By Theresa Timmons
For The Herald Bulletin
When you have an outspoken 3 year-old living in your house, regular ol’ run-of-the-mill everyday life is a lot more interesting. After all, everyday life experiences are brand new to a toddler.
Take for example having a mouse in the kitchen.
For me, it is beyond irritating — it is downright revolting.
For a 3 year-old, it is more than an adventure. It is practically an awe-inspiring event.
I spent a day hosing down kitchen cabinets, drawers and cans of food with Clorox, as well as running loads of what-should-have-been clean dishes through the dishwasher. Cleaning up BM missiles after a rodent is a lot like work.
Cayden narrated the procedures. “Did da mouse poop on yew silvewawe mamaw?”
“You don’t have to say it out loud, but well ... yes, the mouse pooped on my silverware. And other stuff too.”
“Is dat nasty?”
“Yes. That’s why I’m cleaning. And we are gonna get that guy with some traps.” I was picturing a vengeful, gruesome death for the rodent as I inhaled the bleach fumes.
When the cleaning was done and the silverware was perched in a new temporary spot on the kitchen table, I set six traps. Six. If he took a step into my domain he couldn’t miss a trap. And my bait-o-choice ... peanut butter or Kraft cheese squares smashed into the bait pad. The dirty squeaker who violated my kitchen was doomed. If I was gonna die from Clorox inhalation, he was gonna die with cheese and peanut butter breath.
Later that evening I checked the traps.
I found five traps. Five. One was gone. No sign of it, not a trace. I was floored. Had I underestimated my mouse? Was he bigger, smarter, or have a better sense of humor than the average mouse?
I found the trap later, in another room. It was empty and the bait pad was licked clean. I had a feeling if my mouse would’ve had access to matches, it would’ve been torched. I reset it.
Early the next morning I heard my bedroom door open and felt the presence of Cayden’s warm breath two inches from my face.
“Mamaw!” he whispered, “can we check yew twaps?”
My eyes popped open. “Let’s do it!” I got up and draped my Rambo-style machine gun bullets across my chest (don’t tell President Obama) and tied a camouflage bandana around my head.
“Get your light saber, Private Cayden, that’s an order,” I said.
Adequately armed, we checked the traps one by one. Our last trap was in the cabinet under the kitchen sink.
“No mouses,” he said, disappointed.
“Look again,” I told him. The trap was upside down, and a motionless tail was visible.
Cayden leaned in for a better look. Then he squealed. “We got yew mouse!!!”
I reached in and picked up the trap. The bar was squarely over the creatures neck, and aside from the slightly bulging eyes, he appeared to be sleeping.
“Can I see? Can I touch it? Can I get da mouse out? Is dere bwood?”
“No blood. You can look at it.” I held the trap so he could have a look at the dangling carcass.
“Wets show daddy!”
I liked that idea. His daddy was asleep, and I would enjoy providing a close up of a dead mouse when he opened his eyes.
Cayden excitedly burst into his daddy’s room. “Daddy! We got the mouse in the twap. It SNAPPED him!”
When his daddy opened his eyes, it was an exciting moment for him too.
There is nothing like life with a 3-year-old. But you have to be a grandma to fully appreciate dat.
Theresa Timmons’ column appears every first and third Sunday. She is an Elwood resident and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.