Nate’s school is participating in a “One School, One Book” program whereby every child in the school reads the same book to have something in common. There are daily questions and fun activities about the book, which also promotes literacy. The “one book” that was selected was, apparently, only appropriate for kids in Kindergarten and higher grades. It’s a chapter book and that’s too complicated for the pre-K crowd. So Nate and his friends got their own “one book.” A non-fiction book….namely, this:


Seriously. This is Nate’s “one book.” It’s a step-by-step guide on how to care for your hamster. How to feed him. How to play with him. How to clean his cage. As the cover suggests, all of the hamster models are cute and cuddly.  Yes. This book is a walking commercial for buying a hamster, which we are sooooo not doing.

When I picked Nate up from school on Friday, Ms. Julianne hands me a bag. She said, “Here. He’s yours for the weekend.” I said, “Who’s mine for the weekend?” She said, “Hamster.  Have fun.”

This is what was inside.


Being in a contained autism room with very few verbal kids, Nate’s classmates did what they do best — went right for the literal. Friends, meet Hamster the hamster.

All of Nate’s friends gathered to welcome our new friend.



Even Pete loved on the little guy….

Pete One

…though occasionally Pete hugged Hamster a little too tightly. (Don’t worry. Hamster is okay.)

Pete Two

To start off his visit, we decided to treat Hamster to a take-out meal. Turns out, hamsters like onion rings.  (That’s not in the book.)

Onion Rings

After a good sleep, we were all ready for Nate’s last Special Olympics practice of the year. Nate played hockey….

Hockey Star

…while Hamster played goalie.


Hamster the hamster also tried basketball…


…and the hula hoop but he realized he has no waist.

Hula Hoop

After a post-workout snack…


…we took Hamster to the bowling alley!  The staff were so pleased to have a hamster visit them that Hamster got to bowl for free!

Bowling One

Nate showed Hamster how the game is played.

Bowling Two

By this time, everyone worked up a great appetite so we went out to lunch. Though the restaurant only had a children’s menu, Hamster still found items he enjoyed on the menu, namely apples, carrot sticks, and organic mixed greens.

Eating Out

After lunch, we got ourselves a sweet treat — and Hamster had his first froyo!

Fro Yo

After such a grand day out, Hamster took a big nap while Nate and Chad played in the yard and I gardened.

The next day was Mother’s Day – and Hamster the Hamster learned that Mother’s Day means Munchkins for everyone!  (Again, this food is not listed in the book.)



We went out for a special Mother’s Day lunch where Hamster colored this awesome menu.  Again, Hamster was pleased to find so many restaurants that accommodated his dietary needs.  Hamster enjoyed a salad and a sip of water.


Unfortunately, after Mother’s Day brunch, Nate the Great started feeling icky. So the fun ended real fast. Nate’s been home from school for two days now with some stomach issues, which we hope will be resolved soon. But in the meantime, Hamster is tucked away in his box with a hamster-sized bottle of Purell.

We hope Nate will feel well enough to go to school tomorrow. We know all of his friends miss Hamster – and Nate, too! And besides, we have to get our little guy well enough to celebrate his 5th birthday!!!

It’s not too late to participate in Nate’s 5th Birthday Wish! Last year, we raised $560 for Nate’s therapists and we want to raise as much as possible this year!!! This project isn’t a surprise to Ms. Susie and Ms. Mollie as they both read this blog — but we’re keeping the amount raised a secret to add to the fun!!! Click here to learn about the project and how you can help! :)