I've never owned rats before (though I have a lot of experience with other types of pets!), but if all goes according to plan, we will soon be adding a pair of young female ratties to our family (currently consisting of myself, my husband, 3 human kids, 2 small dogs, 2 cats, 2 parakeets, & a betta fish). These rats will be a gift for our sweet, calm, gentle, animal-loving, wants-to-be-a-vet-when-she-grows-up 6 1/2 year old daughter (though obviously, I expect to be heavily involved in their care, as well). Her older sister is the primary caregiver for the parakeets, & her older brother has the fish, so my little one is begging for a pet that is (mostly) her own. After visiting some pet stores, talking to other pet owners, & discussing the pros & cons of various small animals, my daughter has decided that she REALLY wants a couple of rats. I've done a fair amount of research, & I agree that rats sound like the perfect pet for her. I've already ordered a cage & basic supplies and have been in contact with a few breeders (who we will be visiting the week after Thanksgiving to select our babies & put them on hold until they are old enough to come home with us.)Now, here's my question (or rather, a series of related questions): my husband & I would REALLY like to surprise our daughter with her new pets on Christmas morning. Our plan is to have the cage ready, pick up the babies from the breeder as close to Christmas as possible, & then keep the rats (in their cage) at a relative's house until Christmas Eve after the kids have gone to bed. We would then present the rats to our daughter first thing Christmas morning. But after reading the post on immersion training, I'm a bit concerned about this! Will it be traumatic for our babies to go through a couple of moves like that so close together? Will it hinder their ability to bond with our daughter if they don't get to meet her for a few days after they leave the breeder? We're getting rats who have been handled since birth, so they should be fairly people-friendly, but I want to start them out on the right foot at our house. Obviously, I want them to get along with everyone in the family, but I'd like them to view my daughter as their primary caregiver. I'll plan on helping her with immersion training, but chances are, we won't be able to begin until the day after Christmas, as we'll be with extended family most of that first day. Will we still have a good chance of success if the initial bonding is a bit delayed?On a related note ... I'm perfectly willing to snuggle with our babies on the car ride home from the breeder's house, & even visit the ratties for short periods while they are staying with relatives for the few days before Christmas. But will that just do more harm than good when it comes to them bonding later with my daughter? Should I encourage the relatives who will be keeping them until Christmas to interact with them, or will this just further confuse the girls as to who their family is??Advice from experienced rat owners would be much appreciated!!