Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Great Mouse Detectives

I was in the kitchen about an hour ago, mixing up *sniff* a cake *sniff sniff* for my baby who is growing up. *Waaaaaahhhh*. Not fast, but finally. Bugaboo turns 6 today. He's been my most challenging child due to the developmental delays he's had. For a child who only screamed until he was three and couldn't talk to me normally until he was almost 5, having him stand here right here whining and begging me to cook him ramen for his birthday lunch is almost sweet to my ears. I say almost, because I've already told him that the water has to bubble first. Plus I'm getting a headache, not helped by the screaming of earlier. And part of that screaming was my fault.

To give a little background, last week I reorganized some cabinets and found where a little mouse had been exploring. Thankfully he didn't get into anything, and the "evidence" looked kind of old, so I thought he got a smell of our big doggie and ran away. I hadn't seen any more "evidence", so forgot about it.

Like I said, I was mixing up a cake. I had just picked up the bucket (yes, a bucket. I buy in bulk.) of baking powder to add 2 teaspoons to the bowl. Bugaboo and Princess were in the living room watching tv, and Professor was sitting at the table in the kitchen where he could see into the living room. I was standing at the counter.

Suddenly Professor says, looking towards the living room, "There's a mouse! There's a mouse over there!" I did the mature, adult thing so I wouldn't frighten the kids. I started screaming and got on a chair. Yes, I did. Because I was screaming, Bugaboo lost it as he freaks out easily. So when I stopped screaming, and Bugaboo didn't, it was time for action.

"Professor, where did the mouse go?" "Between the fireplace and the bookshelf, and I don't know if it's a mouse or a rat". I said, "It's a mouse. Rats don't leave poop that small." (I had actually just found some in my bundt cake pan.) Then, knowing that I had to find out if the mouse was there, I said "Will you please go check and make sure he's gone?" So he did, and the mouse was gone....or behind the bookshelf. Since Bugaboo was still freaking out, I knew we needed to see if that mouse was really gone or was just hiding, so I tried to look and see through the 3 inch opening between the fireplace and the bookshelf to see if there was a hole. I chickened out, worried that it might be there hiding and again asked Professor to look, this time to see if there was a hole. He informed me that there was.

A little braver now that I was sure the mouse had gone back into the wall, I lay down on the floor to get a closer look. When I saw the 1/4-3/8 inch crack where some of the plaster brickfront had cracked and come off, I realized that the little scamp had in all likelyhood escaped back into the wall. Worried that he might be lurking there during my wall examination, I said to Professor who was standing there watching me, "What if he jumps out and runs straight for me?" to which he replied in his droll 7 year old way, "Well, then at least you'd know what it is." "What kind of answer is that!" I exclaimed, then broke into laughter for a few moments until I realized that the mouse could be watching me, waiting for his chance.

Professor and I got into our problem-solving mode, and tried to figure out what to stuff the hole with. I started chewing a piece of gum with which to stuff it, but realized that the lemony smell might tempt the mouse to chew it, so we did the next smartest thing. We called Daddy at lunch.

James told us to go downstairs to the storage room to get the wall putty roll that the dog had been chewing on before he rescued it. We got it, and the dog hair embedded in it may help to repel that mouse. I hope.

When we were ready to seal the hole, I figured we'd better check to make sure no mouse was behind the bookshelf. I told Bugaboo and Princess to get on the couch, and I haven't seen either one obey that fast in a long time, unless it involved ice cream. Then I got on a chair with a broken wooden curtain rod to poke behind the bookshelf, and asked Professor to watch and see if a mouse came out. None did, and I was pretty thorough.

I took a piece of putty, warmed it up, got my hand close to the wall, then chickened out again. I don't know what's wrong with me. I think I've gotten more...well...helpless-womanlike in the last few years when it comes to dealing with things like that. So, I recruited Professor again. Lest you think that I'm an awful mother, let me explain that he spent much of yesterday watching Animal Planet, he loves snakes and his book on them and has no qualms studying dead things he finds outside. Eeew. I can barely look at dead animals. He knows that under no circumstances should he touch one, so we're good.

Anyway, he tried, but couldn't get enough leverage to make the putty stick. So I took it, pushed past the fear and stuck it on the hole. I smoothed it out to all edges of that crack. I got towards the corner, pushed there, then my finger went into a quarter-sized hole on the left that we hadn't seen! I screamed as I felt a bite on my finger and when I pulled it out.....ok, sorry. That last bit didn't happen. I couldn't resist. Well, I did scream, but there was no reason for it. So we got out a bunch more putty and sealed that other hole straight away.

After reassuring Bugaboo that the mouse couldn't come back, he calmed down fully. We all had a good laugh about the whole thing, and I finished making the cake. I've told Professor that he needs to live with me forever. He's my hero.


Kimberly said...

Yeeeuch! What a freaky experience!

No Cool Story said...

Eww, poor you, and so scary too. Dumb mouse.

"Well, then at least you'd know what it is." bwahahahaha.

Happy Birthday to Bugaboo!
You know, my own Firstborn didn' t talk until he was 3 and making complete sentences didn't start until he was almost 6. He's now doing just fine.

Michal said...

yeah for professor! sounds like an adventure filled afternoon.
and happy birthday to bugaboo.

mindyluwho said...

"I saw a mouse!
There on the stair!
Where on the stair?
Right there!
A little mouse with clogs on
Well I declare!
Going clip-clippety-clop on the stair"

Ok, this is the chorus from a cute little song that we got on a tape from England. It's called "A Windmill in Old Amsterdam". Your little escapade made me laugh while this tune popped into my head!

Here's a link to the lyrics: You can also get it on iTunes (by Ronnie Hilton).

Professor is a brave soul!