The children and I got home yesterday (Sunday) from visiting my family in a neighboring state. Since Jason was working and couldn't go, it was pretty much up to me to pack and load the van and then unload and unpack when we got home. So I'm trying to manage getting 3 children and as much stuff as I can carry in one trip inside the house when we pulled up this evening. I breezed through the living room several times while unloading the van and trying to corral the children towards the table for dinner. I never noticed anything out of the ordinary, but I was a bit distracted. Once everyone was settled in for dinner, I let the dog in from the backyard and sat down to my own dinner.
After dinner I bathed Piper, wrapped her in a towel asnd carried her to the living room because that's where the bag was that held the toiletries. I laid her on the floor and before I went to grab the diapering/after-bath necessities out of the toiletry bag when I noticed something on the floor near her head. The boys have enough plastic "woodland" animals to populate a medium-sized forest and they inevitably end up scattered all over the house, the current favorite being a small, gray, plastic raccoon. I immediately went to work trying to figure out which plastic animal this one was, figuring it looked most like the small raccoon (which is about 2-3 inches long). It was a little dark in the room, so I nudged the "toy" with my foot...and SCREAMED!
It was a dead mouse. Only I wasn't fully convinced it was dead. Irrationally, I feared it was merely "playing possum" and should I make a move toward it, it might somehow spring to life and attack me. Or worse, get loose in the house!
I yanked Piper off the floor and moved to the bedroom. In our home, the master bedroom is off the living room, so I stood in the safety of the bedroom while at the same time I was able to keep an eye on the mouse presumed dead. What did I think I was going to do if the thing DID come back to life? I knew screaming would make me feel better, but my mind was devoid of any actual call to action. I called Jason who was 45 minutes away and of absolutely no use to me in this situation. By no fault of his own. But there was NO WAY I was going to do anything that resembled moving that mouse, even if I'd had a 10 ft. pole. I considered trying to get a neighbor to help, but I couldn't leave the kids in the house alone and no one was outside at the time.
Then I had a stroke of brilliance. Micah loves animals! I called him into the living room to "check out the cool mouse." (It's all in the spin, y'all. I should have gone into PR!) After indulging a few questions from Micah regarding the level of deadness of the mouse, which I answered as confidently as I could, considering my own lack of faith, I asked him to pick the mouse up by the tail and throw it into the bushes in the front yard.
Don't judge me. Desperate times call for desperate measures, people. I knew I was taking a chance asking him to get rid of it for me. One time I asked him to get a tissue and pick up a dead bug (I was busy at the time, OK?), but he refused citing the large size of the bug as his reason for defiance. So I wasn't sure he would agree to the mouse, but praise the Lord, he did! He carefully picked up the mouse, which thankfully did NOT spring back to life, and carried it to the front yard where he tossed it into the bushes. Then he ran back to tell his brother, and I quote, "Cade, I just had a wonderful adventure! It was an exciting adventure!"
The way I see it, I killed several birds with one stone here. Most importantly, the dead mouse was gone, I didn't have to do it and I could once again return to the living room. Seriously, I was trying to figure out if I could just avoid the living room atogether until Jason got home and could "take care of it." Secondly, Micah had the chance to experience something "wonderful" and "exciting." What kind of parent would I be to deny him those opportunites? Thirdly, he was incredibly proud of himself and I built up his good deed as much as I could. He even got to tell Daddy about it later! So his own self-confidence was boosted. I'm telling you, except for the fact that there was a MOUSE in my HOUSE, this was a win-win situation.