Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mice and Big Life Changes

We have a mouse. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend whose old farm house had become infested with mice while they were on vacation and had said, "Oh NO, we would NEVER get mice. Our house is too TIGHT!" I wish I could learn to keep my ginormous mouth shut, because the VERY NEXT DAY, no joke, I found little piles of sunflower seed shells on a Rubbermaid container in the basement. One of the boys had left the basement door open all night on two occasions last month (I guess we're lucky a moose or bobcat didn't move in). I hoped that the rodent came in one night and left the second night. I held firm to that belief until yesterday when I was vacuuming the kitchen and saw the little bugger scamper from underneath the blue hutch and under the fridge. After a bit of barely-suppressed shrieking and whimpering, E and I tried to chase it out from under the refrigerator so I could trap it in a plastic container (I actually thought this would work). Finally we gave up because the space under the fridge is so small, and the mouse is very wily. Instead I went in search of our live trap, which I found outside with at least one mummified rodent corpse in residence, along with a shed snake skin (no snake). I extracted the corpse (while clinging to the hope that it was just a wad of rotten leaves), filled the trap with bird seed and cheese (hoping to mask the smell of DEATH) and set it near the refrigerator, hoping to hear it go off any second so I could ferry the mouse as far away from the house as possible, set it free and move on. No such luck (yet!)

Later in the day, I finally gave up on cleaning and E and Z and I went to the neighbor's field, where we played Nature Quest for a little while (this actually proved more do-able than I expected, for a little while) and the boys ran around on the grass, kicking a little basket ball around. I sad on the hill in the sun, feeling a profound sadness. Things are about to change in our lives and our cozy little routine--effectively my time home with the boys will be cut in half in a couple of weeks and it's breaking my heart. I so often feel like I missed out on M's four-year-old year because of having twinfants, and then he was off to school and becoming his own person--there was no going back. I dread cutting off our cuddly couch mornings and lazy jammie days and missing out on watching them running around in a field. I dread replacing all that with two more days of get up, get moving, hurry, hurry, hurry. But it's a move that I hope will make me happier and more satisfied professionally, and maybe some of that will translate to home.

I wish I could craft some kind of metaphor with the mouse under the fridge and the end of the world as we know it, but nothing's coming to me just now. The mouse is just looking for a cozy place out of the elements with all the free crumbs it can eat. I just want it all.


  1. I'm intrigued about the changes-- are you upping your hours in your office OR are you carving out for yourself more formal writing time?

    When I think of how many hours F spends at school, it totally freaks me out. Yet I know it is a good place with good people & he's engaged in so many amazing things. But still.... when S & C were four, they were only going to part-time preschool four days a week for just mornings.


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