Rats

I opened the glove box of the van a while back and saw a stash of half-eaten foods that the kids left there. While I was wondering why on earth the kids would have stuffed it there instead of just taking it to the house and tossing it, and thinking many uncharitable thoughts toward my own offspring, a gray nose with long whiskers and black beady eyes popped out of the hole where the light is.

I screamed like a girl. (Never mind that I am one.)

I am not afraid of mice, mind you. Not tame ones, not wild ones, not dead ones. Mice aren't fun to have where they shouldn't be, but they do not bother me in the least. But when a mouse practically jumps into your lap when you're least expecting it, it takes on a heart-stopping quality.

Aren't we the lucky ones that get a mouse in the van? How on earth do you go about killing that thing? A traditional trap would go off by bouncing down the highway (we live in the mountains, remember?). Poison would make that thing die way up in an unreachable crevice somewhere, forcing us to smell decaying carcass. A cat locked in the van isn't really an option for so many reasons.

So I bought a new kind of mouse trap. One where you pull the sticker off the hole in the bottom, pack it with peanut butter, put the sticker back over, and spin the whole thing to align the holes. The mouse walks into the hole to get the bait and the trap spins around again, thereby trapping the mouse inside. You never have to see it, and it's safely disposed of.

I had my doubts.

The very first night the mouse flipped over that trap, ate through the sticker and helped himself to a gob of peanut butter bigger than his head.

I packed in more bait, covered the hole with aluminum foil, and duck taped over it. (Why yes, we are rednecks. Why do you ask?) We haven't seen any evidence of the intruder since, and it's been weeks. This isn't to say that he's not laying low somewhere, just waiting for our defenses to lower. Or slowly chewing through wires up in the dash. Or wreaking havoc on the brake line.

Every time Becky calls shotgun I ask her to check the traps. I do this myself every time I'm in the van, but it's more fun to ask her. She's deathly afraid that something the size of a roll of tape will terrorize her into loss of bladder control. She stiffens up, her eyes get round, and she tentatively reaches toward the glove box door.

I stealthily reach over and tap her leg. She jumps and screams while we laugh hysterically.

She finds the ice scraper and holds it up like a weapon of mass destruction. She ever so quietly opens the door and pokes around in the box trying to get the trap out.

I remind her that the mouse is way more afraid of her than she is of it. Sneaking up on it quietly is the quickest way to catch a glimpse of it. She starts banging around and yelling loudly. I roll my eyes.

I yell, "BOO!" And then nearly run off the road for laughing so hard. She's so easy to make fun of.

I am a shameless mother for preying on my children's fears. Worst Parent of the Year will bypass me because they'll simply call Children and Youth. And we may or may not still have a mouse in the van.


(Photographed by Micah. The kid is a natural.)

18 comments:

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

OH MY GOSH that was hilarious!!! I have to admit though, I wouldn't be driving my van until I found that thing DEAD! LOL *shudder*

pb&j in a bowl said...

I would totally do the same thing to my daughter if she were older. But I would also switch vehicles with Justin until I had proof that no animal resided in my car, so the opportunity to torture her would never arise.

utmomof 5 said...

If you can't torture your kids every one in awhile what was the point of having them? :)

You couldn't have gotten me back on that car if I knew there was a mouse in it. No way, no how!!

mommaof4wife2r said...

you are a brave soul...i wouldn't even grace that stining van until that mouse was dead! i'm not gonna lie!

Karen said...

Oh that is funny stuff. I have been known to be that kind of mother. We have had ants before in the van, but never a four legged rodent.

Jennifer said...

ha you are mean :) but funny! ha

Melissa said...

Ok, this post had me seriously LMAO! I love the thought of you driving off the road because you are laughing so hard...

Aimee said...

A friend of ours had a mouse in the car, but he didn't find out about it until it SHOT OUT OF THE AIR VENT at him while he was hurtling down the highway.

He says he didn't pee his pants, but I seriously doubt it.

Hilarious hijinks as usual :)

the planet of janet said...

you are my mothering hero. i know we must have been separated at birth!

Debbie Yost said...

I have duct tape holding the tile step in place going from my kitchen to livingroom. Yeah, it's great stuff!

If I were Becky, I think I'd start riding in the very back.

Michelle said...

You. Crack. Me. Up.

Oh, and they now have poison pills that cause the body to dehydrate so that there's no smell. Not that I know this because of invaders in my attic or anything....

justmylife said...

That was so funny, kids are made for torturing. heh! But, uh, I hate mice and would just give him the van. Walking is good for kids right.

SunflowerMom said...

Yikes! You know, a while back Where There's a Will posted she had a mouse/rat in her van and it did major electrical damage. It totally freaked me out and now you are adding to it!

CC said...

nasty nasty nasty

We have the world's biggest rat holes littered in our front yard. Right by the walkway. Makes me sick to look at them every day.

Krista said...

Okay - you've inspired me to share my own "mean mom" story! It's almost equally as good as yours! (Great minds think alike!)

Trannyhead said...

Good luck trapping the bastard. The one in Granilla's garage alluded me and we had to use the poison. We never smelled it, mercifully, so either it's still there or it went off somewhere to keel over. Good riddance.

imbeingheldhostage said...

you could guarantee her therapist income for life if you just tell her all of the nasty germs a mouse could carry :-)
(I'm evil like that to my kids, where else am I going to find that kind of fun?)

JennyH said...

Oh my gosh- that is funny.

Last week while cleaning out the van I thought to myself that it would be a mice heaven to live in there! Ike's seat alone could feed a mouse for a whole year, I'm pretty sure. I had never heard of mice in a car. So kind of ironic that you now have one! Although, I hope he's gone-- for Becky's sake!!