Monday, March 28, 2011

Unidentified objects in the night

I'm 8 months pregnant, so, you know, I'm emotional. I think this goes with the territory. :) And lately, my nesting instinct has kicked into high gear to boot. I'm due in 8 weeks, and I did deliver Henry at 39 weeks. Theoretically, I could deliver anytime beginning 5 weeks from now. Despite my desperate desire for greater physical comfort, this actually terrifies me. I'll have a newborn in my house within 2 months. Dear Lord. Is it possible to remain pregnant for another year so that I'll be more ready? How about just remaining pregnant *forever*? As Blance Deveraux of The Golden Girls said once to her daughter:

" Oh Honey, no you don't. It's a bad look."

At any rate, at 8 weeks and counting, we have no nursery for the baby. This is my second baby, so I know that you don't actually *need* a nursery for the baby, it's just that your nesting instincts demand it. We do finally have some pretty important baby items that I didn't have leftover from Henry: diaper pail, changing pad and covers, bassinette. We were also gifted a new bouncer, which although not necessary, I'm very grateful for because I know that it will come in extremely handy. I have some friends who are going to loan me a baby bathtub and a sling/carrier, so we're really getting there.

But some items we can reuse, and so late last week I ventured into our storage space. Our house has been around for a decent amount of time, about 75 years, and it has all sort of interesting nooks and crannies. One of them is this storage space, We live in the Northeast, so we do have a basement, but we try to keep the stuff down there minimal since we eventually want to finish that space and create a family room. This storage room is on the second floor, off of one of the bedrooms, and is totally unfinished. It has slanty ceilings, the whole bit, but there's plenty of room in there for Christmas decorations, our window A/C units, and of course, baby equipment and toys.

Last week, I was in search of our swing. I wanted to dust it off, get it all ready, that sort of thing. It was tucked back into a recessed area of the storage, along with bags of clothes that Henry has outgrown and other equipment we haven't used in a long time, like the high chair, exersaucer, crib mobile, etc. With a newborn, I found that our swing (we have a cradle version) was essential; it soothed fussy Henry so much and I want it all ready for Baby CL's arrival.

So, I turn on the light in there and look about expectantly. The more "open" front section of the storage is filled with stuff that we need to access more frequently. Thus, I had to move some things or otherwise lean over them to access the baby equipment. Eventually, I was standing at the foot of the baby equipment mountain. I spotted the swing right away, naturally, toward the middle, which necessitated some gentle tugging and pressure. I could have called Mike, but me being me, I was a woman possessed and just wanted to forge ahead. Finally, I dislodged the main part of the swing and inched it toward me. Hark! What is *that* I see on the seat of the swing?


*Mike hurries upstairs* "What's wrong?"

"Um, Sweetheart, see the swing here? What do you think that stuff is on the seat?" *prays silently*

"Hum. Well, that kind of looks like wood shavings or something that fell from the ceiling." *conducts physical examination while the Catholic Librarian bites her nails* "I'm not sure, I think it's just stuff that fell from the ceiling."

"Oh good." *breathes sigh of relief*

"But that stuff there? That's mouse droppings."

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!" *the Catholic Librarian says a bit too loudly as she plants herself firmly in the 'denial' camp*

"Well, at some point, there were mice in there. I saw some droppings when we first moved in, though I hadn't seen any since."

"You mean, there were *mice* on our baby's swing?! In our *house*?! This can't be!"

"Don't panic. This is pretty common for spaces like these, and since the house was vacant for a long time before we moved in, this may have happened right after we put this stuff in there and hasn't happened since. We haven't *seen* any mice, so it's probably fine. Let's take a closer look this weekend when we have more time, we can clean up in there, and we can also get this seat cover off and wash it."

Mike is always the voice of reason. Me, I am the voice of extreme emotion. That night, I literally couldn't sleep. I lived for a time in New York City, and still, mice I cannot bear. I draw the line at roaches, thank you very much.

I'm certainly not *afraid* that a mouse will hurt me (or a roach either, for that matter). There's just something about their very existence, in my house, that repels me and makes me want to shut my eyes and squeal. I don't care that they are small and furry, have faces, and some people keep them as pets. They are *rodents*. Vermin, really. I don't want them loose in my home, running all akimbo to their hearts desire, munching on my things, and leaving disgusting little pellets in their wake.

So that night, I had nightmares about mice crawling around in my baby's room, running over sweet yellow and green decor with scampering paws, menacing my baby with forked tails and beady eyes.

On Sunday, I paced outside the storage door with the vacuum cleaner attachment all hooked up and ready to go until Mike was ready. Despite my nervous energy, I couldn't bring myself to go inside. This is where husbands really come in handy. Mike trudged right on in in his socked feet armed with a large flashlight. He fully extracted both the swing (complete with disgusting cover) and the exersaucer.

"I don't see any other droppings in here. But if makes you feel any better, I can get some traps."

Traps? Suddenly, the Catholic Librarian develops a conscience about long-tailed rodents, formerly minions of the devil himself.

"Oh no, I don't think we should do that. I mean, that would hurt them."

Mike arched a brow at me, but I remained firm. We vacuumed off the swing cover, and hustled it right down to the washing machine. It's currently drying happily, and all is well it. Good thing, since we certainly don't have $130 lying around to replace it.

All is well, assuming I don't actually *see* a mouse. If that happens, I don't care how cute their ears and noses are, I'm calling an exterminator.

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