Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am frightened to death, and discover I am weak

Sometimes, you come face to face with your humanity. You know? You power through unbearable obstacles, and survive. You struggle and you fight and you win, over and over again, and then are suddenly brought low by something much lesser than the battles you've won.

I have chipmunks, in my house. They, like me, live here. I want them to die. Back when they lived in the backyard, we were at peace. Even when they occasionally made appearances in the sunroom, but bolted back into their secret hellholes, I basically ignored them. Now they've started chilling in the real house, where I live. Today, I saw one run through my kitchen and disappear into the house. Where did it go? I wondered, panicked. Is it in my bed? 

I called Richy to panic, which is something I never, ever do. If I took a kid to the ER, I'd text Richy. If I ran into another car at Walmart, I'd text Richy. If I overdrew the bank account, I'd lay low. But I called him, like a weenie. "I can't do this," I whined. "I'm hiring an exterminator on our credit card... I'm buying a cat. Today."

An alarm went off that only children can hear. "Your mom is panicking on the phone!" it said. "CLIMB ON HER AND WHINE!" They complied immediately. I rose, tossing Brynn to the floor, where she sat, offended and humiliated, while I took myself into the office to finish complaining in peace. And then it happened.

The chipmunk darted out from under the office couch, kind of darted around in a dither, and then ran back under the couch. During that time, I jumped up on another chair, screamed like I was being murdered, and burst into tears. On the phone. "I CAN'T DO THIS!" I squealed and sobbed, like a reality show mom on a camping trip.

There's this objective part of my brain, always observing myself, that was telling me I was acting totally insane about a harmless little rodent who was scared of me. The thing is, there is little room for objectivity when you are totally and completely losing your stuff. Richy, calmly, like a psychologist, told me to call an exterminator, do whatever I needed to do. Brynn and Toby were shocked into silence by my screaming and tears, but not for long. "But why is it scary, Mommy? Why you scared of a chipmunk?"

It's not like it makes sense. There's just a little cute animal on the loose in my home, that may appear when I least expect it, and dash to a different secret location. It's like living in a nightmare, if your nightmares were pretty tame and nature-themed.

Mercy chased it into the basement, and a friend is bringing traps tonight. I'm trying to be a grownup here, but if one shows up upstairs, I might escape in my van and leave all these kids alone, to be raised by chipmunks. I've found my limits.


  1. Wish I were there. What a great reality show that would be....

  2. Disney is rolling over in his grave ..... how could you hurt a sweet little chipmunk? Those cute little things just run around with Bambi and Flower all day...

  3. If you really want Richy to do something about Alvin,like YESTERDAY,just let him know that those sweet little critters love to chew. Especially on cords & wires! Especially music equipment-type stuff!

    Alvin will disappear. Quietly.

    Then have the MOG repair/plug up all holes in the house.


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