Friday, October 10, 2008

my mother looks NOTHING like this

Dear Mom,

Man, I bet you wish you'd never picked up the phone today, don't you? Such an innocent sounding ring, and on the other side of it your sometimes reasonable daughter in head spinning, bile spewing mode. I'm sorry. I truly am. I know I was supposed to phone you today - so I did. You're usually on to my dodging and hiding out routine, so I knew I was toast if I didn't call like planned. I had all the best intentions of keeping it together and not dragging you into my soap opera. Obviously, my plans fell through.

I totally blame it on the mouse.

It wasn't just the fact that my household is imploding in around me.

Or that my two days "off" have been a bill paying, chore doing, kid driving, teenaged feuding joke with me bleeding money from every pore.

Or even that in the two days "off" I've been to work three times - once for a committee meeting, and twice for doctor's appointments (once for Surfer Dude's cast and once for my -whoopee - annual exam).

It wasn't the almost seventy pounds of apples going south on my kitchen table because I don't have the time to do anything with them.

Or the pile of clean laundry completely covering my dining room table just begging to be folded and put away.

Or the fact that the guy I bought a bunch of firewood from vanished into thin air.

Or the bill from our "marriage counselor" demanding back payment from frickin' March. No note of explanation, no nothing. When I called him - incensed - he blamed the insurance company for being so slow with their co-pays and then asked me how the FX and I were doing. I'll spare you the rest of that conversation, but suffice it to say I'll get a big laugh out of it eventually. 2016 sounds good.

No. It was definitely the mouse.

A few nights ago, Gumby came into my room to tell me that he had mice crawling up his television cord. Being half asleep at the time, I hoped I had misunderstood. I hadn't. I've had two boys in my bed ever since. I went into his room to take a look around and didn't see any mice. I did, however, see the rodent equivalent of an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet on his floor. Dirty plates and cups (strictly forbidden) on his bedside table. A pizza box from the night of my Bunco - almost a month ago. Rat food - from his pet rat - spilled all over his dresser. It was the mouse version of Disneyland.

This was problematic enough on its own, but since you're coming Saturday for a visit, it created difficulties. You usually sleep with me. This would be difficult with the two boys and three dogs already edging me out. The mice had to go. (They had been forced out months ago, but clearly have found their way back).

I was standing in my laundry room looking for traps when a mouse ran across my foot in a panic. It wasn't the only one. I was hopping and screaming and flinging things through the air. I'd like to say I accidentally squashed the mouse with all my jumping around, but the only thing I did was smash my toes into the dryer.

Since I've "talked" to you, I've cleaned out Gumby's room and found enough mouse poop to launch a shuttle. I've laid traps all through my laundry room. And as I'm writing this, I've just watched a mouse creep out from under my stove and head toward the island before darting back to safety. None of the dogs even woke up. If I didn't know what my dogs might do to a cat, I'd have one in the house by the weekend. I can't do this all winter.

I know you were really frustrated that you couldn't do anything concrete to help until you get here. But do you remember when you volunteered to sit in my living room with a BB gun and shoot mice? You don't happen to have one, do you? Or a cat I could borrow?


your frazzled daughter

p.s. Can't wait to see you Saturday. Hopefully after today, you feel the same.


Altaglow said...

I, in fact, do have a bb gun. You made it sound, however, like a shot gun and Highway Patrol issue shot was more what was needed for the mice "hordes" that are taking over your house--much like the Mongol hordes sweeping across the Asian steepes. I doubt the airline will let me bring a shotgun. I will bring whatever armament I can get past the TSA.

My cats won't help. As much as they like harassing mice they much prefer kicking big-dog-butt into order.

All will be well. I'll see you Saturday!!

WT said...

This just keeps getting better.

Rudee said...

Oh my God! At least your mother is brave. I'd be standing on a chair throwing things too. I'm thinking DC for the 3 day next year. It's only 2 hours away from my sister's mountain hideaway and the town of Charlottesville. A great place to recuperate and nurse sore feet back into shape.

Maggie May said...

