7:17AM and all is quiet. I spy a flash of brown across the living room.
“Mouse!” I scream. I text Matt.
7:25AM. More brown.
“Mouse!” I scream. I call Matt.
“Mouse!” I scream into the phone.
“Mouse,” he deadpans back. I hear laughter in the background.
“I’m at breakfast with Sam.”
Sam is the man I butcher chickens with. The laughter makes sense. Still.
“Well you tell Sam to get over here and chop this mouse’s head off.”
Matt says he’ll be home in 20 minutes, but the mouse reappears one minute later.
“Mouse!” I scream.
Jesse comes downstairs. “What’s going on?”
“There’s a mouse behind that cabinet.”
“Let’s catch it and keep it.”
“Absolutely not, and don’t you go trying to touch it, either.”
“Vermin carry bubonic plague.”
“I’ve never heard of it.”
“Trust me, it did not go well for the Europeans in the 14th century. Mice are diseased creatures. Go get the dog.”
He looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. “I don’t want Cody to die from the plague!”
Jess gets the dog and places her bone by where we last saw the mouse escape. Cody lies down and chews her bone. I sigh in complete disgust.
“Well what did you expect?” Jesse shrugs his shoulders. “We’ve only trained her to be cute.”
“Then how come she’s constantly chewing up your stuffed animals? This is her chance for the real deal.”
I hear a loud sound from upstairs and shriek and jump on the coffee table. Turns out it’s just Ezra opening his door. I stay on the coffee table.
“You’re not acting like an adult, Mom,” Jesse says.
“I need you to look behind every cabinet and under every couch and table in this room to see if you can find the mouse.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because that’s what men do when there’s a mouse in the house.”
Ez enters the room and sees me standing on the coffee table. “Are we allowed to stand on the coffee table now, Mom?”
“Only in emergency situations. There’s a mouse in the house!”
Ezra leaves the room. I hear him open the fridge door.
“What are you doing?” I shout.
“Getting cheese to catch it so I can keep it in my room. Mice are so cute.”
“Then I want a hamster,” he counters.
“And I want a snake,” Jesse adds.
“Boys, this is not the time.”
Tommy comes down, and I courageously leave the coffee table to go pick him up. I’ll save this one child at least. Then he farts super loudly, and I drop him in a moment of panic.
Jesse laughs. “Did you think that was a mouse farting?”
“Maybe I did. You boys need to head upstairs and get ready for school. Take the dog with you in case the mouse is up there.”
A few minutes later, there’s a stampede of dog and boy.
“Cody is catching the mouse!” Jesse shouts from the upstairs hallway.
“No. We’re just playing tag.”
At this point, Matt returns with mouse traps from Ace. I rather wish he’d gone to the catapult store.
“Where’s the mouse?” he asks.
“What do you mean, ‘Where’s the mouse?'”
“Did you trap it behind the cabinet where you first saw it?”
“Now how would I do that?”
“You’d put something down to block either side.”
“See, you say that like it’s obvious, but this was a heightened situation that negated anything other than screaming and jumping on tall surfaces.”
Matt sets the traps and explains how they work. “The mouse will come out and stick to this glue and then you will put the trap into a bucket of water and drown it.”
I look at him, baffled. “I don’t know who you think you’ve been married to for the last 15 years if you think that’s going to happen.”
We settle that he will be the one to do all of those things. I take Jess and Ez to the bus and Tommy to preschool.
“We had a mouse in the house!” I declare by way of greeting the preschool teacher.
“Oh, we had a mouse in preschool once, too! And so that whole week, we talked about mice and read about mice and made little houses for the mice …”
She goes on and on. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised she’d go all Montessori to cope. That’s why I’m writing it all down right now. To cope. And this is The End but for one question. Can I sleep at your house tonight?