"Good morning babies! Good MORNing!! Wakey, wakey!" 7am. I've already been up for about 45 minutes, getting ready for work. Why? Because I can't get a thing done with four furry monsters running around. So I get up almost an hour before I really have to get up. I get ready, make my lunch, and then ferret-proof the living room. Finally, it's time to wake the little ones up..... "GOOD MORNING BABIES!"
Every morning is different. Sometimes, I think if they had a snooze button, they'd use it. They are a lot like their mommy on those mornings. Instead of bounding out of their cages ready to wreak havoc, I have to rouse each of them from their slumber one at a time convincing them that it is playtime. Today is one of those mornings.
"Good morning Cocoa.... time to wake up sweetheart. By the way - it's Friday! You know what that means!" Mommy likes to celebrate Fridays by giving extra treats to the babies, usually including a bit of peanut butter.... Cocoa loves her peanut butter - or anything else eatable for that matter!
"Good morning Bear.... wakey, wakey, big boy. It's time to play!" Now I pull him from his warm hammock and gently place him on the floor as he stretches out.... "BIG stretches for my baby Bear!"
One cage empty.... one to go....
"Good morning Bailey.... rise and shine, my princess! You're going to be a good girl this morning, right baby girl??" Bailey has a slight obsession with climbing onto the couch, tunneling between the cushions and getting INSIDE the couch - a big no-no in our house!
"Good morning Guinness..... hello handsome. Time to wake up baby boy." Guinness will always be my baby boy. He is the youngest of the four, and was a tiny little thing when he first joined our family. He's bigger now, but he's still my baby boy. "Come on baby boy, gotta wake up and play sweetie." Guinness is not a morning lover. It takes him a bit longer to wake up....
As I scoop Guinness up and cradle him in my arms, I make may way past the cages to the living room. Typically, this requires tiptoeing around Bear who has decided to lie there where I left him stretching - waiting for the motivation to get get going. Cocoa has already run towards the bathroom where their litter box is kept. I wonder if she was a good girl and used the litter box this morning, or if she opted for another corner in the bathroom. I'm happy as long as its on the tile floor, and not the carpeting.
I make my way towards the couch first, because Bailey has already managed to climb aboard and has her nose shoved between two cushions. I pick her up and put her back on the floor where she belongs. She's determined, so I have to block the couch a few times before she gives up.... for now.
Meanwhile, Guinness has fallen back to sleep in my arms. I lie him on my lap and scratch him behind his ears. "Wakey, wakey, sleepyhead. It's time to play!" He seems to forget that they only have an hour to play - and every minute he sleeps is a minute of playtime lost. About five minutes later, I finally encourage him to stretch out on my lap. He looks around, glances towards the floor, but makes no move. I think he is deciding if there is a better offer, or if this is it. I tell him this is it. So he stretches towards the floor, and I help him stretch out his long slinky body. He yawns. And he meanders towards the bathroom. (Ferrets typically do their business right after waking up.)
As Guinness sleepily strolls away, Bailey has decided that Mommy looks occupied so she will climb onto the other couch. But Mommy is on guard! I jump over to that couch and block her as she tries to jump. "Not on my watch, Kid." She tries a few more times, stopping at each cushion, thinking she will have more luck at a different spot. But after being blocked relentlessly, she huffs and puffs in her own little way and heads off into a different direction.
At this point, I'm hungry. I have a bowl of cereal already poured, just waiting for the milk. I get up to head to the kitchen, but I spot Bear, still sprawled out in front of his cage with his eyes closed. "Aw, come on Mister Bear. It's playtime!!" I head over in his direction instead and scoop him up. He looks at me through half-open eyes. "Yes, sweetie, it's time to wake up." I plop him down on the papasan chair, tickle his belly, and he immediately wakes up and is in play-mode! As he hops around, clucking away (yes, ferrets make a clucking sound when they are happy!), I notice Bailey has made it onto the couch again. Ugh! She just can't be trusted!
