Last night as I sat at my computer in the dining room, I heard a “snap!”, then kind of a clang and then silence. It was coming from the kitchen, and no one was in there. I knew right away what it was. Then I heard the clanging noise again. A frantic clanging noise. I was frozen in my chair. Couldn’t move. My son was watching the game in the other room. I called out to him and told him to call his dad at work. He had to come home. My son knew immediately. It was an emergency… It was a mouse! A mouse in the house!
I have a fear of mice. Of all rodents, really. And I live in a house built in the late 1800’s. Not a good mix. The day we closed on this house, my husband and I camped out on sleeping bags in the dining room. The next day when we were ripping the walls down in the dining room, baby mice came scurrying out from the baseboard! Here’s where the phobia comes in. The truth, the reality, is that some baby mice scurried out. In my brain though, the memory goes more like this: HUNDREDS OF MICE CAME FLOODING FROM THE WALLS INVADING THE ROOM!
I’m not sure how I became so afraid, so unrealistic about them. I remember seeing a couple as a child, and being frightened both times, but not frozen-in-place frightened. Not call-my-husband-home-from-work frightened. I once called my husband, while “trapped” on the kitchen island, and asked him to come home from CALIFORNIA because there was a mouse in the laundry room! I’ve left the house if I’ve seen one, to return only once my husband deemed it “all clear.”
Then, when my little guy was a baby, I hit the breaking point. The point at which we had to call in the professionals. It came down to them or me. I had the baby in high chair that clamped onto the kitchen island. He was having a small snack before bed and I went into the dining room to check some emails. I could see him, and out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw something fall from the cupboard above him, onto the table. It didn’t make a sound. But I figured it was something I didn’t want the baby to get. As I entered the kitchen, it fell again, to the floor. I bent down to get it and discovered it was a baby mouse! It was barely alive. And tiny. Yet it scared the living daylights out of me. I quickly unbuckled the baby and called my husband to come home. He was at a meeting, forty minutes away and couldn’t come. And I couldn’t leave. The bigs were asleep in their beds. So I called a friend’s husband. He came and took the baby mouse outside. After my husband came home I disinfected the area and he searched for more. He gave me the “all clear.”
The next day, the same freakin’ thing happened. This time it was during the day and my husband was at work, alone, and could not leave. And my friend’s husband was at work too. What could I do? The baby was a crawler. He was going to go after it. He might touch it! The dog was a puppy and she was going to go after it. She might throw it around and play with it!
I had to be strong. I had to be brave. I donned my dishwashing gloves, grabbed the fireplace tools and the cordless phone. My husband talked me through the whole thing. I was shaking from head to toe. I scooped the half-dead baby mouse onto the fireplace shovel and carried it, as far away from my body as possible, without looking at it, outside, across the entire back yard and dropped it over the fence. Then I cried and called my mother! I was a shaking, nervous-breakdown-about-to-happen, wreck. My mother came. My friend came with some “pills” to make me feel better. I met her at the door and told her “They are falling from the SKY!” She looked at me with pity and said she knew it seemed that way. It didn’t seem that way! They were! They were falling from the sky! Next to my baby!
Obviously, I was close to losing it. Totally losing it. So, my husband called an exterminator friend who came that day. And I met him for the first time a little doped up. I think my mother did all the talking while I mumbled about mice falling from the sky.
Since then, we’ve had a pretty good mouse eradication plan in action. Some still get in the basement, but the traps get them and I never see them. Since the mice falling from the sky incident, we’ve had a trap on top of that cupboard, just in case. Well, last night, that’s what I heard. I obviously have some PTSD from the mouse falling from the sky incident and that’s why I couldn’t move. Luckily, my almost 13 year old is a kind, brave guy. He climbed on top of the kitchen island to check the trap. Yup it was a mouse. And he was “pretty sure” it was dead. Pretty sure isn’t good enough. So I sat right here at my computer and waited for my husband to get home. I needed him to get rid of it and give me the all clear. I needed a drink too. But, I didn’t want him to stop at the packy and delay the all clear. So I just waited.
He came home, cleaned it up, reset it and gave me the all clear. Then I searched the liquor cabinet for something, anything, to calm my nerves. I had the fixings for a gin & tonic. So I made myself one. One strong G&T and headed upstairs while my guys watched the game. As I headed up my son told me I handled the mouse attack really well. I smiled – I love that kid. Then my husband said, “Attack? Nah, it’s more like an invasion!” Then I remembered, there really is no such thing as one mouse…
(no mice were harmed in the making of this video…I don’t think.)