Happy Monday! How’s everyone? As I write this, there are blood curdling screams coming from the bathroom as Beatrix gets her hair washed. Now she’s laughing. And crying again. This child hates getting her hair washed and for sure will be a greasy haired punk rocker type as soon as she old enough to take control over the shampoo bottle. Rob just came out of the bathroom humming the Andy Griffith TV Show theme song, which is sure-fire sign that he is totally stressed out from washing her hair. Some people bite their nails when they are upset. Rob hums. I clean.
Now Beatrix is happily playing in the bathtub. I’m going to get in a bathtub of gin.
I am breaking my own rules and not posting a blogisode today, because Charlotte and I have a little Christmas story we feel compelled to tell you, based on actual events that transpired this weekend. It is really and truly disgusting. We shouldn’t tell it. If you are my mother, or if you are eating breakfast while reading this, I strongly suggest that you skip to the ******** marks, which will end the disgusting story. Mom, I’m not kidding. It’s about a mouse. Andy and Joey Nowalk, read this for sure. For everyone else, read at your own risk.
Okee dokee. For both people still reading, here we go. You’ve been warned.
As you know, I’ve mentioned that we have had a mouse infestation in our apartment. Let’s start with the good news, because this story needs good news right up front. We had a “rodent specialist” come in, and he asked me to clean out under the sink–which I couldn’t do because I was too scared to even open the door–and then he said mice were just
nice creatures like in Disney films (his exact quote? “Disney’s made millions off them”. My exact quote back to him? “So have companies like yours”). He emptied the cabinet and discovered a hole the size of a football in the cabinet, caused by a leak in the sink. (His exact quote? “You’re lucky you only had mice.” My exact quote? “If anything bigger than a mouse had come out of that hole, I’d be in intensive care.”)
Anyhoo, long story short, he put out a million traps, sprinkled peppermint oil all over (mice hate the smell. Who knew?) and said we have to contact building management to get a new sink cabinet because we need one (His exact quote? “Based on the amount of droppings I see, who knows what is going on under that cabinet” My exact quote? No words, just a lot of gagging.) The good news is (and I’m very concerned about jinxing this) we haven’t seen any mice since he came, so that is great news, especially if you consider that a couple of days before we’d had a personal mouse catching high of four in one day, and had always caught at least one per day for a few weeks, including one that was hanging out in the sink. And, just to clarify, those are the ones we’d caught.
Now. Let’s move on to decorating the apartment for Christmas. Just in case my mother is still reading, STOP READING. Okay, so I was pulling out all the boxes filled with decorations, which we keep in Charlotte’s room in a tucked away little corner cabinet that I have to move a chest of drawers to get to (other people have garages and attics and basements. This is all we’ve got. Welcome to Manhattan living.) There was a ton of chaos going on, Beatrix (the boss of all) was running around and unpacking boxes before I could even get them all out, Charlotte was sitting on the floor trying to read Christmas books to Beatrix who was only interested in carrying around glass snow globes in her underwear, and Rob was trying to get the tree up with lights on before shoving dinner in his mouth and making it down to play The Phantom of the Opera at 8pm. Get the picture? It was nuts, and I was trying to smile and not be a Grinch despite two glass ornaments shattered and children in bare feet and a partridge in a pear tree.
After a couple of hours, the tree was up and decorated, the kids were bathed, and I turned on a little Christmas movie and popped popcorn to get the Beaz calmed down for bed. Charlotte stayed in and watched the movie while I started to put the now empty boxes back into the cabinet.
Are you worried? Can you feel that something is coming? You’re right. MOM. Final warning.
As I loaded the last box in, I squatted down to re-lay a carpet in Charlotte’s room that had been flipped over when we moved the chest of drawers. As I reached for the rug, I noticed a gray spot, about the size of a baseball on the floor.
Flat as a pancake.
Dead as a doorknob.
And it had been there a long time.