Well first of all, glad your mum does not look like that! (Not that there's anything wrong with looking like that, if any one else does!) I wish I hadn't started that now.
Secondly, be very, very grateful that it isn't rats!
Thirdly, I can so identify with how your mum feels being far away from a daughter in distress.
Fourthly, glad that she is coming over on Saturday.
Have a lovely time with her.

Amy said...

Oh, dear. I think I've been one-upped. Or seven-upped.

My mom used to pick off rats with a .22. A BB gun for mice sounds perfect. Think how cathartic that would be.

Potty Mummy said...

First off, what's a BB gun? Second, we have mice - again - here too. I HATE them! Every night after the boys are in bed out goes the poison. Every morning, before they get up, we clear it away. I swear the little varmits just look at it and laugh at us...

laurie said...

1) seal the entrance holes.

2) set traps

3) no more food upstairs.

4) tell your boys that if they bring food upstairs, they sleep in their own beds, no matter what critters they see. because no food, no critters.

Jo Beaufoix said...

What Laurie says, and have a great time with your mum.

my two cents said...

The trouble with killing the mice is that, well, you know, you then have to deal with a dead mouse. Not for me. This is making the skunk that got under our house once seems quite manageable. I agree with Laurie, you bring food into your room, you sleep there no matter what. I think it will work like a charm!

aims said...

I use to have mice in my mobile home. I realized it when I found the popcorn seeds in a little circle inside the cupboard. I couldn't imagine what kind of ritual they were doing with those seeds - but ya - out came the traps and the bread with honey covered with poison.

I don't know why we jump and scream - but we do. They are so little and will not hurt us at all. Yet all I can think of is them running up my leg with those little clinging feet and all the poo and all the germs. Eurghhhhhh.....

I need to go lie down now.

Kaycie said...

You know Laurie's always right.

That said, if you get a female cat with intact claws, she will rule the house AND catch the mice for you. The great thing about cats catching mice is that they want to give them to you as a present. Now, that sounds like a down side, until you consider that if you throw them out yourself, you don't end up with dead mice inside the walls stinking up your house.

Of course, you will have to put the pet rat under guard. I don't think cats can differentiate between "wild" and "domesticated".

Tiggerlane said...

Oh my. Been there with the mouse problem. And our cat? Female with claws, who loved to "play" with them, which involved a lot of catch and release and screaming and scurrying and dammit cat, EAT the MOUSE poor thing.

Traps...lots of traps, if you can handle disposing of them (make the boys do it).

You just are having one challenge after another - somehow, your mom coming will help!

Akelamalu said...

Hey tell the mice MOM is coming - they'll scarper!

Seriously you are a braver lady than me I have moved out, I couldn't share my house with a mouse(s)!

Rose said...

We too have a mouse! Must be the weather!! I'm trying to use "friendly" traps but no luck. Soon, I'll use the unfriendly traps.

CrazyCath said...

Oh my goodness I am just catching up and I soooo sympathise! I had the same problem a few years ago with the Firstborn. He too left a Disneyland like state in his room for mice. They came. They partied. They got trapped eventually. Firstborn learned a lesson he will never forget.

As for the rest. Oy Oy Oy!

Glad you phoned your mum. Glad she's coming down today. Sometimes a girl needs her mum. Even when she is "grown up". ;0)

Frances said...

Your Mom is GREAT! Seems to understand you so well.
We need our Moms even when we are all grown up.
Hang in there and get rid of the rodents before you close the house up for winter, otherwise they'll be inviting their friends round.

the mother of this lot said...

Don't like this post. Mice. No thank you.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful mother you have. The bond you two share is so strong, so full of unconditional know how lucky you are, don't you?

As for the mice....get a cat. I HATE mice and ever since we got the cat, I have not seen one critter. Good thing too because my fear is so irrational, you could probably hear me screaming across the states.

Good luck sweetie. Hang in there.

Daryl said...

Oh you so need a hug and a cat ... I would lend you Rose but she is too sweet to stand up to your dogs even tho she'd surely catch your mice ...