A slice of anxiety

Slice of LIfe

This is part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life. Find out more, and join in here.

You may remember this story of my worry over a bat. Ugh. Read that to get into my head a bit.

Saturday: I’m taking it easy, trying to get over this stupid cold when I decide to do a little yoga. There I am practicing cat tuck when BAM!

A small, cylindrical, brown…dropping? And another one… And another one. I groan, I vacuum, and then quick as a whip I google —  all. the. kinds. of. poop. I determine that it’s mouse (not rat – phew.) and stop and read a bit about the deer mouse. Oh no. Don’t ever read about the deer mouse. I realize I shouldn’t have vacuumed it if it is a deer mouse. I ask my husband about 100 times if he thinks it was a deer mouse dropping. I find another one, I compare it. It isn’t pointy…so…it must be a house mouse. Still not good but better. Vacuuming house mouse poop is not as fatal… I ask my husband again if he thinks it could be deer mouse. We do, after all live near a lot of trees. (“No. It isn’t.” He says, again. He’s so patient with me, really. Then, “Stop googling.” Then, “Put your phone down.”) I start to feel anxious.

I wonder why our cats haven’t alerted us to this mouse problem. I wonder if the previous owners of our house had mice. I wonder if it is possibly something that the kids dragged in on the bottom of their shoes that I am constantly telling them not to wear in the house. I call my mom. She tells me to relax, that I’m going to make myself insane. I try to forget about it, but realize we are going to have to figure this out soon…I try to tell the cats to go find the mice!

Waking up Sunday morning, I decide that we need to search the house for more droppings. Mr. Thought has the idea that if it isn’t under the couch, it is probably just some sort of oddly shaped dirt from shoes. I hope it isn’t under the couch. We lift the couch to search.

There they are: 2 pieces.  We find 2 or 3 more in the kitchen. We take a picture. I google. I am surprisingly relieved at first thought when I realize it more closely matches the cockroach poop. (“Stop googling horrible gross things on your phone!” Mr. Thought is not so patient any more. Who could blame him?) I google cockroaches, and we search cabinets, and corners and floors. Nothing. We search for the name of the pest company that did our old house’s pest inspection. I email the picture and a brief note to the tune of “Hi – We are settling into our new house, yada yada yada. Help! I think we have cockroaches! Please look at this crazy picture and come to our house asap!” 

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I start to search the dining room. I can’t believe this is my Sunday. I want to read my book. I want to not be thinking about how horrible it will be if we all get a disease from a sick mouse, or how I’m never going to be able to turn off the light for fear of cockroaches.

The pest guy emails back, “It looks like a mouse – in this weather they like to come in. I can come Tuesday to take a look.”

I continue to search the dining room. I find another one. This one is a little bigger. That’s when it dawns on me.

A week ago.

A birthday party.

Ten 6 year olds, and

a tray of cookies…with

sprinkles.

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I’ll wait for you to finish laughing at me.

I’ll let you imagine how I still need to be convinced. You can picture us, on our search for more sprinkles, the whole family on our hands and knees…how my 9 year old uses the scientific method to convince me. You should know that I still vacuum everything, and wash down all the floors. I still look around the next few days just to make sure. And of course, I have to email the pest guy back… “So, this is embarrassing because I’m pretty sure it was actually chocolate sprinkles from my 6 year old’s birthday party. I’ll let you know if anything changes…” 

Moral of the story? Vacuum the whole house after a party — don’t wait for the next weekend. (Duh.) And maybe listen to your mom when she tells you to stop freaking yourself out. (Double Duh.)

Mr. Thought took pictures of the cookies at the grocery story for further proof. No more “droppings” have been found in the house. The case of the deadly sprinkle poop is over.

Knock on wood.

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