Things Marin has said today- “You cute, Mommy!” “I love you much!” and when I picked her up to take her for a nap, “You a hebby kid.”
The last few days when I haven’t been busy with kids, I have been on a mission to rid the house of the mice that recently moved in. I first started hearing little noises in my bedroom and eventually figured out that it was a mouse. I find it difficult to sleep with the knowledge that there is a rodent prowling around in my room. I got C to put two traps in there and hoped that would be the end of it. After a few days of checking and re-checking the live traps, I discovered that there was no bait in them. C claimed that they must have eaten it but I saw no evidence of peanut butter residue. I fixed the traps with peanut butter and waited.
While I was patiently waiting for the mouse to climb in to the humane trap, I began to become discouraged. There was a downstairs mouse as well by this time. I can hear the mouse at night when I am sitting at my desk. I honestly wonder where the expression “quiet as a mouse” comes from. I have no trouble hearing the mouse scurrying about on the lookout for discarded remnants of Cheetos.
I have taken to sitting with my feet up on my desk to prevent the possibility of a mouse running up my leg. People like to say, “Oh, they are more afraid of you…” etc. but I don’t even want to hear that. I have encountered a few mice before and realize that if nothing else, they are unpredictable and seem uncertain of which direction to go. I have had a mouse run straight at me and I have seen one jump straight up in the air. It’s alarming, at the very least.
Last year my friend Ann recounted a mouse incident at her house. I can still remember the conversation.
Ann- “You are not going to believe this but I had a mouse in my hand!”
Me- “What? Are you kidding?”
Ann- “No, I’m not kidding.”
Me, disgusted yet still fascinated- “What happened?”
Ann- “I reached the scoop into the dog food bag and when I pulled it out there was a mouse in my hand.”
Me- “Oh, my God! What did you do?”
Ann- “What do you think? I screamed and threw it. I think I need to invest in Rubbermaid.”
Of course I laughed and laughed at Ann’s mouse horror story much like I did when a neighbor encountered a mouse in my presence. The neighbor’s cat had left the mouse on her front porch, contributing to feeding the family, as some cats like to do.
The neighbor is not a fan of mice but braver than most women. She picked the mouse up by the tail and threw it in the yard. She noticed signs of movement and went over for a closer look. That turned out to be a mistake that she would live to regret. Just as she leaned over to look, the mouse made a full recovery from his apparent death. The mouse promptly ran straight up her pants leg. The neighbor began screaming while engaging in a choreiform-like dance. I suppose, in retrospect, maybe I should have done something to help, given that the poor women had a mouse in her pants. Instead, I laughed and laughed until I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I think it is safe to say that I have earned some bad mouse karma that day.
The mouse battle continues and the old-fashioned snap traps have been added to the arsenal. The night before last I heard a loud “pop” that awakened me from my slumber. I turned on a light and instinctively grabbed a Mag-light as well. I’m not sure what I planned on doing with that but when battling rodents one must be prepared.
I saw that a mouse had been caught in the trap but was not yet dead. He didn’t even appear close to dead really, just stuck and wild-eyed. He was determined to escape the trap and used his body weight to flip the trap over repeatedly. I went to get C since, as you might have guessed by this point in the story, I’m afraid of mice. C refused to help me and suggested I remove it myself. I toyed with the idea of getting the salad tongs but hated the idea of risking the mouse freeing himself while he was dangling near my legs. I also thought that I would really hate to have to throw out a perfectly good pair of tongs. The tongs would have to have been disposed of because it would be forever burned into my memory that they were now “the mouse tongs”.
I went back over to once again evaluate and re-group. I felt sorry for the mouse, it was a pitiful sight but I also realized that he was very determined to escape. I got the fire extinguisher and balanced it on the edge of the trap to prevent any further flipping. Then I went back to bed. I know that sounds cold but I thought that a traumatized mouse that had just escaped a trap would be crazier than a regular unpredictable mouse. I just didn’t want to wake up to an angry mouse exacting his revenge by chewing my ear off in the night. The next day I convinced Andrea to dispose of the body. I supplied the latex gloves. Her only condition was that the trap was going in the trash as well. Everyone has their limits.
The downstairs mouse continues to roam around nightly with free reign of the house. He has skillfully evaded all traps. A couple of nights ago I was sitting at my desk talking to Claire. I had just seen the mouse and of course I had my feet up and on high-alert. The mouse then darted across the room full-throttle causing me to scream. That in turn caused Claire to scream while simultaneously jumping up in the air and launching herself into my lap, backwards. It was a very fluid movement as if we had practiced this maneuver in anticipation of such an event. Claire isn’t really afraid of mice. She claims that she thinks they are cute. I’m just not buying her bravado after that particular display.
If the traps don’t work any time soon, I’ll be the one walking around the house in the hip-waders.