Oh. Oh, you guys.
I have. A tale. To tell.
You may want to sit down for this one.
Last Friday, Snooze and I hosted the Yoga Moms at our crib. You remember the Yoga Moms? I had a fantastic prenatal yoga experience; and I'm thrilled that we have formed our very own mama's club. We've gotten together as a group three times thus far; I've also gone walking and had coffee with a few of the ladies individually. It's nice that we're all in the trenches together.
On Thursday night, I cleaned and straightened the house. I even baked zucchini bread! Early the next morning, Hendrik and I dashed to Dunkin Donuts for some additional treats. I managed to have us both fed, bathed, dressed, and expertly coiffed before the first guest arrived promptly at 10 AM.
We hosted eight moms and nine babies, and the gathering was a smashing success. Our friends were gone by 1 PM, and I straightened up a bit before heading out for a walk on the glorious fall afternoon. H and I ended up at Starbucks (as we do), and my little man napped throughout. Back at home, I fed the babe and he drifted peacefully back to sleep (a banner nap, indeed!), and I let him snooze on the Boppy, eagerly picking up Freedom again and feeling sublimely content.
I saw something out of the corner of my eye. A flutter of movement. I looked up, suspecting a stink bug, as I'd seen quite a few in the past several weeks.
WHAT I SAW?
A tiny gray mouse. MEANDERING across the fucking living room. As if he owned the place. He didn't even have the common decency to scurry. Feival just walked casually to the corner to my left, unaware (or smugly satisfied?) that he had terrified me to MY VERY CORE.
Hendrik was still dozing peacefully - I'd had the good sense not to scream and traumatize the both of us - and I deftly lifted him, shooting out the front door via the couch faster than you can say FEMALE CLICHE.
And there we sat, we two. He woke up happy and playful as my heart spasmed in my chest. And there we sat, for about 35 minutes, when J finally arrived home and I bombarded him with the devastating news.
He was none too happy to deal with an hysterical wife immediately upon getting home from work. Annoyed, he stood in the kitchen as I lingered in the doorway (I had no shoes on, for the love of Pete!) and shouted: "I can't lie to you."
"You knew?" I stage-whispered.
"My parents saw something a month ago. But how could I tell you? I can't even put a trap where you can see it!"
Devastated, I attempted to process my new reality.
A mouse. Walking freely about our home. Whizzing past our baby as he rolls around the floor. A fresh wave of horror as I thought: what if he's not alone?
I know, you guys. The drama, right? But I've been afraid of rodents for as long as I can remember. My grandparents had three cats when I was a little girl, as well as an expansive backyard. There was always a dead mouse waiting at the front door to welcome us home. My grandfather - not squeamish - would grab the vermin by the tail, swing it once for good measure, and plop it in a clear plastic baggie. He laughed maniacally while performing this task, chasing me around the foyer. At least, that's how I remember it.
Then there was the time I sat in my very own apartment - the first and only time I lived blissfully alone - and heard them in the kitchen. Eating my Tostitos. I called the landlord to tell her, and then never set foot in my kitchen again. That's not really an exaggeration; I would go into the fridge, but never cooked or opened a cabinet until I could get the hell out of there.
And now: a thirty year-old wife and mother, run out of her home by a mouse.
The three of us ventured out that night (stopping for traps of course), and when we arrived home, I felt slightly less sick. "You have to continue to live," J told me seriously, as if I had been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
When Hendrik was asleep, we cracked open a bottle of red and settled in to watch the Phillies game. I was babbling about something when I saw J's eyes flicker towards the kitchen.
"Uh huh," he said in response to my last statement. "Hey, I hate to tell you this, but your friend is in the kitchen right now."
"Oh my God, J!" I screeched, standing on the couch. "Is this the BALLSIEST mouse you have ever encountered?!?"
All of the lights were on. J and I were talking loudly. The television was blaring.
And that arrogant fucker just trotted around our kitchen. LIKE HE OWNS THE JOINT!
I wondered how I might continue to live. I mean: seriously.
On Saturday night, I arrived home from my sister-in-law's fabulous bachelorette party around 12:30. LIKE I WENT INTO THE KITCHEN, DUDES. I got upstairs as fast as my heels would allow, and then I heard a distinctive snap. I assumed it had come from the basement, but honestly; I don't want to know.
The next day, J confirmed that we had caught a mouse. The mouse? It is not for me to know.
What I do know? I have vaccuumed TWICE in the last three days, which is probably more than I have vaccuumed in the last three months. This house will remain spotless. Also? Hendrik and I announce ourselves before walking into any room. Typically by stomping my feet, and yelling, "VERMIN! DO NOT TRIFLE WITH HENDRIK AND ME! WE WILL DESTROY YOU!" in a clipped English accent, which H seems to enjoy. (A yoga mom pointed out that I may be teaching my son that this is the proper way to enter a room, which is very hilarious.)
And I know you might think me crazy, Internet, but perhaps there is a reason for this. What kind of woman do I want my son to know? A frazzled, frayed lady, afraid of a mouse? Or a ballsy mama, who - when J is away for an evening in the very near future - will don a hazmat suit, goggles, and Dad's work boots to annihilate these mofos! Or, at least be able to pick up a trap and put it in a plastic baggie.
And maybe even swing it once - laughing maniacally - for good measure.