Things That Scurry in the Night

We have a mouse.

I was (almost) dead asleep last night (and if you know me, you know that Advil PM doesn’t work for me anymore and the fact that my shoulder injury had finally been stretched and thumbed into submission was an amazing thing) when Lucy came upstairs. Late.

Lucy: “Mom … MOM! (as she shushed ME awake – not the husband who is lying right next to me, mind you – ME) There’s something in my room.” 

Me: “Huh?”

Lucy: “There’s something running across my ceiling.”

Me: (now fully awake and pissed that I am fully awake) “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Lucy: “Well, what I am I supposed to do?”

Me: “I don’t know, but I’m not coming down there and looking for an animal.” 

Lucy: “Great.”

Husband: “Huh?”

At this point, she storms back downstairs and my shoulder starts to hurt again, not to mention that now, all is no longer settled and calm.

There is a problem.

I get out of bed with the intention of trying to get the hot water to calm my shoulder back down. The more I think about it, to more irritated I become. I know I am a SuperMom, we are ALL SuperMoms, but there are reasons we got married. These reasons include, but are not limited to, spiders, snakes, millipedes and all things non-domesticated and furry with long tails that make their way into our blissful homes. I storm back into the bedroom and demand that HE go downstairs and deal with this issue. SuperMoms know how to delegate, after all, right?

He goes down. He comes back up. He reports that Lucy is sleeping on the couch in the basement (instead of in her room) and is surrounded by Dobby and Winky, our own personal house elves in the form of an experienced hunter cat and a crazy 5 month old kitten. I settle down, knowing Lucy is well protected by our house elves’ unique form of magic (claws and instinct).

However, this is when the fun begins.

My dreams, no doubt fueled by thoughts of furry animals beyond my control, plague me throughout the entire night by replaying the same unattainable goal. Over and over again I trudge my way through the imaginings of my unencumbered mind that brings forth all of my anxieties and thoughts. I dream I am in a crowded shopping mall (absolute hell on earth for me) riding something like a skateboard (that I keep falling off of because I am not good with a skateboard, obviously) between Lucy who is taking the SAT at one end of the mall and Mollie who is taking the ACT at the other end. I realize I have forgotten the paperwork needed for them to be admitted to the test, and that it is still tacked to the wall of my laundry room (where it actually is currently). I ride back and forth, back and forth accomplishing nothing in the six hours of my fitful slumber.

I was begging for the five am alarm.


Finally, time is good to me, and I go downstairs to the quiet to check my email, read my favorite book blogs and drink my coffee before the usual drama of forgotten lunchboxes, water bottles and fifth grade field trip meetings ensue. When all the kids are at school, the meetings are done, and the emails are sent, I stop by Lowe’s to try and find something – anything – to help me deal with the rodent problem.

Let me say up front that I am not interested in killing this mouse. I am simply interested in helping it find its true environment in the woods behind my house, and convincing the poor creature that pine straw and leaves are much better than insulation and drywall. Not to mention it is (reasonably) free of stealthy cats as well.


For about $20, I found a three-pack of sonic-sonar thingys that I can plug into the wall socket. These small electronic devices emit a high-pitched pulsating noise that is safe for humans, cats and dogs and yet will repel rodents of all kinds, driving them back out into their own environment. I plugged one in Lucy’s room, one in my sewing room and one in the garage (where we’ve seen a mouse before). It is my plan to let these things run, drive the mouse far away and patch the hole in the garage wall that I suspect is the entry point.

These devices make the strangest noise. Almost like a buzzing, they are virtually undetectable to my ears. I spent the morning with Winky in my sewing room, and she acted very normal, not bothered by the noise, nor the smell of mouse, so hopefully … it worked.

It occurred to me however that this almost-silent, pulsating electronic device was much like my subconscious. Overrun by the pulsating energy of Lucy’s upcoming SAT, the swim meet(s), Mollie’s ACT, Lucy’s driving test, Emma’s interview, Homecoming, birthdays (4), work, work and work, I feel like my life sometimes resembles the critical mass of white noise and sound waves that drive away all sense of calm. How can I possibly combat the never-ending oscillation of never-ending stuff to deal with? Covering my ears and hiding in a corner just isn’t an option. I can only do what I always do.




One thing – maybe two things – at a time.

I say no when I have to say no. I say yes when I can and I want to.

In the end, that’s all any of us can do.



About krob3

Wife, mom, swim taxi, singer, writer. This is what I do.
This entry was posted in Families, House and Home, Teenagers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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