"When you have a family of eight, there necessarily needs be a system of rules to manage the inevitable chaos. Some of these rules are important. Some aren't."
Remember that? Remember when, a little less than a year ago I posted about Max and I gently poked fun at Husband's declaration that THERE IS NO EATING IN THE CAR?
Yes. I remember that.
"Max lost her virginity a long time ago. Max is my car." Recently Max has been defiled. I'll come back to that.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting LindseyLonglegs, a blogger whom I read with some regularity and who, until very recently (when I sort of went under the radar with post-partum depression and then morning sickness), had a link to this site on her blog. (HINT HINT.) : ) Meeting Lindsey was really fun. Maybe some of you remember that a while back I offered a little prize to the first commentor on my 100th post. Well Lindsey was the lucky "alert reader" who won that distinction and in light of this post, I felt the only possible fitting prize would be one of every kind of cupcake from Flour Girls and Dough Boys because seriously? Can anything else compare? So I procured the cupcakes and drove the long way to meet her. The weather was gorgeous (it's about time!) and as long as you were in the sun it was "not even cold!" as ThePinkiest(5) put it. I was really excited, both to meet her and to present her with those beautiful cupcakes. I wish I had a picture of them but my phone got a VIRUS and I can no longer send pics. Very sad. I was going to steal the pics from Lindsey's blog but she can't find her cords to upload them. Let's just say that the cupcakes are a work of art and that nothing else I can say would do them justice. She was adequately impressed and said they received her highest recommendation yet. That place should really start putting me on their payroll. : ) (Just kidding, Carol! I DO wish you'd put a link to your menu on your blog though. It would make telling people about you SO much easier.)
Apparently, one of the benefits of living out in the country, is that when your kids leave the van door open for five minutes or so, you can have a mouse live in your car. So I get to the meeting place to find Lindsey, go to get the stroller out of the back of Max, and that is when I saw it. A cute, furry little butt scurrying its Hanta-virus-carrying self away from the stroller up to the front of the van- my beautiful, wonderful, just-completely-vacuumed-out-in-March van. THERE WAS A MOUSE. IN. MY. CAR. I did the only natural thing I could do: I screamed, threw the stroller on the ground to make sure the little vermin didn't have any friends, and slammed the car shut. I opened the stoller up (it was safe by the way), debated for a second, put the baby in it, and then opened the front door to see if I could locate the disgusting little creature. Nope. He was long gone. To his deluxe condo (which I pay over 5oo$ a month for) up under the dash. I decided there was not much I could do at that point and my kids were already heading off to see the sights without me so I just locked the car and tried to forget about it temporarily.
Ever try to forget there's something crawly pooping in your very own car? It doesn't really work. So although I enjoyed meeting Lindsey, my pregnancy brain was pretty much fixated on two things and I am sure I was not a sparkling conversationalist. (For example: Lindsey asked me what blogs I read. I couldn't think of any. I didn't even think to tell her about Pioneer Woman. I LOVE that blog. Nope. I had nothin'.) (Thanks for hanging out with me Linds, sorry I was not all there.) The two things I was fixating on were these- 1) Do we have Hanta virus in ThePlaceThatILive and 2) Is there a way to possibly take care of the whole entire mess without Husband actually finding out? The answer to #1 is sadly, yes. I confirmed that with the county health department today. Hopefully we won't all die in two weeks. The answer to #2 is HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! I have children! The rodent fumes must have been interfering with my ability to think clearly because not even pregnancy brain would bring on an idea THAT ludicrous. I figured it would be about .2 seconds after Husband pulled up to the house before the kids had run out to his car and were knocking on his car window to tell him the wonderfully exciting news: THERE IS A MOUSE IN OUR CAR!!!!!!!!! So there was only one thing to do. I had to call him and confess the entire situation to him, admitting my own partial guilt in the situation for disregarding his Rule that THERE IS NO EATING IN THE CAR, thus creating an environment which would entice any half-sane, olfactorily challenged mouse into setting up residence there. Husband is very good and did not even get angry or gloat. I wish I was that good. I'm going to be. Someday.
Remember that post about Max from last year that I mentioned earlier? You may remember that in that same post I also blogged about our tradition of reading aloud. The book we are almost finished reading right now is The Tale of Despereaux. It is the story of a brave little mouse who fights against all odds to save the Princess he loves. It's a pretty ok story. Definitely not my favorite but the kids have really seemed to enjoy it. There are a lot of annoying asides to the reader that say stupid things like, "Now dear reader, you know of course...". The whole "dear reader" thing makes me kind of want to puke. The nice thing about readalouds it that you can leave that part out and then it's not annoying to anyone but the person who actually sees the page. Well anyway, Despereaux is a favorite around here.
Last night as Husband and I were systematically removing all the items from the van with our nitrile gloves on so we could get to the mouse STUFF to spray it down, to clean it up, to take the car to get it steam cleaned/detailed (aren't rodents FUN?), Bubba(7), who by nature is a very sensitive child, realized what was imminent. "Do you have to KILL the mouse?"
Me: Yes, honey.
Bubba(7): Why can't you just let it go?
Husband: Because it would just come back. Or try to live in our garage. Or our house.
Me: The mouse HAS TO DIE. Honey.
Bubba(7) tearing up: But why do you have to kill it?
He cried the rest of the evening and was still in tears as he went to bed, knowing full well that his evil parents were going to send poor little Despereaux to his untimely grave. I really AM that cruel. (Now right off, any mom is going to tell you that my priorities are exactly right on target. Of course "no food in the car" is WAY more important than reading "Charlotte's Web" before watching it- let's just get that straight right now.) And of course killing Despereaux is WAY more important than allowing a child's literary character to maintain residence in the family automobile. I didn't let Charlotte and her disgusting little egg sac live in my doorway and I'm not affording Despereaux any such luxury either. Some kids would tell me I'm wrong. That's why we're the moms. And why there is a mouse trap with a dead mouse in the garbage can right now.