Thursday, March 13, 2008

House of Mouse, Part II

There are few things that fill me with more dread than waking up in the middle of the night to see Spiceboy standing dead still in the middle of the living room, his head cocked to one side, as if listening for something.

This is Spiceboy’s “mouse in the house” stance.

Now, the last time this happened, I may have freaked out a little bit.

I resolved to be calmer about it this time around.

The mouse had, conveniently, found its way into a large bucket under our kitchen table. This made getting rid of the mouse quite easy. Spiceboy would carry the bucket down to the sidewalk and set the mouse free. I would help by opening doors for him.

See what a good wife I am?

So we made our way down the steps. Spiceboy held the bucket away from his body as though it contained a toxic substance. I held the front doors for Spiceboy, then jumped out of the way as soon as possible, so as not to get too close to the toxic mouse bucket.

Spiceboy put the bucket down. “Here, come look,” he said.

The mouse was tiny—just a little baby mouse, really. He was kinda cute. Not threatening at all.

Spiceboy tipped the bucket, and the little mouse scurried away into the night.

We returned to bed. I felt calm and good. The first time there was a mouse in the house, Spiceboy was out of town a lot more, and we both dealt with problems in our own way--separately from one another. Back then, the thought of facing something without him was both terrifying and frustrating.

But being apart has taught me to deal with problems on my own, which has made me better at dealing with problems when we're together. Whether it's bigger stuff, like money. Or silly stuff, like mice. Or simple stuff, like me helping Spiceboy find his keys when he loses them (which is often).

But I'm still damn glad Spiceboy was there to take care of the mouse, and I turned to him in the darkness and told him so.

Spiceboy put his hand on my cheek. “Ew, don’t touch me with mouse hands!” I said.

“I washed them.” I could hear the smile in his voice.

“So tomorrow you’ll secure the perimeter?”

“Yes, tomorrow, I’ll secure the perimeter.”

We both drifted back to sleep, only to be awakened a few hours later by a scurrying sound. Spiceboy flipped on the light in time for us to see the same little mouse scuttle along the living room wall, then disappear behind the bookcase. How he found his way back to us on the 4th floor, I'll never know. Perhaps he finds our tiny apartment as cozy as we do.

We were both quiet for a moment, then I laughed.

"So much for securing the perimeter," I said.

“I guess he likes us,” Spiceboy replied.