*Originally posted on My Name is Sarah’s old site in January 2012. (http://www.sarahelleemm.blogspot.com) I am moving a couple posts from my archives over to my new site…a handful from over 100 posts. This one is kind of interesting for me to read now…since I am now living in Florida and dealing with palm tree rats in my attic, among other things…After I transition a couple oldies over here, I will post some ‘new’ rants!) 🙂
My mom went to Jamaica recently. She was gone for the week. I found this to be a severely self-centered act on her part. What is a woman to do for an ENTIRE week without her mother? I left the Caribbean to be closer to her, people!!! (Okay, so there were some other factors in that whole process, where my family and I relocated to central Indiana, but come on, it was mostly because Mom is here. It was not for the 14 degree temperature we experienced last week. I am a flip-flop and sundress type of woman, period, and my husband certainly wasn’t crazy about moving to this climate either.)
I tried to talk Mom out of going to Jamaica. I guess it’s not very surprising she didn’t change her mind. I suggested she take me with her. This didn’t happen either. As if that wasn’t enough on her part, she even refused to listen to my third suggestion, which personally I don’t think was that big of an inconvenience…to take her cell phone with her.
I told my husband this is why she wouldn’t take her cell, and he laughed and even suggested my mother deserves a vacation and needs a break from her children, (but he was referring to me, the middle child.) Fine, I call my mother frequently throughout the day. Life is short, and I really, really love my mother so you won’t stop my phone calls! (Unless, of course, one were to go to Jamaica without their cell phone.) There is also the fact that calling my mother is much more affordable than paying for therapy, and let’s be honest, every phone call to Jacque is pretty much like a therapy session but a lot better because it ends with the therapist telling me they love me. (She is required to love me. It’s a maternal thing.)
Three days into her vacation, I really, truly needed Mom to answer her phone…A mouse had practically eaten my toe on it’s way to my stove from my dishwasher! In the midst of my emergency, I instinctively began to call her, only to moan in frustration as I recalled she was on an island far, far away…
I hesitated to call my husband, noting the fact he would be busy at work. Five p.m. eastern time, is kind of like, ‘game time’ in restaurants. I also recalled the outcome of my crisis call to him in October, when I reported the wild coyotes surrounding our home. (Check out my blog, “Coyotes, Paranormal Activity, & Paralyzing Fear,” for the details.) I called him anyway. I mean, I was having an emergency, right? He is, after all, my ‘protector.’ In our vows, I heard, ‘in sickness and health,’ yes, but wasn’t there something about, ‘Sarah is stuck on top of a table because of a rodent invasion?’
Well, he didn’t answer the phone but called me back right away. I was so relieved! This is what happened next…
I blurt my emergency, (from the top of our kitchen table…) “There is a mouse in the house!!!”
“Okay.” He sounds very unconcerned.
I raise the level of alarm in my voice. “There is a freaking mouse under our stove! I am freaking out!!!! It ran right by me!!!” (Ran? Scurried? No…moved with stealth-like speed.)
He responds quite calmly. “Are you okay?”
“NO! I’m NOT okay!” I reply, quite rationally. (ha ha ha.)
“Sarah, it’s just a mouse. Calm down.”
At this point, I brave my chances with the invader and get off of the table. I tiptoe closer to the stove to see if the coast is clear.
“Sarah, are you hyperventilating?”
“No, I’m freaking out, Charles. There is a aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”
(This is the part where I jump back up onto the table top as the mouse reappears.)
“There it is! It’s running! It’s on the move! It’s, aaahhhh! Now, it’s under the dishwasher!”
Can mice climb? Mom told me that a mouse ran across her chest in bed once at my Grandpa’s house. That bed was high, I recall. Oh my gosh, the mouse can climb!!
“Sarah, calm down. You’ll scare the kids!” my protector and defender suddenly sounds alarmed. “It’s just a mouse, Sarah! Stop freaking the kids out!”
The kids? He is worried about the kids????
The kids are LAUGHING, (hysterically.)
I hang up the phone quite frustrated by this point after he has to get back to work, which is obviously much more important than the serial killer rodent under my stove. From my unsecure place on the table I start planning to rewrite my wedding vows to include pest control of any kind and forcing my husband to re-marry me with my new stipulations…
“What are you doing Mommy?” asks my eldest.
