on mice and motherhood

This is kind of a difficult thing to admit to, but I think we have a mouse in our apartment. It’s difficult to admit because I think it reflects on how clean my house is. Ugh. I don’t like mice, or what they’re saying about me behind my back.

After hearing the little varmint scurrying away from behind my toaster a few nights ago and a midnight run to the store for mouse traps, I got to thinking about mice. I started thinking about how yukky they are, and then about how they seem to be so glorified in kids’ movies and books. Think about it – Cinderella, The Rescuers (and The Rescuers Down Under), The Great Mouse Detective, An American Tail (and its successor) – they all have these little rodents as the heroes. Since when are disease carrying varmints the stuff that fairy tales are made of?!? I know that some people have a lot of problems with Disney, but this (I think) is one of the great tell-tale signs of a twisted psyche. Mice aren’t cute – they’re yukky.

I also got to thinking about how much being a mother has altered my view of animals. Take, for example, our family dog that we got when I was in 5th grade and I raised to be a guide dog. He went everywhere with me (school, shopping, everywhere) and when he didn’t make it as a guide dog he came back to live out his days with us. Back when I lived at ‘home’ he was a great pal, but now when I take B over to my parents’ house he’s a hairy smelly animal who could be carrying some sort of pesky bug. It’s amazing to me how the mothering instinct to protect my child has turned my childhood pet into something I feel the need to defend against. I think that if I had no children, the mouse behind my toaster might have just been a cute little fuzzy annoyance, but now it is something that could carry some deathly disease into my child’s room (highly unlikely, I know, but whoever said that the mothering instinct bred rationality?). They didn’t tell me to expect this part in any of the “What to Expect…” books.

Anyhow, I’m off to check the traps.


5 Responses to “on mice and motherhood”

  1. 1 ladyrita
    June 19, 2008 at 7:15 am

    I don’t think a mouse reflects on your housekeeping. I mean, if you have 800 of them scurrying over everything, that might reflect on your housekeeping. But ordinarily, if there is food in your house and any itty bitty hole or crack in the structure, critters are going to experiment with living with you. That is definitely one reason I wish we still had a cat. Boy do they love living in a house with the occasional mouse!

  2. June 20, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Thanks, ladyrita. Unfortunately (for the mouse), his experiment came to an end yesterday morning when my husband found him with all four legs stuck in one of the glue traps. Now I can rest easy with no mice and a cleaner kitchen (it’s amazing what seeing a mouse will do for your zeal for cleanliness!).

  3. June 21, 2008 at 8:11 am

    We had a mouse a couple months ago…on the second floor of a condo…that little bugger would have had to literally walked through 2 doors to get into our house. I’m still not sure how that happened. The tell tale mouse dropping tipped me off to his existence, and then he made the unwise choice of running in front of my feet twice in one week. Ick! From the rodents point of view, he must of thought he was in heaven. Ophelia likes to hide her snacks around the house. A few days later he tried to feast of a fresh chunk of sharp cheddar and met his end.

    Since we have snakes, Ophelia always views snakes/rats as food for Josephine or Jose. When she sees them she automatically assumes it’s dinner time for our snakes. I had a pet rat growing up named Kitty. I’m happy my daughter sees them as nutrition of our more desirable pets instead of friends.

  4. June 23, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Our property managers told us that it was impossible that there was a mouse in our 3rd floor apartment. To them I say “Bah” and invite them to look at the mouse that is in the dumpster. B makes leaves lots of snacks for the rodents as well, but not from clever hiding, she is just messy and it seems to spread and get under the couches.

    We watched “Enchanted” the other night, and I was quite pleased to see that B was scared of the crazy chattering chipmunk. I’m all for rodents as sustenance for other creatures.

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