Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Postpartum Addition

Well it wouldn't be the start of the holiday season if I wasn't on maternity leave and my dog was throwing up animal parts in my home. 
This post is the first in several months, mainly due to having a two year old in the house and my inability to engage in any activity that does not involve her.  I am not sure if I have failed as a parent, or if this is just part of toddlerhood, but I have given up trying to have any sort of identity apart from my daughter.

buggy ride for two
But we are excited to announce the addition to our family, baby Georgia.  She's just over two weeks old and reminds me on an hourly basis why I should not kill her older sister.   Babies are a blessing, it really is true.  Two year olds...well....they might be sent here straight from fire of Hades, I can't be sure.  About the time when I think I am going to rip every last hair out of my head, Annabelle will smile at me and say "Love you mama,"  and she lives to see another day.  I don't know how, but I will make sure Georgia remains as sweet as she is this minute asleep in her little swing.

Since I needed a little help last week my mom was kind enough to come and stay with me to give me a hand.  We were enjoying a quiet afternoon which was immediately disrupted when I went into the bathroom. I switched on the light and out of the corner of my eye I saw a tiny streak of dark grey dart across the bathroom floor. I knew deep down the right thing to do was to remain calm and not let my mother know there was a mouse in the bathroom, but that message did not make it to my brain in time and I began to jump up and down and scream.

I attempted to calmly explained to my mom what caused my outburst and assured her that bryan would deal with it when he got home.  While I do not relish the idea of mice in my house I live in the middle of a cornfield,  it is cold,  the combines had just been in the fields and cut all the corn down, and...I had a guest.  Those are sure signs that there will be a mouse in the house.

Just about the time we settled down and had almost forgotten it just happened, I saw the mouse scurry across the living room floor and end up somewhere near all of Annabelle's toys.  Again, I could not mask my horror.  So I did what any practical country mom would do... I jumped up and screamed and called my husband and begged him to come home.

Bernie is more of a lover than a fighter
Since I was not able to achieve success by begging and pleading with Bryan, I remembered  that our dogs where in the house.  I have personally witnessed Milton take down a raccoon and kill it in under two minutes, so why the hell was he asleep in the kitchen when there was wildlife in our house?

My mom picked up the baby and went in the kitchen, where she vowed to remain until the creature was captured and killed.  So I sat on the couch and Milton laid at my feet while I again pleaded to Bryan that he simply had to shut his operation down for the day and come home.  It was at that moment that Milton jumped up and was against the wall going bananas over something I could not see.  I cannot provide a detailed account of what happened next because I hurled myself over the back of the couch and into the kitchen the second I realized Milton had spotted something in the living room.

It was also at this point that my husband grew tired of my repeatedly screaming "help us" into the phone while providing no actual facts as to what was going on in our house and he discontinued our phone conversation.

Hiding behind a wall in the kitchen I peeked around the corner and saw Milton standing in the middle of the living room rug proudly wagging his tail. I knew he had saved the day.  He had killed and eaten the mouse that would have terrorized us for the remainder of the day.  And as I stepped across the threshold between the two rooms to reward my dog for his heroic behavior, I heard the unmistakable sound of my dog throwing up.

My mother, still clutching Georgia and standing as far away from the living room as she could and still be in the house, also head this sound.  I covered my eyes and left enough space between two fingers so that I could see through (much like I do while watching The Walking Dead) and looked into the living room and saw Milton sitting on the rug with the mouse (in tact but dead) lying on the rug next to him.

So apparently he kills them but cannot eat them, even if he wants to.

I suppose for a normal and rational person this problem would be solved.  The mouse was dead and could not terrorize us any longer.  But now the issue of a mouse corpse on the rug presented itself.  I wish I could end this post now and say I went and got a paper towel, picked up the mouse, and threw it into the cornfield.  I wish that was the country mom that I was.  But that is unfortunately not who I am.  I am the woman who looked at my mom and said "Well now what the hell do we do?"

Once again I picked up my phone and called Bryan.  After ringing once, it went to voicemail. Shocking. 

 My mother, who is far less brave than I, encouraged me to put on gloves, get a paper towel and take care of it.  I simply could not make myself do it.  I tried to convince Milton to pick it up and take it outside, but Lassie he is not.

It was at this point that I told my mother that I was going to get in my car and drive the 1/2 mile to my retired neighbor's house and ask him to come over and pick it up for us.  The flaw in this plan was that my husband would be mortified when he learned I did this. 

Bryan seems to like people to believe the lie that I am independent and self-sufficient.  Driving to a neighbor's house to have him remove a dead mouse from our living room might tarnish my sterling reputation for being a confident lumberjack woman.  

But I did not care. Bryan wouldn't be home for several hours and my mom, Georgia, and Annabelle and I could not live in the kitchen.   I will not even speculate what would have happened had Annabelle come home and found a dead mouse on the rug.  Actually, truth be told, that probably would have been the solution. I am certain she would have picked it up without hesitation.  But she never would have thrown it into the cornfield. She would have stashed it in the trunk of her little scooter car along with her other prized possessions for safekeeping.  So I needed to get rid of it before she came home from daycare.

So as I put on my coat in shoes my mother reminded me of the time when I was in high school and my dad was away on a snowmobiling trip and my mom found a mouse in the basement. At the tender age of sixteen I actually was brave and placed a coffee can (brick on top so the mouse couldn't knock it over) over the mouse until our neighbor could come take care of it.   My mom asked if I had a coffee can.   What I had was a gallon-sized plastic bucket.

So I bravely removed my coat, picked up the bucket and headed into the living room.  But as soon as  I saw the small fur ball I turned right back around and went back into the kitchen and informed my mom,  "I can't do it. You have to help me."  So my plan was to walk backward into the living room and have my mom direct me to the mouse and tell me when to drop the bucket on it.  She agreed to this plan, it was the best plan we had come up with since I spotted the mouse in the bathroom.

As I took several steps backward, blindly being led to the corpse, I realized this light plastic bucket would never land correctly when I dropped it.  My mom suggested I just bend down and set it down as opposed to dropping it, but again...I could not get near this mouse.  It was at this point I had a fantastic idea.

I have a long grabbing tool I use to pick things up while recovering from my c-section.  Well, let's be honest, I used it to pick up Annabelle's toys long before having a C-section.  Who wants to do all that bending twenty times a day?  I raced into the kitchen and ripped the blue plastic handle off the top of the bucket, and proceeded to duct tape it to the bottom of the bucket. This way I could pick the bucket up upside down using my grabbing tool and set it down right on top of the mouse without having to look at it closely or get near it!  My mother was also impress ended and compared me to MacGyver.  Rightfully so.

So as she told me how many steps backward to take, I was able to lower the bucket down over the mouse with confidence, saving my family and house from unspeakable harm.  My mom, Georgia, and I were able to return to the living room just in time to watch Dr. Phil.

the "mouse-soleum" as my mother called it

Later when Bryan got home and lifted the bucket to dispose of the mouse he could only shake his head when he saw house small this mouse was.  I don't think it was a baby mouse, but I knew it was small.  He couldn't not understand that I could not pick up a dead mouse that was no bigger than my thumb, "Damn you girls." was all he could say.

So as I recall the events of last Thanksgiving when there was a mouse in the house in front of all my guests, and the Thanksgiving before that when Milton threw up deer parts in our bed...I look forward to this holiday season and give thanks for my newly expanded family.