Subtitle: Seeking Higher Ground
So, in my last posting, I let out a whole lot of tsuris about a whole lot of what’s been going on. For those of you who don’t know from tsuris, it’s a Yiddish word that describes troubles or woes. Somehow, the Yiddish language makes things sound so much better than they really are.
Well anyway, I spoke about the little vermin that walk in the night–mice. It’s amazing to me how one creature, so seemingly cute when read in Country mouse and City mouse, or anthropomorphized into Mickey and Minnie, can terrorize a household. At least this household of 2 moms and two girls, all screaming, well, like girls!
The cartoons are highly accurate. Seeking higher ground must be some innate, archetypal reaction that us ‘double x’ chromosome folk resort to in times of fight or flight. Last Friday evening, my loving, mouse-phobic, partner, spent twenty minutes screaming while standing atop our sofa. When no one responded (we three were all asleep in a heap on the bed), she finally mustered up courage, like a certain lion after a visit to a certain wizard, to ‘run like hell’ into our bedroom and poke at my ribs with the latest news.
The next morning, one was kind enough to greet me for coffee at 4:30 am. Just three minutes later, another, smaller grey monster poked out.
The last spotting, again, by loving, mouse-phobic partner (LMPP), occurred after a lovely bedtime reading ritual with the girls. After completing the Magic Tree House story, where Jack and Annie meet Abraham Lincoln, LMPP got up to turn off the lights. Don’t you know, a little bugger flies underfoot and heads into our bedroom closet? You may have actually heard the screams. I’m certain the neighbors did. LMPP could have taught Janet Leigh a lesson or two for that famous shower scene. (I bet right now you are wondering why none of us heard her while she was atop the sofa? We’ll get into that in another posting.) I was then ‘asked’ by LMPP to perform acts of heroism and bravery. “Go get that mouse in the closet!”
Well, suffice it to say, that did not happen. Loud, piercing cries were abundant. I quietly, but firmly held my ground atop the bed. Our two girls were now shrieking and screeching, tears flowing. They too were becoming mouse-phobic. Truth is, I readily admit to also ‘strongly disliking’ the little grey beasts. I just do it much more softly. In fact, once a sighting occurs, little dancing shadows become hallucinogenic. What was that? Was that? Oh, it a sock…a Lego friend…a Beanie Boo.
The next morning, two things happened. I took to my laptop and wrote a very lovely letter to the building management team, asking if this was what they meant by ‘pet-friendly building?’ To their defense, they came out quite quickly and solved for what was a robust hole behind the oven. Next, armed with the dust-buster, I took a very deep breath and made my way into that dreaded closet. I removed every item that was on the floor. Shook out blankets. Checked inside shoes and boxes. No mouse. No mice. No residue. Was it their day to be in the country?
To stick with my ‘glass half-full’ approach to life, some good does come after finding new friends in one’s home. LMPP cleans and organizes and re-cleans and re-organizes, aerobically cleans. As a person who tends to err on the side of OCD, this works for me. I almost didn’t recognize our home when I came home from work one day after the first spell. Rules tend to get re-enforced for the young-ins too. “Food only at the table. No eating on the sofa. Why are you walking around with that bowl of gluten-free chocolate puffs?”
Which brings to mind the thing that boggles me the most. Of all of the apartments to choose from, why did these little pests choose us? We are vegetarian, gluten-free, egg free, GMO free and organic food consumers. And due to the economics we talked about last week–we eat a lot of rice and beans, quinoa and beans, and variations from there. Our house, while happily messy (because we spend time making memories, not cleaning, like all good Moms do), is not filthy by any measure. There has to be a lot of other apartments where take-out containers, packaged goods, cookies, cakes, and candy that are riddled with artificial colors, flavors and by-products (tested in labs by mice relatives) line the shelves and counter-tops here at the Manor. I smell bacon on the weekends! I mean c’mon…really. Are we your best choice for cuisine? With our food, we don’t even see droppings. That’s right, we constipate mice here in our home.
Knock wood, we haven’t spotted the little monsters for at least four days now. They must have smelled the bacon too, don’t you think?