Dec. 7, 2011
Yesterday, we had a mouse in our house. Yesterday, I was thankful for this mouse because it actually got my son, Jacob, out of bed before noon. (Something neither me nor his dad has been able to do in a long time- all of which is another story for another journal entry) Today, the mouse is gone. That is right- Dead- as in It.Is.Finished!
However, capturing and killing the mouse was not so easy, and not without drama. I often wonder why it is that a small creature, not much bigger than some water bugs (aka: cockroaches) bring out such a fierce emotion in me that it forces suppressed squeals of terror from my mouth. I hate water bugs- I don’t like to smush them; I can’t stand the noise they make when I step on them; I abhor the fact that they can often take flight, run anywhere, have long antenaes that seem to move on their own free will and that they are the epitome of all that is gross and unnatural. However, armed with all of this loathing of the oversized water bug (AKA: cockroach), my emotional reaction to seeing one run across my path has never once brought a scream of terror from my lips. I kill them, I smush them, I pick them up in napkins, I step on them, I flush them, I even have been known to vacuum them up (kind of evil on my part- knowing that I am sucking the life out of them…and I admit, I asked Cody to vacuum up the mouse lastnight…) But when it comes to mice- I have no more courage than the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz.
Last night was no exception. I thought that since I had actually added the mouse to my “Thankful List” yesterday, my heart might have bonded with it on some supernatural, spiritual level… no.such.luck.
My first sighting of Mr. Mouse was in my bathroom- I was on the toilet, he was apparently behind the toilet; because when I flushed, he ran out and into my closet. Now, I have to give myself some kudos, because I did not scream, exactly. It was more of a loud intake of air, and a gasp. Possibly the result of leftover thankfulness; also, I felt as though I have toughened up over the years spent in our house on Hemlock- the main rodents we fought in that house were rats.
The next time I saw him, he was hiding between the wall and baskets in our bedroom. I called Cody in, who immediately armed himself with a homemade glove of trash bags and kitchen towels. I kept watch over Mr. Mouse, who was trying to be invisible. After asking me if I wanted him to get the mouse to run my direction or his (I gladly answered his) Cody began implementing “Kill Mouse” mission. I had full faith that he knew what he was doing…but the plan immediately went awry, mainly because Mr. Mouse did not stick to his role. Instead of heading out from behind the baskets toward Cody- he ran toward me. Not cool, at all. Instead of standing my ground, I began to scream and jump around. Screaming, squealing, crying, or any displays of such negative emotions only serve to irritate my husband. He has no use for them, and can never fully comprehend that I am trying my hardest NOT to be scared, or sad, or mad or any of the negative emotional states that he dislikes.
So my screaming only served to add new emotional developments to an already emotionally charged situation. I was ordered to get on the bed (I had asked to go put my boots on- I seriously felt like they would give me a little more courage) and watch for the mouse to come out. Cody, now armed with a broom began to “sweep” under the bed. New reason for him to be irritated- there was “stuff” under the bed… The stuff consisted of beer caps (They were from the pocket of my shorts that I wore in the ambulance on the way to the hospital- yes, another story for another day, but I did dump them under the bed as I lay waiting for the ambulance; and there were several of them because I had worn the cutoffs for 3 days while painting, cleaning and moving) the leaf to our dining room table, a towel, a tray a box lid and one of the socks from the pair that I was given to wear home from the emergency room. And all of these things were in his way on his mission to sweep out the mouse- and of course, I had put them there, so I was ridiculous. In my defense, we have moved to a much smaller house, and he has also said that he does not want to use the garage as storage- I am trying to please him and use my space creatively…however, I was sort of ashamed about the beer caps, and I don’t know how or why the box lid was under there, (possibly a result of thinking after the beer?) Anyway, somehow, now killing the mouse has turned into a new session of Cody criticizing me, causing me to begin to get rather defensive.
Eventually the mouse ran out from under the bed, only to make a u-turn and go right back under. Our conversation went something like this:
“There it is! It is out! Oh! He went back under!”
“Where is it now? If I could just get all of this stuff out from under the bed!”
“OUT! Oh- back under!”
“I need you to help me get it, not scare it back under!”
“I am not scaring it! I am on the bed!”
“Are you watching all directions for it? You could miss it!”
“I am trying to!”
“ You are just making this more difficult! I can’t find him anywhere! Did you miss him coming out?”
“Possibly. Shut the bedroom door.”
“That won’t help. He will just go under it.”
“Maybe not if we put this blanket here.”
Irritated silence- door being closed, me rolling up the blanket and putting on my boots. More searching for the mouse.
This went on for what seemed like forever. We were finally giving up when Cody said, “I got it!” And I screamed, “Is it dead?” Only to see his tail sticking out from under Cody’s boot. Not dead. Yet.
I armed Cody with his trash bag and kitchen towels and he properly disposed of Mr. Mouse in our back yard. We were able to get in bed knowing that the little critter was no longer scurrying around our house! Cody was my hero (even though I was a little disappointed that he did not give me any credit for actually trapping the mouse at the bedroom door with my rolled up blanket!) And our oldest son returned to his regular sleeping habits.
Today- I am thankful for a critical husband who is an emotionally steady rock. Even though I often feel like he is always criticizing me, and that he is impossible to please; and I have been known to accuse him of being unnaturally void of human emotions. I know that none of those things are true. My husband dwells on the positive side of things. He is a dreamer. His remarks are not meant to sound critical, but as a dreamer, he does always feel like he has a new and improved way to do things, and sometimes he does. He makes me want to be a better person, a better wife, and a better mom.
I am going to thank God for every remark that he makes that I take as a personal criticism; and I am going to pray that I will begin to want to please and honor God in the same way that I desire to please and honor my husband. I love you Cody! Thank you for being my rock.