I’m level-headed most of the time in the real world (though hardly ever on this blog). The proof: I am raising my two children with my husband, holding down a Costco membership and a job that requires my full mental faculties, all while maintaining a rich internal life as detailed on these pages. While I’ve been known to do deep emotional work on mass transportation, Ladies and Gentlemen, that’s NOTHING compared to the emoting I did yesterday in my very own mini van.
The kids were strapped in. Jeff was driving and our beloved cousin, Gabe, was riding shotgun. I happily scrambled into the “way back” because I was getting out first for a shower that I was cohosting for a dear friend. I was gazing at the two dozen yellow roses we bought for the bride when I saw a shadow out of my left eye. Odd, given that it was high noon and the car was only going about 5 miles per hour. Then I saw it again, and I knew. I knew that the mouse Jeff was sure he’d “taken care of” last night was back. Or had friends. Lots of friends. And family.
I took a deep breath, mindful that my children are deathly afraid of ants, so it would be imperative that they NOT know (1) there was mouse in the car AND/OR (2) that their mother was severely freaked out by the emerging rodent sitchy in the car we were all presently riding in.
I signaled to Jeff that I’d seen a mouse. The signal? “Jeff, there’s a mouse in this car.” Then, I cooed softly to the children, “Don’t worry, kiddos, this is just a grand adventure– like lice with an “M” or a rainstorm when we’re headed to the pool. We define ourselves by how we react to these unforeseen events. Laugh with me!”
We’ll never know if they were buying that because as soon as I shut my yapper, the mouse ran across my feet. And yes, I had on my cowboy boots (I was going to a fancy shower, after all), and yes, I was setting an example for my children, and yes, I emitted a sound so plaintive and blood-curdling that my throat still hurts.
“Kids, this is what it sounds like when the doves cry!”
What followed, dear friends, is best described as mayhem/chaos/bedlam, or “chabedhem” as I now call it. Both kids burst into tears, and Jeff turned the car around, pulled back into the garage, and gave me the task of calming the children while he and Gabe dealt with the critters. We are not sure who had the harder job. I tried to tend to my children while also listening to what the menfolk were doing in the garage. I could hear the vacuum going and tried not to picture what exactly they were sucking through that hose.
Trying to get the kids back in the car was similar to trying to herd spooked horses back into a haunted field. Had I been in the possession of lollipops or cupcakes, I’da bribed them with zero regrets. All I had was my own sweet talking, which sort of fails me when the going gets furry and carries the bubonic plague.
All of the adults in this warm little vignette were convinced that all the non humans (read: members of the species Mus musculus) were equitably displaced from our mini van. We laughed at the thought of two little mice living on our detritus. Ha, ha– there are enough snacks and dried up Goldfish to feed a whole colony! I tried not to draw any adverse conclusions about my own housekeeping or general cleanliness. I sure as heavens tried to forget that vivid chapter on the Black Death we spent weeks on during world history with Ms. Duff junior year.
We clinked our glasses as we congratulated ourselves on our cleverness and cunning. For kicks, Jeff put one last trap in the truck. You know for peace of mind. And it would have given us just that except that when we opened the trunk, the cheese was gone and the trap was empty.
Yeah, so then Jeff and Gabe went to Home Depot at 9:15 PM looking for more peace of mind. I spent the evening on Facebook trolling around to see if any of my friends have a cat I can borrow. Seriously. Anyone? Cats for rent?