Somehow my husband and I took leave of our senses and bought 2 rats for our daughter for Christmas. I don’t know why I was thinking that a 5-year old would have any sense when it comes to animals, but it’s a miracle the poor things haven’t come unhinged. She hasn’t put them down since they arrived on Christmas morning. They are amazingly patient, as she carries them around by their middles and refuses to set them down to explore for even a second. She tries to hand them to anyone who comes to the house. This could be problematic, because some of her babysitters may not like rats, and we may soon be short some babysitters. They are remarkably good-natured little animals. One of them has even started taking food by hand. I hope they can adjust to the constant handling. I seem to recall that when I was a kid I didn’t handle my pets nearly so much – I liked to watch what they did on their own. Clearly my child has not inherited my enjoyment of observation, as she hasn’t quit meddling with them yet. They are officially named “Princess” and “Wiggly”. Princess is only slightly less wiggly than Wiggly. My husband and I are really hoping that her interest in them will wane; we hadn’t anticipated complete immersion in ratness.