We had a mouse in our house. After discussing this with numerous people, ends up this is pretty common. I should mention that the “discussion” was more like a complete level 10 freak-out. I should also take this time to publicly apologize to the numerous people I subjected to my level 10 freak-out. So, now that we have the apologies out of the way, let’s get down to business.
My husband didn’t believe me. I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye one night when we were watching TV in bed. At this point I wasn’t sure what I had seen, I told him I thought I saw something, and he looked at me like I was insane. To be fair, all I said was “I think I saw something. It was a dark flash! It was under the door. It just shot in and shot out! Go check. Go!” Naturally, there was nothing in the hallway by the time he finally got up to check. Sneaky fast little sucker.
About a week later, the little scoundrel made a second appearance. I came upstairs and before I could turn the lights on, I saw the squeaky jerk dart across my floor, seeking shelter under my stove. The humanity! I felt so violated! How dare he eat the mountains of crumbs my children drop on the floor! He’s feasting on the delicious morsels rejected by my extremely picky baby! In that moment, I realized there was enough rudely discarded food tucked into nooks and crannies in my kitchen to feed a large mouse village. Oh.My. Gosh. My kids have been feeding about 100 mice that were living in our house. So, maybe I’m a catastrophic thinker.
I very calmly, gently and quietly woke my husband, who was “watching TV” on the couch.
“THERE’S A MOUSE! I SAW HIM! I KNEW IT! YOU THOUGHT I WAS CRAZY! HE’S UNDER THE STOVE! GO GET HIM!!” Like most husbands who are woken up from a dead sleep, he was so happy to be woken up and was super helpful and willing to assist me.
“What do you want me to do? I can’t smash him. It’ll get all over the floor.” It was a good point. And honestly, I didn’t necessarily want him dead. I just didn’t need him creeping around my house. I would pardon him, allow him to live out his days outside, as long as he would come out with his hands up. He did not. So I set my husband up as a sentry by the stove and sped my minivan around screeching turns in search of mouse traps at 10:45 pm.
i could feel the impending freak-out flooding my veins. I called my mom. It’s appropriate to document most of this conversation in all caps, not because I was yelling (but for much of it, I’m sure I was) but because I was rambling like a crazy person.
“OMG THERE IS A MOUSE IN MY HOUSE. I SAW HIM! HOW LONG HAS HE BEEN HERE?! ARE THERE MORE? THERE’S MORE. OMG I HAVE TO BURN THE HOUSE DOWN. WHAT DO I DO?! IS HE CHEWING ON MY KIDS FACES WHILE THEY SLEEP?!”
It wasn’t a completely logical conversation. Then she says to me, “Get some traps, it happens. Mice get into the house. Set a few traps though, because where there is one, there are usually more.”
“WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT TO ME?!?!” I don’t care if it was a logical and practical thing to say. I don’t care if it is true in most cases. You don’t tell a crazy person that.
I bought about 9,000 traps. Not the cheap ones, either. I bought the fancy spinner ones, the flip up ones, the ones where you don’t have to see the mouse corpse once he’s had his last fix of peanut butter. This sucker was going down, and so was the harem he brought with him.
The worst part about mice is that they can live under your nose, without you knowing, for a long time. My paranoia was now refocused. How could I not know that he was skittering around in my house, enjoying the warmth, peeking into my bedroom, watching me shower?! Ok, maybe not that last one, but paranoia isn’t logical.
Thankfully, it only took a night (a long night where I barely slept, and woke about 35 times to check all 9,000 traps) and that fuzzy little disease carrier was toast. My sweet husband took the trap and dug a small shallow unmarked grave for him (not really). Thankfully, none of the other traps yielded any additional rodents in search of free room and board; it was just the one cunning creeper who must have snuck in during any number of instances where my attentive and responsible three-year-olds left the patio door open.
I’ve had some time to reflect on the situation and I have to tell you, I think I might have overreacted. I’m just not ok with anything living in my house that I didn’t marry or birth. I’ve also established a second rule for all living things under my roof: no one is allowed to have more than two legs. I know, it sounds anti-animal. I love animals…Just not in my house.
Now, if I were the arguing type (I am) and if I were willing to argue with myself (I am) I could argue (I will) that perhaps my “no animal policy” is a little harsh, and perhaps having a four legged pet may have assisted in the prevention or apprehension of the mouse invader. Touché, self. Touché.
More important than my desire to avoid pulling pet hair out of my kid’s mouths, It’s vital that we address the severely misleading information regarding rodents in children’s literature. I’m talking to you, “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,” “Stuart Little” and Mickey Mouse. One should never “give a mouse a cookie,” or any baked goods, for that matter. Providing rodents with baked goods implies a level of proximity that I’m just completely uncomfortable with. Regardless of where you stand on the “vaccine debate,” I think we can all agree it’s just good health advice to avoid any and all interactions with rodents. I would like to recommend some more appropriate children’s book titles that would better prepare our youth for their adult encounters with unruly rodent squatters. “If A Mouse Gives YOU Diptheria,” “Happy Birthday Disgusting Parasite” or “Good Night Rat” might better equip tomorrow’s leaders. Let’s not lie to our kids, folks.
I’m pleased to report that my house has been free of mice for a month now. I mean, I think it is.