Thursday, June 29, 2017

Of mice and men. Part II

So, I've concluded that mice are a lot like children in that they have a knack for revealing your greatest flaws.

My children like to bring to light the fact that I am not quite as patient, easy going, and angelic as I believed myself to be approximately 6 years ago.

The mice that have taken up residence in our home like it's a thriving Airbnb destination enjoy bringing up the reality that the floor food I have lovingly provided for my baby, and the leftover dinner remnants from the elder children are the perfect nighttime snack for any vermin taking in the sights after rummaging through my cupboards.

Perhaps at times the occasional piece of white cheddar popcorn becomes lodged between the couch cushions at approximately 9:30pm. Maybe there are chocolate chips in there. Maybe a slice or two of pepperoni. Whatever! Stop shaming me for wanting some alone time, mice! 

Obviously none of these mice are mothers or they would possess some compassion for my solitary snacking needs in this season of life.

Three days ago I awoke and began my normal morning routine of shoving aside snuggling my little darlings on my way to the coffee pot. Instead of being greeted by piping hot bean water in a witty decorative mug, I instead came upon my counter covered with... 

tiny. little. droppings. 

People. I implore you.

My emotions did not hold up well in light of this revelation. The further my eyes scanned, the more mouse excrement they found. 

Behind my coffee pods, next to the toaster, under the dishes drying on the counter, inside of the pots in my oven drawer, in another cupboard, and in the drawer that holds all of my measuring cups and spoons. 

Now I will say, in defense of the mice, that the last drawer I mentioned, containing roughly 728 measuring cups and spoons, also contained enough food scraps to feed a sizable village of mice, but still! 

I used to really love our home. 

Being the consistently rational human being that I am, my husband unpacked the moving boxes I'd immediately begun to fill, and proceeded to buy every single mouse fighting contraption available at Home Depot and Amazon.com. 

He got that look on his face like when Hugh Jackman grows the Edward Scissorhand things out of his fingers and goes crazy on everyone. 

My children so far all seem to be oblivious to the plight happening within their home, thankfully, though I did find a great deal of irony in the fact that they requested to watch "Stuart Little" while I cleaned mouse feces out of our dwelling... 

After the poo removal was complete, our kitchen became a war zone. Instead of oatmeal and waffle crumbs, it was filled with glue traps and peanut butter zapper boxes. 

Yesterday morning, Wolverine greeted me as I was exiting our bedroom to tell me that he was "just finishing up" out in the kitchen. 

When he awoke in the early morning hours to assess the battlefield, who should greet him but Stuart Little himself, who found himself stranded in a glue trap that even an adorable Melanie Griffith voiced character could not rescue him from. 

I won't disclose all of the details regarding how the disposal of Stuart unfolded...but I will say it involved a pair of gloves, a large bucket, a stick, some amount of water, and a certain level of Hugh Jackman bravery.  

I will continue to provide updates on the critter casualty count as it rises. 

And I will continue to eat my 9:30pm snacks on the couch while watching The Middle. You can't control me, Stuart! 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Of mice and men

As I sit down to type this, I hear the gentle sounds of my favorite nighttime TV family (The Hecks on The Middle) and the scurrying of the tiny (or GIANT!?) feet of the critters that have taken up nighttime residence in our cupboards.

First of all, let's establish the fact that this is NOT OKAY!

I can kill an occasional spider if it is reasonably sized and doesn't appear like it could pick up my baby. I can hide in a bedroom like any sane human being until my husband returns, should a bee of any variety somehow enter my house uninvited. I once ate the leg of a fried tarantula in Cambodia.

But four legged rodents rummaging around in my pots and pans is absolutely unacceptable. It's also rude of them to point out the fact that my home contains enough of my baby's floor food to encourage this kind of trespassing!

My husband has procured special "food" to ensure they are eradicated, and Pinterest tells me to put Peppermint oil on cotton balls, which I've done diligently. But 800 cotton balls and 200 drops later (approximately), I feel like the critters are actually taking the oils internally and seeing all of their ailments cured. Irony.

Aside from taking care of our new pets, I've also been trying to attend to the two legged creatures who live in my home and demand my attention. I made homemade coconut water fruit popsicles yesterday! Pinterest helps me provide my children with nutritious treats to balance out the 8,000 grams of sugar (approximately) my daughter consumes now in special treats she can have that were previously off limits due to her peanut allergy. OIT has both set us free...and tempted us with all of the pre-packaged goodness that mother nature had nothing to do with.

We are officially finished with our year of Kindergarten homeschool! Praise Jesus we all made it out somewhat unscathed! And Emma knows how to count to 100, how to spell a few words on her own, how to operate any Apple product independently, and knows the names of every character on "The Fresh Beat Band."

She does not know there are critters in our cabinets however. It's better this way.

The elders spent today pretending to be Dino Dan and Dino Dana from the respective shows of the same names. For children who are afraid of everything from Jack in the box's to Nanny McPhee to zebras...it is amazing to me how they adore these giant, ferocious looking dinosaurs. They can't seem to find matching socks, but they found a dozen dinosaur bones in our backyard today.

If a mouse runs out in front of me right now, so help me, Internet...

My delightful baby child, Clairebear, is making great progress in tackling her tiny world. We're taking her to a baby chiropractor and we have a lovely occupational therapist who is like a blond Mary Poppins, and comes to our home twice a month, which means that my floors are vacuumed at least twice a month (in your face, mice!). Claire has been delayed on all of her mobility, (though she's been scootching on her bottom at lightning speeds for months now) but can now sit up and lay back down, and is tolerating kneeling and standing for longer and longer periods of time, and finally starting to pull up on certain things. She is also being raised, as were my other children, by the lovely Rachel Coleman of Baby Signing Time fame. Her favorites currently are "airplane," "car," "all done," and "bird," her default being airplane for any sign she doesn't know.

Oh, my children have started sleeping through the night now!


Just kidding.

I text my lovely friend Jaime roughly 9,000 times a day as we regale each other with stories of parenting, both the victorious and defeating. The pendulum swings from homemade coconut water popsicles and two loving, cooperative children joyfully constructing Magnatile creations on the deck while their baby sister happily interacts with her occupational therapist inside the house...

...to me, two brooms in hand, awkwardly hunched over our fence attempting to maneuver the ball that was accidentally kicked into our neighbors yard, and lacking the self-control that would keep my naughty words at bay. Or threatening my children with the loss of my sanity when the 8,759th request has been made of me as I'm attempting to escape their room at bedtime (I believe I muttered something to the effect of, "The crazy train is pulling into the station! Mama's gettin' on!"

I guess what I'm coming to understand is that the world becomes a different place at 8pm. Cups of water previously well tolerated in the daytime hours become too tepid to consume. What had appeared to be a minor scrape in the light of day has now erupted into an intolerable flesh wound requiring two or perhaps a dozen band-aids. And not the Crayon design band-aids. Nighttime abrasions demand Elsa and Anna and Spongebob.

Stuffed animals that have not been thought of in 4 years suddenly require a search party. Everything scary in the entire world finds its way into their room, despite their 7 nightlights and their adorable but not adhered to "O.K. to Wake" clock lights.

8 miles of walking snuggles, 17 stories, 40 minutes of back scratching, 82 high fives, and 49 butterfly kisses later they are finally asleep.

And that's approximately the time when Clairebear wakes up for her first round of our nighttime hangouts.

The world is a dangerous place at night, my friends. The mice understand this and are seeking refuge in my crock pot, but it's just not quite as endearing as "Ratatouille" made it all out to be...