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Hamusuta Madness!

Cute little fellas, huh?
See, they don't eat, poop or bite. I can totally get behind these kind of pets.

Hamusuta - The Happy Hamster
Indeed. The box tells us:

"Watch me scu rry across the floor inside my rolling exercise ball."

Realistic Running Actions!
Seriously, they weren't kidding when they put "The Carefree & Playful Pet" up there on the label.

They warn about the choking hazard - which is great. But they failed to mention the danger to get the hamusuta stuck in your hair.

When I saw a couple of these in some tourist trap store on San Francisco's Pier 39 yesterday, I had to pick a couple of them up for my kids. See, we've had sort of a bad track record with hamsters. So when the last of the royal line of Lauck hamsters died this spring, we just put the cage in the garage and ended a mercifully short chapter in rodent ownership. I've been over it for months. The kids never really let go, however, and will occasionally hound me for another small pet.

"We have a dog, you guys. Go pet Donna." You see how good I am at redirecting?

"But Donna doesn't want to sit in a the laundry basket with blankets on her, Mommy."

Let's pause for a moment, while I try to figure out whether it is good parenting to insist that the children tuck me into the laundry basket with blankets and a few snackies. If they handed me the remote, it could be a little retreat. A little day spa in my own living room.


So, yes. Fake, battery powered hamsters. Or, hamusutas. Whatever. They even come with their own plastic ball!

This morning, I popped the guts out of the hamster shell, and installed the batteries. Once the guts were replaced, I flipped the switch and watched the little, rubber-tires turn on the bottom. Once I got it inside the ball, it rambled around the living room while I fixed up the twin, and soon the kids were watching delightedly while the two fake hamsters did their thing.

Seriously, this was the best gift ever. I'm an awesome mother.

Two seconds later:

Clang, crash.





Click, click, click, click, click.

I marched in there and found my son had taken one hamster from its ball, and had turned it loose on his Matchbox Car track. It was wedged in the ferris wheel contraption, it's furry ass blocking the wheel from turning, wheels spinning furiously above the track.

I dislodged it, and returned it to the ball. My son took it out again, and put it on the floor, where it zoomed under the couch and got stuck again.

"Okay, keep these little **&%$$#@##!!!!!! hamsters in the balls, so they don't get stuck, okay?"

Moments later, they were fighting over possession. I know, I should have bought three, but come on. At ten bucks a pop, and with my kids' flair for destruction, I figured twenty bucks was all I was willing to spend. Then again, I spent at least a hundred for the cage and food and toys and actual hamsters for these same kids, so really, my bad.

When I finally left the room, both hamsters were out of the balls, and being held by my three-year-old. I turned them off, and left her to play.

"Aaaaaiiiiieeeeee!" I looked up to see her rounding the corner, open mouth howling and eyes squinched up in pain as the hamsters apparently were trying to eat her head. She had turned them on so they seemed more realistic (Duh, Mommy) and then decided to snuggle and kiss on them, and the wheels grabbed a strand of hair on each side of her head.

She was standing there with a twitching hamster attached to each side of her brow, with a good six inches of hair tangled around the axels on her happy rodent pals' underbellies. This is the kid who cannot stand to have her hair brushed. She's extremely tender-headed, so this was a nightmare scenario. Leave it to me to buy the scary, child-eating carefree and playful fake pets, huh?

I managed to calm the spinning wheels and disentangle her locks from the wheels before it ripped her hair out by the roots, with much howling and reassurances. I showed her what happened, and put the hamsters back in their balls.

This exact sequence of event happened three times today. Hamsters stuck in ferris wheel. Returned to balls. Stuck under couch. Returned to balls. Stuck in hair. Returned to balls.

I I just don't know if I should laugh or cry. Or go lay down in the laundry basket.

a quickr pickr post


My 3rd has managed to get an electric train wheel tangled in her short curly hair right up close to the scalp. It had to be cut out and she had a bald patch for a while too!

Yikes. Just yikes. Another seemingly brilliant mothering moment gone sadly awry. sigh.

What's with these Japanese must have toys?? I so don't want my kid to discover these -- it's bad enough she's obsessed with her Tamagotchi's.

OH my god. Who knew such innocent (and carefree) toys could cause such mayhem.

I'm so glad I got to meet and spend some time with you last weekend Jenny. You're my kind of peeps.

Super Glue the little f***ers in there, yo.

I'd go for the laundry basket myself, as long as someone could keep bringing me drinks.

I agree with Elaine. Just superglue them to your toddler's head. Then 2 problems solved at once - no more hair brushing and no more hamster madness!


Ha ha! Apparently, things are back to normal at the Circus!

I loved the ideas of the hamsutas, and was all ready to go buy some (3 kids here too), but then I saw how it ended.

Reminds me of when my brother ran his "Rough Rider 4x4" truck through my (waist-length) hair. Gah. Then I had a bob with "layers". Hope your kiddo didn't need a radical haircut

o wow!

I like the Zhu zhu hamster much much beter!

i think zu zu pets stink compard to hamusutas and why did they do hamusuta instead of hamster.i mean hamusuta is JAPANESE for hamster. im serious. i mean why cant they speak english?