Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Little Mousie-Poo

There is something inherently gross about opening up a drawer and finding it covered in mouse offing. Many, many, many little offings, indeed.

 "No, sweet children, those are not chocolate sprinkles."

Yesterday I opened the cupboard to (innocently) grab a packet of oatmeal, only to find that several furry little friends had not only visited that very packet before me, but had the audacity (and rudeness) to poo all over the box. And the cupboard. This made me annoyed. Truly. I was really in the mood for oatmeal.

Minor annoyance turned to anger when I found that the same little party had invaded my various packs of grain AND my bag of Chia. I was especially mad about the Chia because those of you who've tried it know it gives you a nice zap of energy. Having mice was one thing; completely energized-ready-for-the-long-haul-pepped-up-on-Chia Mice was quite another, thank you very much.

"No children, I did not gnaw a hole in all the bags, or dump all the barley out. But thanks for asking."

So began my impossibly dreary and irritating day of painstakingly pulling apart my kitchen, piece by piece; inspecting for evidence of Mouse Invasion; and then, if no evidence of visitors was found, warding them off with lots and lots of dryer sheets. I am told mice do not like the smell of dryer sheets. Let me tell you that after filling every available nook and cranny of my kitchen with them, I don't like them either.

I had accomplished what I thought was a feat of amazement in hauling out every piece of stored food, cleaning every shelf, and reorganizing my entire pantry in my dining room, when I pulled open a drawer to get out the masking tape. Ahh yes, the sprinkles. The little boogers had invaded not only my kitchen junk drawer, but also my flatware and utensil drawers  as well. This means war, mice. War.

And did I mention that they pooped on my Le Creuset pans?? No one poops on my Le Creuset pans. No one. It's on, Mice. Bring it.

By late evening, my entire kitchen had been completely emptied, cleaned, inspected, and reassembled (in a transient fashion) in the dining room. Every little crack, no matter how inconsequential it might seem, was stuffed with steel wool, jammed in with a knife. 8 mouse traps were then baited, set, and positioned.

"No children, those are not toys. Not at all."

This morning not one, not two, but 3 little villains awaiting disposal. Part of me felt bad, I do like mice, after all. The other part of me (the one who did the 12 hour kitchen clean up and relocation stint) was not so sad at all.

 3 down. How many more to go? Until the traps stay empty for a looonnnnggg time, we'll be enjoying a homey kitchen atmosphere in our dining room, and packing up whatever is needed to make every meal; making the 15 step journey into the kitchen.

I will not rest until this battle is won. (By us, not the mice). I will have my kitchen back again. I will. (I hope.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Just Another Tuesday

Yesterday I was busy doing The Mom thing-cleaning and otherwise occupying myself with the mundane tasks of making the household run seamlessly. You know, a Tuesday.

Just as I was piling up the socks to deposit in the drawer, my happy housewife routine was broken by a scream of epic proportions echoing up the stairs, preceding the quick thud of running feet.

In mere moments, Ashlyn stood before me, hand on neck, face arranged in a look of complete outrage. "Mom!" she began in dismay and shock, "Caedance just pinched me. Pinched me! MOM--it was really, really hard!"

Socks forgotten, I looked at my other daughter. The Instigator. Caedance.

"Caedance," I leveled my gaze at her pointedly, "is that true?"

(Side Note: I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting her to say. She is 7 after all and they are not always known for retelling things with the most accuracy. Whatever I had in my mind when I posed that question, I certainly was not looking for hearing the truth. Not at all.)

"Caedance, is that true?"

She looked straight at me, nonplussed, "Oh yes, Mother. I did. Right here," she lifted her mop of curls and pointed to the very spot where she planted the pinch on her twin. (A quick check on Ashlyn's neck confirmed the truth in that.)

"Why exactly did you do that, Caedance?" This was getting interesting.

"Well she was losing, Mother. She was playing her game (a ds game) and she was losing. I really don't like it when she loses, so I figured if I pinched her she would stop losing."

"Really?" (This was a lot more interesting than putting socks away.) "And Caedance, do you think that was the right thing to do?"

"Probably not, Mom. She kept losing." She stopped her, looking around and considering her next words. "But I'm okay and am ready to move on."

Oh. I see.

Honestly, part of me was on the verge of laughter, part of me appreciated her logic, and the other part (the parent part) figured I should probably do something "Parent-ish" about it.

Caedance was smiling at me. Ashlyn was furrowing her brow, waiting for whatever I was about to dole out to her sister. I still had piles of clothes to put away. A toilet to scrub.

I looked at my first born and said, "You don't need to worry about losing at DS games for a little while because when we pinch, we lose privileges." (Should I even need to say that?? At 7?)

She smiled sweetly, gave Ashlyn and quick kiss on the cheek (on her own accord), and skipped off to play.

Ashlyn shrugged off her dismay, apparently satisfied with the result, and followed her sister off into Playland and fun.

As for me, I picked up where I had left off, putting away all that lovely laundry, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

It was Tuesday, after all.