I visited my parents this weekend. They gave me life. And then they gave me mousetraps.
Let me back up.
Well, My Guy set a trap and killed that Jabba the Hutt of mice. Killed it dead!
Except … well, it was evidently more of a Jabbette the Hutt. And she wasn’t huge … she just had some baby weight. Which we discovered because a few days after My Guy slew her, the babies came out looking for food.
And those babies were dumb. Almost as dumb as our vicious dogs. Picture it: My Guy, me, Lil’ Frankfurter and Big Doodle were all lazing about on the couch on a Saturday morning, as is our custom. And gasp! There was something moving behind the entertainment center! It was grey and small and rodent-like!
The husband and I had a long, philosophical conversation about what in the name of Han Solo we were supposed to do. We certainly couldn’t get off the couch because there was a MOUSE in the same ROOM! And while we didn’t want to extricate a mouse carcass out of a dog’s maw, you would think the canines would have some primal instinct to capture said mouse.
But no. Our dogs sat on the couch and watched the mouse. Not once did it occur to them to get off the couch and protect their pack from this intruder. My dogs are defective.
Finally, after much deliberation, My Guy bravely got off the couch and led the dogs outside. He escorted me to safety in the other room, and set the mouse trap. Then, he put up the baby gate. Then … he left. He left me alone in a house with defective dogs and a probably rabid baby mouse.
The gate was supposed to keep the dogs out of the room with the trap. But in my mind, the baby gate would also serve to keep the mouse out of the rest of the house. The baby mouse wouldn’t be so crass as to go into other rooms uninvited, right?
Well, there wasn’t a lot of time for exploration. Within an hour or 2, I heard the trap go off. And then I heard the screams. Because the full-sized trap didn’t kill the baby right away. I cried, and I prayed. I prayed for this rodent I was trying to kill. It was confusing.
And that whole “we’re on the couch and we see a baby mouse and the defective dogs do nothing and then we set a trap and kill a poor, defenseless baby mouse” thing played out again the next day. And yet again, no adults stepped in to address the situation. My Guy and I had to handle it all by ourselves. It was terrible.
So, for those keeping track, that was 1 dead mama mouse and 2 dead baby mice. Oh, and then there was the third dead baby mouse I found under a washcloth on the floor. First of all, I have no idea how that washcloth came to be on the floor of our family room. Secondly, it was covering the little mouse carcass like we were filming an episode of “Law & Order: Rodent Division” in our house. It was all very dramatic.
Truthfully, by the third dead baby mouse, my heart was hardened. I just wanted a rodent-free house. Was that really too much to ask?
In the ensuing days, we haven’t found any more mice, alive or dead. But you’re never totally out of the woods with these things. Which brings us to my visit with my parents.
Now, there have been times my folks have plied me with groceries and gas money and an extra winter hat, just because. I would maybe roll my eyes, but truthfully? There is nothing like being hard-core nurtured by your parents like that. During a particularly broke spot, I returned to my craptastic apartment with 2 full grocery bags – my mom had raided her own pantry for me. The thought of it still makes me teary-eyed. They let me and my brother make our own way, but they made sure we had a little something for the road.
And so, this weekend? As I was getting ready to leave, my sweet dad asked how I was set for mouse traps. They’d had some mice this fall, and he’d discovered some great traps that were only sold at the farm and home store. Well, he’d show them to me. Well, they only sell them at the farm and home. Well, here, just take these, and he’ll get some more.
I’m a grown woman and grown women don’t cry over mouse traps. But it’s sure nice to have parents who give you what you didn’t quite realize you need. That, and my dad put the traps back in their original packaging because that’s how he rolls. Also, he’d wiped the dead mouse detritus off and it was fine. Because we might pass used mouse traps around the family, but we do it with class.