Oh. My. Goodness. 

Tonight, I issue a formal retraction on my previous hatred of rodents.  I hate mice.  I hate rats.  But, I will no longer paint the entire scientific order with the same brush.

Older “R” posts you may have missed:

Regurgitate (Son dissects a regurgitated owl pellet on my coffee table and I suggest making cupcakes)

Replication (What I’d do with ten copies of myself)

Romantic (Valentine’s Day after children)


4 thoughts on “Rodent

  1. Another GREAT piece! I really enjoyed this! Next time I go to Old Navy with my almost teenaged daughter, I’ll be sure to bring paper and a clipboard. 🙂

  2. You made me laugh! And this line, “The list absorbed all the energy of desire,” is a well-turned sentence, indeed. I read it several times.

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