I have a hamster. And a baby. And these two are not very different. In fact, I think that having a hamster before getting a baby has prepared me quite well for parenthood. Because in many ways, hamsters are like babies.
- They both smell. And both can’t help it, so you have to clean them. Admitted, cleaning a hamster cage has to be done less frequently than changing a baby’s diaper, and babies smell more intensely, but a hamster is still a good practice.
- Hamsters and babies are not to be left unattended. They tend to fall off tables, stick their noses and fingers into electric sockets and drown in toilets. Plus, you can lose them. Hamster are smaller, so easier to lose – again, excellent for training your baby-searching skills.
- When your hamster or a baby is outside its cage/box and it is quiet, you know its up to no good. Probably chewing on an electric wire or digging into your favourite plant. See point 3.
- A baby or a hamster has a natural talent for getting stuck in places you’d never think they fit in. Getting them unstuck is part of the fun of having them.
- Finally, babies and hamsters are totally dependent on you for food. Go on vacation and leave your hamster unattended – it will die. Having a dead hamster is bad, but much less dramatic than a dead baby.
Obviously, there are differences, too. The main difference is that babies grow up, while hamsters rarely grow beyond 10-20 cm (depending on the species). And while a hamster is easily replaced, replacing your baby is not that simple. I guess the point I am trying to make here is – thinking of having a baby? Train on hamsters first. If you can’t take care of a hamster, I’d suggest thinking twice before getting children.