I march over to her, scoop her up, and hold her in my arm like a football. "Can't be trusted. Can't be trusted!" I repeat this over and over to her, as I attempt to head to the kitchen again - this time with her in tow. She squirms and wriggles, trying to slip away. But Mommy has a good grip. We climb over the baby gate (a solid one that the ferrets can't slip through), go to the fridge, get the milk, pour the milk onto my waiting bowl of Cheerios, put the milk back, grab a spoon and the bowl, climb back over the baby gate, and finally I free her from my football grip. She looks up at me... then darts towards the couch. Of course.
I am as quick as she is though, so I make it there just in time to block her yet again. And again. And again. And again. As she tries each of the three cushions, then tries the other couch... "Denied!" Mommy has won again.
Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch... Dig, dig, dig, dig.... "Who's digging???" It's Guinness. He has decided that this playtime-thing is not for him. He wants to go under the couch and fall back to sleep where it is dark, quiet, and most importantly - out of mommy's reach. I block his efforts relentlessly, and try to get him to play. I shake the rattle toy, I crinkle the noisy ferret tunnel. He shows little interest this morning. He is unpredictable to say the least. There are morning when I can come around the corner and he will pounce at my leg wanting to play. Not so much this morning. "I agree Guinness. I'd like to go back to bed too. But I have to go to work, sweetie. So this is it until tonight!" He doesn't seem to care.
Of course, as this conversation goes on, the princess is on the couch again. Of course. I promptly remove her from there and put her on the papasan chair. For some reason, they love this chair. Maybe its because they can bounce off the sides, maybe because they think they can tunnel in the many dimples of the cushion. I don't know. But it seems to occupy her long enough for me to pull Mr. Bear out of the ferret condo where he has, again, fallen asleep. I may have convinced him to play this time - he has shown interest in the crinkly ferret tunnel.
I decide I can finally start eating my cereal. I sit on the floor, in front of the couch (guarding it of course!), and start to eat. This is when quiet little Cocoa finally makes her appearance. Where has she been anyways? Ah, but there is food involved now. And when there's food involved, Cocoa is ready and waiting. Impatiently, I might add. Her tiny, sharp little claws dig into my leg as she tries to climb into my cereal bowl. (Why are her claws so much sharper then the rest of them? She must sharpen them at night while we sleep....) "No, baby girl, this is Mommy's breakfast. You'll get your Friday treats soon." She persists.
I am now eating my cereal, removing Cocoa from my lap repeatedly, blocking Princess Bailey from getting into the couch, and calling out to the sleepy boys to get them to play. It's a typical morning. This is why I get up and get most of my stuff done BEFORE they come out to play.
7:30am - Squeak Squeak Squeak! I squeak the treat toy (they know this sound and come running for treats whenever they hear it). All four monsters find their way to me and beg for treats. I put peanut butter on the tips of three of my fingers and let Cocoa, Bailey, and Guinness each have a finger. They are in heaven. Mr. Bear doesn't like peanut butter. He gets ferret treats. (Bear: "Um, mom, if it doesn't say FERRET on it, I don't want it. I'm a FERRET, mommy. A ferret." Apparently, the others didn't get the memo.)
8am - "Bedtime, babies! Mommy has to go to work now!" I pull Bailey from the couch - again. I scoop Bear from the condo where he has fallen asleep - again. I head to the cages with two in my arms, and Cocoa following closely behind. (Cocoa: "Don't forget me momma!") I lock three of them up. Now for Guinness. He has won the battle and is sound asleep under the couch. There's only one way to get him out. Bribe him.
I put a bit of peanut butter on my finger, and slide my arm under the couch as far as I can. After calling to him and scratching the underside of the couch with my other fingers, he finally sniffs the peanut butter and starts licking. I slowly pull my arm out. It takes a few tries, but I finally lure him out form under the couch. I let him finish the treat, and then tuck him into his hammock.
I clean up the ferret droppings in the bathroom, grab my stuff for work, and take one final look at my little ones before I go. All four babies are tucked in. The boys are making themselves comfy. The girls are looking at me like I'm such a mean mommy for making them go to bed - the place I'd rather be right now myself. But no, no bed for Mommy. Off to work I go, to play with humans while the little furry babies wait for my arrival home at 5:30pm so we can do it all over again.