Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What do you call mouse boobs anyway?

Guess how we spent the labor day weekend and the end of summer kick off to fall? Cleaning the yard! Well, it was about time. It was starting to look like more like the wilderness and less like a civilized surburban neighborhood. People were beginning to "talk" about "those people" who let their young child play "out there".

Speaking of the wilderness, I felt a bit like we were on an episode of National Geographic while we were taking down our old shed and kept running (figuratively and literally) into "nature". We had this big, ugly, temporary shed in the back of the yard that came with the house and has become sort of a junk collector for the 2 years we've lived here. Well, we finally decided to take "Old Bessie" (that's what I just named it) down. And it was about time, according to the neighbors, who actually said "it's about time."

So as we were cleaning it out we saw many, many little field mice scampering around. That didn't bother me, I always say as long as nature stays outside it's alright with me. But we had a big bin of old camping stuff we were sorting through and inside was a little mouse running around trying to get out, in which Mateo was obsessed, and finally gave it just the right inspiration to jump out by yelling at it wildly as loud as he could. So it jumped out and climbed up a tree. Seriously. Who knew mice could climb? But Dave and I were concerned for the little guy. It was about half way up the tree and hanging on for it's life, scared to come down with all the commotion.

Then Dave and I had a half hour debate about a mouse's threshold to withstand the weight of their body while hanging onto a tree. Just when we were about to google it, Dave decided to get a broom to coax it down so it wouldn't fall and get eaten by the dog. When it came down the tree he was able to catch it (with gloves on). Then we showed it to Mateo, who tried to give it a kiss, being the kind compassionate child he is. He does love animals. Fortunately, Mommy doesn't love rabies and so there was no touching of the mouse.

So we let it free in the neighbors yard. But it will inevitably find it's way into our attic and end up in one of our "humane" mouse traps (the kind that snap and kill them quickly). Like I said, nature is fine when it's outside of the house.

Don't worry, the story is not over, there was more drama to come. As we continue going through the camping stuff, Dave empties a backpack out and not one mouse but a whole family of mice falls out onto the lawn. Actually, when I first saw them I thought it was two mice humping and almost covered my eyes and put up a "do not disturb" sign. But it was a mother mouse and 4 or 5 babies attached at the boobs...or nipples....or utters....or whatever you call mouse "parts".

Dave wanted to just let them run away but I was concerned about this mommy mouse and her babies that clearly could not be by themselves while she makes a nest for them. They were so tiny. I even told him, teary-eyed, she's just a mom trying to what's best for her babies, we have to help her! I could relate after all. Despite him being concerned that now we'll end up with 3 times as many mice in our attic this winter, he made a little nest in an old sack, transferred the family into it, then set them aside in the woods (bordering the neighbor's yard). Mateo was watching all of this very curiously, securely strapped into the swing so there would be no kissing of disease-ridden animals.

As Dave was putting the mouse family into the woods for safety, Mateo started grunting and pointing to something else in the grass. I ignored him at first (I know, great mom) because he's always grunting about something. But when I looked it was another, yes, another mom mouse and babies. It must have been mousey mating season or something recently. So, we went through the whole process all over again, another nest, another sack, another spot in the woods, another neighbor hates us, another mouse trap to set in the winter.

So, feeling like I should be a good mom and take this opportunity to teach a valuable lesson of some sort, I say to my son, "God makes all the creatures in the world, even the small ones. So, Mateo, we must respect them and show compassion." To which Mateo ran away to play in the driveway and smash more ants.

Coming up! This Friday so stay tuned for more adventures!

1 comment:

Mom to 2 Angels said...

Wow, that's a lot of mice. I just found your blog. Your son is adorable.