Sunday, April 11, 2010

Baby steps

Well, I haven't said much about rats lately. I know, y'all come here daily seeking stories of the vermin you've come to know and love, and I've disappointed you. The truth is, there really isn't much to report. (ThankyouGod!) After the Incident with the Pantry in the Nighttime, the exterminator came, Jason laid some traps and plugged some holes, and all was quiet. He checks periodically to make sure the holes are still plugged--without telling me, cause I don't wanna know nothin' about no ratholes.

It's been two months since The Sighting. And it's only in the last couple of weeks that I've been able to go into the pantry at all. For the weeks before that, I either crammed the groceries I needed into the cupboards where the dishes are kept, or I sent the kids into the pantry for me. Yes! Here, I admit it. I sent my own children into the belly of the beast. I didn't even tell them of the danger therein.

A couple of weeks ago, when I needed something I started darting in there myself. I'd open the door and stand at the threshold. I'd quickly scan all the shelves. I found that my fists would clench involuntarily. Then, I'd take one big step in, grab what I needed and duck back out and shut the door.

Yes, this is ridiculous. Thank you for pointing that out, it's very helpful.

Last week, Jason was working on his laptop at the kitchen table and I needed to get something from the pantry. Except, I wasn't totally sure where it was, so my quick in-n-out technique wouldn't work. I opened the door and stood there. I flipped on the light. I stood some more. I walked in, and started gingerly poking around in there, looking for what I needed. It feels very silly to write this, but I'm being serious when I tell you that I could feel my heart beating faster the longer I was in there.

I could also feel Jason watching me. With amusement. I didn't even have to look at him to know that he was truly enjoying this moment. And then I knew that he was about to seize that moment. Without turning around, I stuck my hand out behind my back and pointed at him.

"Do what you are thinking about doing!" I said. "What's that, babe?" he asked. "I know what you're thinking. You are waiting till I start to relax in here and then you're gonna make a loud noise or throw something or say boo. Don'teventhinkaboutit!"

He laughed. "Well, I did consider it. When is it gonna be okay to make jokes about this?" He has practiced what I know is, for him, a great deal of restraint. I told him he could make fun of me all he wants, but he is under no circumstances allowed to scare me. Or I will unleash the full might of my fury. Which is indeed terrifying. I'm like that little white bunny in Monty Python's Holy Grail.

Harmless and sweet, until you mess with me too much. Then, you best just curl into a little ball and wait for it to be over.

Okay, that's not really true. I just like sounding mean. Let's face it--anyone who won't go into her pantry for 6 weeks after seeing a rat in there can't be that tough.

So, let's sum up. Pantry: Clear so far. Kids: Often used as bait. Jason: The picture of restraint. Me: Quivering Mass/Potential ball of fury. I think that about covers it all.


  1. Amy I have always suspected that you are a potential ball of fury.But a cute one! On a serious note, I totally get your aversion to going in the pantry! Send in a kid just to be sure.

  2. This is hysterical. I love that you are willing to basically throw the kids to the rats, but I love even more that you can read jason's mind like that.

    Stay strong.

  3. I read the first line of this post and the hair on the back of my neck literally stood on end. I then started to itch and twitch all over. Because I hate rodents with every fiber of my being. EWWWWW. I totally identify. And I would absolutely send my son in there in front of me. Because he is braver than I am.

    I am reminded of a time, long, long ago, when my best friend Sharon was helping me clean out my mother's house. Mama had died, and for reasons much too long and convoluted to put here, the house had sat empty for a while, and during that time...rodents had arrived. Sharon and I were trying to clean out cabinets and set everything right so I could rent it. And she kept doing the MEANEST thing. Every now and then, she would make this high pitched squeaky noise by sucking on her teeth. And every time, I would JUMP out of my skin in horror and scream at the top of my lungs. She thought it was very hilarious.

  4. Funny! You certainly have eyes in the back of your head like all mums (and those eyes ain't only for the kids):)

  5. You are hilarious! I love the pointing-behind-your-back moment. Priceless. And I believe in full-force wrath if someone purposely scares me. Especially concerning rats!

  6. Gretchen--sorry to make your skin crawl! But I feel your pain...I don't know how you were able to clean out your mom's house--I would've been way too wiggy to do it! :)

  7. I think your baby steps are going well. I agree with Becky: the mind reading between you and Jason is to funny!

  8. Hahaha poor kids. I have no such terror and I am sure you will be horrified to learn I actually had a pet rat, 7 chinchillas and 3 squirels. I draw the line at ferrets. Nasty little beasts. No creepy crawlie scares me, unless it is on me. However my husband has severe terrors of spiders and one day I will have to tell you the story of how I found this out. It is hysterical.

  9. Gosh, I'm for real, I leave your blog for a week and I have to play catch up (your writing is addictive;).