“I am…having a moment,” I tell her from my spot on the table.
“Can I see the mouse, Mommy? I have never seen one before.” She says quite calmly.
At this point I am mentally cursing out the island of Jamaica…
Just had to get my mom down there…Thank you, Jamaica. This week of all weeks…
Mom would know how to handle my craziness. She’s been doing it my whole life! I think about my sister. If I call her, she will likely remind me of what a huge chicken I am. No. Not calling her. If I call my dad or my brother, they will do the same. If I call my mother-in-law, she will probably have the same reaction as her sweet little grandchildren…
I call my grandmother. Her reaction shouldn’t have surprised me, (since she is the world’s kindest human.)
“Hi, Grandma. How are you? There is a mouse in my kitchen, and I’m freaking out.”
“Oh, the poor little thing. He’s probably trying to escape the cold. Probably hungry, the poor guy….”
Immediately I start envisioning the cartoon mice from Cinderella, Jaq and Gus. They made a dress for Cinderella when her wicked stepsisters ripped her dress to shreds… I thank my grandmother for her perspective and envisioning the mice from Cinderella under my dishwasher, making a dress out of twisty ties from bread bags gets me through the rest of the night. I decide to pretend I am strong and brave for my children. Maybe the memory of their mom jumping on top of a table and screaming multiple times won’t stay with them.
Naturally, I turn to Facebook for comfort. Thank you, social networking…I receive heaps of sympathy from women around the world, (with the exception of my sister, who calls me, ‘a big chicken.’) I take an opinion poll on my Facebook page. The results strongly agreed with me that Prince Charming should rescue his damsel in distress. Many people suggest I get a cat. I admit, during my kids’ bath time I sit on top of the bathroom counter while they play with their toys. My imagination runs wild with possibilities. What if the invader isn’t alone? My eyes keep darting towards the open door, envisioning hundreds of mice running down the hall. By the time Charles gets home from work, it could be too late for us. Where am I going to hide the kids? Can I barricade the door? Will we survive in the bathroom? The tub is our go to place during tornado warnings after all…Wait, this is not an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Deep breath. One mouse. My sister had a point in her Facebook comment. I had spiders bigger than this mouse in my apartment in Mexico. Jaq and Gus, I remind myself. Maybe, I can put my broom down? What am I going to do with the broom anyway?
After the kids fall asleep, I let the insanity out again. I am dressed in my pajamas, with my running shoes on, and the broom still held firmly in my hand. Charles finally calls me on his way home around 9:30.
I ask him about the mouse traps, and he says, “Oh I forgot about the mouse. Do you want me to stop and get a trap?”
Excuse me? He forgot about the mouse? Do I want him to get a trap? I have been obsessing about our home invader since I first spotted him at 4:45 p.m. I didn’t even eat dinner. I paced throughout the house.
When Charles walks through the door he looks up and down at my pajamas, and his eyes do a double take when he notices my feet. “Why do you have your tennis shoes on, Sarah?”
“Why aren’t you setting the traps yet?” I counter.
Seriously, he wants to know why I am wearing my shoes? I can run faster in them, the better traction provides a speedier climb onto the kitchen table, and I might even be able to scale a wall if I really need to…
Well, that’s how it happened, and my defender did, in deed, set traps. The next day, I insisted that our pest control company come over and set additional traps. I couldn’t wait to tell Mom about my crisis and hear her soothing and sympathetic words. Between the mouse living in my kitchen and waiting for Mom’s Jamaican get-a-way to end, I was a nervous wreck for days…
The day Mom gets home, she finally calls me, and I can’t wait to tell her about what she missed and my crisis. I answer the phone, ready to spill the details, “Mom! You’re finally home!” I begin.
“So, did you ever get down off of the table?” she asks, with a chuckle.
“How did you know about that?”
“My friends had their cell phones with them. They saw it on Facebook.”
Turns out, my dear mother, Jacque, was the only one in the group who did NOT take a cell phone…Hello, again, sting of rejection. Nice to see you…Mom explained to me that the other people in the group had, “children.” When I pointed out that I am one of her children, she informed me that she has adult children…
And in case anyone out there is curious…Mr. Mouse is no longer living in my kitchen…Thanks to my defender and protector…Plus, I have a new cat protecting my kitchen, (pictured above.) J