difficult child begged and pleaded for a hamster for weeks. Due to his allergies we were hesitant to even try. He was slightly allergic to the cockatiel we had. Anyway, after talking with the doctor we decided to give it a try. It's a chinese dwarf hamster, very small. Of course it was scared the first day here and bit him (and me). It actually drew a bit of blood on difficult child's finger and so now he wants to take her back and get another one. I told him to give her a chance to adjust but he's afraid. He doesn't even want me to hold her in case she breaks a blood vein (his words) and all my blood gushes out of me. I keep trying to convince him that her tiny teeth could not do such damage but he's done. We've had her five days and he handles her with little objects like her igloo bed. Afraid to touch her. So we've decided to take her back and try a different hamster to see if we have better luck. My feeling is that they'll all bite to some extent when they're scared. He's going to have to work through his fears or give up on having a pet he can hold. Anyway, the fear about the biting made me think about other issues. The way he processes life is accute, extreme and intense. Earlier I was the worst mom in the world because I forced him to read a few pages out of his book. It kills him to sustain focus to do things like homework and yet if it's something he enjoys, he can do it for hours. He has daily meltdowns with the homework thing (and we just started third grade). My typical approach to these situations is to offer to make him a cup of tea but then we fought about how much sugar he wanted to put in it. Here's to hoping for a better week ahead.