Of Lice and Men

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January 8, 2014 by Heather

When the seasons started shifting to cooler temps back in late-October, I put out some sticky traps to catch all the spiders that might want to come in from the cold.  I really hate spiders, like most people.  We live in the middle of a lot of farmland and there is a big grassy field behind our house, so we see our share of creepy-crawly things.  I don’t handle it all that well.

The day we had our family pictures done I was in the bathroom for a rather long time applying thirteen pounds of makeup to make myself look well-rested and radiant when I heard a little chirping sound.  The window was open because I was getting heated from all my beautifying.  I thought, Aw, isn’t that sweet?  There’s a little birdy outside.  That thing just kept chirping and chirping until it started sounding like a faint little dying squeak.  As soon as I realized it was more squeak than chirp, I very cautiously leaned down to look at the sticky trap under the bathroom cabinet.

Hey, mouse.  You’re not what I put sticky traps out for.

Parker was in the floor playing with bath toys and a box of tampons so I was careful not to scream and jump.  Mama kept her cool.  For once.

When Kathryn was here later that day I told her about it and we had a good laugh.  She texted me a couple days ago and asked if we ever got our mouse situation under control and I told her that the one I found on picture day was just the beginning.  Since then we’ve caught 5-6 more.

One was caught in a sticky trap under our bed (my side).  I did not even know there was a trap under there.  I was laying in bed one night and thought, Man, December must’ve just pooped in her litter box because something smells funky.  Her litter box is in the utility room across the hall, so this was a logical assumption.  The next night I had to dig my phone charger out from underneath the bed and caught a huge wiff of the same funkiness.  I raised up the bed skirt to find a very dead mouse.  Lucky me, Andrew was out of town, so I called our neighbors and they hurried over to save the day.  I’m glad Shane and Grace were kind enough to come over, because I don’t know if I have big girl panties big enough for that mess.  Much Lysol was sprayed when they left.

Another time, December chased a mouse into a sticky trap and got her paw stuck on it.  This was around 4:00am.  I heard her rustling around on my nightstand and then she crawled onto my pillow and then my face and I felt cardboard brush my cheek.  I sat up faster than the speed of light and pretty much punched Andrew in the process.  I had trouble falling back to sleep after that.  I do get a chuckle when I picture her coming down the hall from the kitchen to our room with a mouse-filled sticky trap stuck to her foot.  Ha.

I got head lice when I was in the 7th or 8th grade.  I was in the middle of getting a haircut when Denise kind of took my mom aside and told her.  (Remember that, Denise??)  I remember feeling super duper gross and dirty, but they kept telling me that “Lice like clean hair the best” so I shouldn’t feel that way.  Teachers were always saying that to make kids feel better.  Like they should wear their head lice as a badge of honor.  Um, no.

We came home and my little brother had it too.  Mom turned the house upside down and inside out cleaning everything.  We got some of that Rid shampoo and she combed through our hair with those tiny lice combs.  My head’s itching just thinking about it.

When Kathryn texted me the other day she mentioned that they had a mouse somewhere in their house now too.  I sympathized with her and told her we still have one on the loose somewhere in the kitchen.  Then I had this thought – Having mice in your house is kind of like the grown-up version of head lice.  You know?  It sounds so gross and it’s embarrassing to own up to (“Yeah, I got mice, so what?”), but I wonder if it’s kind of the same thing.  A house with a lot of food, warmth, and weird open spots in the walls is a mouse’s favorite…?

So that’s maybe a bit of a stretch.

Whatever.  It made sense in my head.  (scratch, scratch)



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