So wasn't it just the other day when I posted about one of the kids hiding Tim's computer mouse and I was saying Thank God it wasn't a real mouse we were talking about? Funny how things come back to bite you in the ass.
Over the weekend, I felt motivated to do some organizing, especially after looking at our family room the day after Christmas. It looked like Toys R Us had exploded right here in our house. And isn't it funny how when we start to organize, it seems that you can't finish one job until you finish another job and that job can't get finished until you finish yet another job? That's how it was. I started to go through all the toy bins we have and clear them out. But where was I to put all the extra toys? I wasn't quite ready to get rid of the toys...just figured I'd save them for a rainy day and pull them out of thin air and exclaim, "Wow, look what I found...." and the kids would think it was new stuff.
So then I had to clear out a bunch of cabinets in the laundry room so I could store the toys in there in an organized manner. But then where was I to put the crap from the laundry room? You see where this is going when I said one job hinges on another job which hinges on another job and so on and so forth?
After clearing out the laundry room cabinets where I now wanted to store the unused toys, I went out to the garage to make room for that crap. While in the garage, I couldn't get to the shelves because all the plastic bottles and soda cans were in my way. So yet another job hinges on another job....I started sorting through all of it to put them into the appropriate recycle containers. I didn't have the garage door up so I only had the light of the garage door opener, which wasn't really much. As I reached in back of one of the shelves to grab a coke can, I heard a "squeak, squeak, squeak". I knew it had to be a field mouse because the squeak sounded so tiny but it still creeped me out. Why do we even have a cat if she can't catch mice for us? Useless cat just sleeps and eats....some life, huh?
I ran into the house and grabbed a flashlight so I could get a better look at our new houseguest. I shined the light on him and there he was, bulging scared eyes and all, stuck to a piece of sticky paper that Tim had put down months ago when we suspected mice were roaming around our garage. But, alas, he wasn't alone. No, there were a couple other mice stuck to the paper as well but they had already succumbed to a lonely death, probably from starvation or just being scared shitless. That's when I ran into the house, waking Tim up from a nap on the sofa, saying "you gotta come out to the garage...there's a mouse in there stuck to the paper you put down". He just laid there. "Come on, I said, there's a mouse in the garage....hurry up". Cole and Bella sprung to life...."did you say there's a mouse in the garage? Where? We wanna see it....".
Tim got up and came out to the garage with us and I opened the garage door so we could get the light of day in there to help us see better. Immediately upon seeing the mouse, Cole and Bella said, "awwww, look at him....he's so cute". Yeah, he's real cute but he probably has rabies or whatever diseases field mice carry...I said "don't touch him, don't go near him" but they continued to move closer to get a better look. I figured I had to scare them to get them to listen..."guys, don't get any closer to him....he may jump on you and then he could bite you and you'll start foaming from the mouth and you'll need a bunch of shots in your butt". So then they were happy to watch from a distance....
Tim got the sticky paper with the mice attached to it and then we could see that the mouse had started to eat one of the other mice. I didn't even think the kids noticed it. Tim took the paper out to the garbage, with me following him, saying "you're not really gonna throw him in the garbage, are you?" and he's yelling at the kids to not follow him, saying "you don't wanna see this, stay away" but of course this only intrigued them more. Tim tossed the paper into the garbage upside down and walked away. I pleaded with him, "please don't do that....let's try to free him from the paper and let him go. He'll die if we don't" and Tim said, "um, yeah, that's kind of the point. If we let him go, he'll just come right back into the garage again". And the kids were pleading along with me, "yeah, Daddy, you can't let him die...you can't just leave him in the trash".
Tim just stood there, looking at me as if I had just grown a 3rd arm. I was very serious....but hell, I wasn't gonna free the mouse from the paper but I sure did expect him to do it. He's the man of the house, after all. Then I busted out the story that he had heard a million times...."don't you remember when I was around 8 years old and my hamster died and my dad said he'd take care of it and I thought he was gonna bury it and, instead he threw it in the trash. When I went out into the garage after dinner to throw the trash away, I opened the lid and saw my poor beloved dead hamster just thrown on top of the trash as if he had never been loved or cared for....I was traumatized over that....do you want your kids to be traumatized like that???". He knew he didn't stand a chance at that point.
He told the kids and I to go into the garage while he freed the mouse. Then he came into the garage carrying a box and said the mouse was in there. I didn't believe him so he showed it to me. I didn't really see the mouse but I did hear some scurrying around in the box. He wouldn't show it to the kids though. And then he walked off and said he was gonna go let the mouse go down the street by the lake. Bella freaked out and started crying..."I wanna see the mouse...I wanna make sure he's alive". So I ran after Tim and he rolled his eyes. I said, "come on now, she just wants to make sure it's alive" and he came back and showed the kids the mouse. When they were satisfied that the mouse was indeed alive, he left to free the mouse down the street.
I walked back into the house with Cole and Bella. I needed to rest after that kind of excitement. Oh, but Cole and Bella were just getting started with all their curiosity ...."Mommy, where did the mouse come from?", "Will he be able to find his family again?", "Do you think he knows Ratatouille?" and of course, "Mommy, why was that mouse eating his brother?". Darn it, they HAD noticed. I was too tired to get into the nitty-gritty details of death and survival instincts, even though we had covered the subject of death awhile back when our pet rabbit died suddenly. And of course I can never come up with anything smart or witty right when the moment calls for it. Instead I said, "because he wouldn't share his legos". Cole said, "oh....his mom should've just put him on a time-out then instead of letting his brother eat him". And off they both ran to play....