When N was 3 years old, we were driving one day and she said, "Look Mommy, the trees are all getting a naked." Watching the trees get naked is another reason I am excited about fall.
Since the weather was so nice and my flower beds looked like shit, I spent Sunday weeding and decorating the porch. I had just gotten settled down to do some serious weed pulling when I heard a commotion behind me. I looked over my shoulder and Cowboy had a mouse cornered between some flower pots. I almost killed myself trying to get away from him and the mouse.
I honestly do not know where he finds all these mice. But find them he does, and then brings them home to kill...on my porch or in my flower bed. While I am happy to know that thanks to Cowboy I will never have a mouse in my house, I am getting really annoyed with his mouse serial killing.
Let me give you a little background on me and mice. I am scared to death of them. I pee my pants a little every time I see one. When I was a child my cousin chased me through the house holding a mouse by the tail. I ran to my mother for help, who unfortunely shares my phobia. She pushed me out of the way, jumped on the back of the couch and wrapped herself in the curtains. I tried to get inside the curtain cocoon with her, but she refused to let me in. I stood on the back of the couch against the wall crying while my cousin laughed and continued to dangle the mouse in my face. My mom finally left her curtain hideout and ran to her bedroom and locked herself inside.
On the day of my daughter's sixth birthday party, I opened the door to my laundry room and a mouse half attached to a glue trap came running into the kitchen. The left side of his body was solidly stuck, but he was somehow able to use the right front and back legs to stay mobile. Needless to say, I was freaked the fuck out. I jumped into a kitchen chair and called for my daughter to bring me a dish towel. I had to cover that little fucker up so I didn't have to look at him. I couldn't get out of the chair to get the towel though cause I was too scared. Yeah, crazy, I know.
"N, bring Mommy a towel, please."
"Because I need one." I didn't want to mention the mouse quite yet in case she was scared of mice.
"Why are you in the chair?"
"Do you have the towel?
"Get it! NOW!"
As soon as she handed me the towel, I threw it over the mouse. I could breathe a little easier since I no longer had to see him, but I could hear him making squeaking noises under the towel and that was freaking me out. What if he somehow escaped the glue trap? What if he was running around the living room when the guests came? What if he climbed up the chair I was standing on and started eating my face? This is the kind of shit that was going through my mind.
"Mommy, why is the towel moving?"
"N, there is a mouse under that towel partially stuck to a glue trap. We have to get him outside before your party guests get here." I looked at my watch and realized that was only 15 minutes away. "And we have to do it quickly."
"Ewwww! a mouse! I'm scared of mice." Holy shit! She's scared of mice. I was afraid of that. I had tried so hard not to project my phobia on to her...
"No, you are not scared of mice. You are a brave girl and are not scared of silly little mice."
"No, not at all. Now the first thing I need you to do is get the broom and dust pan out of the laundry room."
"Mommy, why are you in the chair? We're not supposed to stand on chairs."
"N, we are not taking about me and chairs right now. We are getting this mouse out of our kitchen. Put the dust pan on the ground in front of the mouse."
This is when the tears started...hers and mine.
"Mommy, I really am scared of the mouse. I'm afraid to get that close to him. Why can't you put the dust pan by him?"
"N, you have to do this! Mommy is terrified of mice. That is why I am in the chair, I am too scared to get out of the chair. One of us has to be brave; this time it's you."
Between bouts of tears and tons of encouragement, my daughter was able to get the dust pan on the ground and hold it in place while I swept the mouse into the pan. I was finally able to climb down from the kitchen chair when the mouse was safely outside.
To this day, I get reminded about how I traumatized her by making her get rid of the mouse while I stood in a chair and cried. So I tell her the story about my mom and the curtain cocoon and she doesn't feel so mistreated.
There was also the time that I saw evidence of a mouse in my house and I packed my bags and went to stay with my Granny for a week. I would send my brother over every day to check the trap for me. Once he confirmed the mouse was dead, I went back home. The list goes on and on. I am THAT scared of mice.
In a way, Cowboy is doing me a big favor by ridding my neighborhood of the evil creatures. I just wish he would find another place to do his killing. Like the same damn place he finds the mice. But whatever, you can't have it all.
Given my history, it was a miracle that I was able to go back in the front yard and finish my weeding knowing that there was a possibility that Cowboy would show up with another mouse, but I put on my big girl panties and soldiered on.
Here is the end result...Fall decorating complete.