Under her rug.
Barf. Seriously, on so many levels, this is so disgusting, I can’t believe I’m telling you. Who’s coming over for dinner?
So here’s what I did. This is as bad parenting as bad parenting gets.
I went in the living room, sat down in a chair and very calmly said, “Charlotte, there is a dead mouse in your room.”
Charlotte, because she’s Charlotte and not really grossed out by this stuff (I don’t GET IT, but I’m grateful), made a grossed out face and then got up and said, “I’ll get it.” I informed her that she needed the broom and dust pan. She grabbed them and headed into her room. Because right this second she is (literally) breathing on me as I write this and begging me to allow her to take over (I’ve created a blogging monster, but she is a dead mouse cleaning monster), so I will. Here’s is Charlotte for what happened next.
Charlotte: I walk in, expecting a mini mouse, maybe partly eaten, you never know. (Yes I have cleaned that up as well)
What I find: big mouse, I kid you not, flat. Like, paper thin. It was weird and weirder. My exact thoughts: “How did it get here? How did it die? Have I stepped on it??”
TRYING to sweep it up as these and more thoughts go through, but… it won’t move. It was like my sister got it then glued it to the floor. Like an art project done by Sammy (our cat). But grosser.
So, I DO NOT want to touch the flattened mouse, so I get some thing that is used to scrape/pick things up.
I run and grab our spatula and go back over to the mouse, noticing the blood marks it left on my rug. EWW. Any way, I think, start at the tail? The head? The middle? I try the head. TOO gross. Tail? Better.
MOM: (Both) STOP READING HERE. WARNING. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.
I go for the tail, trying to pull it up. I don’t want to hurt it any more (animal freak here) and I just have to rip the hair off its sides and tail. (Mice have hair on their tail, who knew!) What it shows… not pretty. Very old, black guts. I’m not going to say anything other than the smell. Oh ya, also the way it moved around like a piece of paper when it was up, ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. No photos please. Sorry.
To the trash can you go mousey! And trusty spatula, to the sink. Mother comes back here:
Sharon: Okay, that was completely disgusting. I’m so sorry. The child will be great in biology class. So after the whole spatula thing (which I didn’t know about), Charlotte walks by and I see her heading to the garbage can….but I send her out to the garbage incinerator chute in the hall to dump the dead mouse-y remains. A handy little creamatorium.
An hour or so later, I was on the phone with my sister and I start to give her the details of this whole thing, which my sister loves–probably because many years ago she made the wise decision to NOT raise a family in New York City, and moved back to Cincinnati to practice law. Because she was a New Yorker for a couple of years, these stories fascinate her. As I was telling it, (with Charlotte listening) I tell her that Charlotte swept it up with a broom. But then Charlotte says, “No, Mom, the broom didn’t work. I had to scrape it up.” (Gag).
“Scrape it up? What did you use?”
(My sister is screaming on the other end of the phone)
Calmly Charlotte says, “A spatula.”
My sister and I shrieked (at the same time), “What did you do with the spatula?”
And Charlotte looks at me with these innocent eyes and says, “I put it in the sink.”
At this point, my sister just starts saying, “No, no, no, no.” and I, needing no encouragement at this point, but not
wanting Charlotte to feel badly about what she’d done because she had SCRAPED UP A DEAD MOUSE, which is 10 times more than her chicken shit mother would do, said:
“Would you mind please throwing it away?”
This is as my sister is yelling, “Throw it OUT, I will ORDER you a new one from AMAZON and have it DELIVERED to your HOUSE in two DAYS.”
And we were all laughing, and grossed out at the same time.
And we threw out the rug, too.
And we disinfected the floor.
And Charlotte cleaned her room.
And that is my Christmas tale (tail).
And to all a good night. (Even though no one is reading anymore and you’ve all unsubscribed).
*********(Mom it’s okay to read again). Merry Christmas.
To read the next installment in this series, go here