Saturday, August 9, 2014

"Trooooooooooll in the dungeon!"

Today started off grand.  With mild weather and happy children, we contemplated going to the Polk County Fair.  I wasn't sure if we had enough money for that, so I decided to do the weekly grocery shopping first.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to get out of the house as soon as I planned, so I only made it back to the house maybe twenty minutes before Matthew had to leave for work.  Alright, I thought, maybe we can make it there tomorrow.

So then Carol and I started to put away the groceries.  I had bought some bulk cashews and peanuts for the first time in a long time, and I went to retrieve the plastic container we use for storing them from its place on the bottom shelf of the pantry.  Then--O horror of horrors!--I saw mouse droppings.  In our pantry.

I know we have at least one mouse.  I've been hearing it in the attic on the other side of my bedroom wall for about a month now.  We've set traps, and so far we've caught nothing but air.  Up until now, the pantry has been safe from their contamination.  No more.

That pretty much settled the afternoon for Carol and me.  We pulled on our long rubber gloves (oh so thankful for those!) and set to work taking everything out of the pantry, wiping each item down with bleach water, then vacuuming and bleaching the shelves.  We actually didn't see any mouse evidence on any food items, but we threw away a lot of things that either were open or had just been sitting in there without being used.

Our pantry consists of four heavily-laden shelves.  We started on the bottom shelf, where I found the droppings, and worked our way up.  Thankfully we only found them on the one shelf, but of course we couldn't know that until we had cleaned off all the other shelves.  We had gotten the lower three shelves washed when Rowan came tearing in from the day room, where I had set the children to watch Mickey Mouse.

"Mommy, Henry took off his diaper and I think he's poopy!"

Well, that's enough to get me running.  I went hastily to the day room and found a very naked Henry dancing atop the coffee table, on which lay his discarded diaper.  It was, indeed, poopy.  There were also smatterings of poop on the table itself.  I grabbed Henry under the arms to keep him from sitting down and smearing more brown everywhere (no, I did not pick him up) and told Rowan, "Go get Grandma and tell her to come help me right away!"

Rowan left in a hurry and reappeared a minute later.  Carol came around the corner, clearly baffled, and asked what was going on.  Then she saw me holding the struggling Henry, and the diaper on the table.

Oh, I am thankful for trooper grandmothers!  She came over and immediately started wiping the child, as I attempted to keep him still.  She also removed the diaper and cleaned the table while I lay Henry on the couch to put a new diaper on him.  I spotted a blob on the couch and groaned.  I find myself very, very thankful for Lysol wipes these days.

On the plus side, it suddenly occurred to me that my rubber gloves, which were already out, would be perfect to wear while I scrubbed the diaper.  That's right; I've been cloth diapering since February and I only just now thought of wearing gloves.  I feel so brilliant.

With cleanliness restored and the children reapplied to Mickey Mouse, Carol and I went to tackle the last shelf.  We removed the items and I wiped it out; by this time I was feeling a little silly from the bleach and had a strong urge to run around the house bellowing, "Moooooooouse in the pantry!" and collapsing dramatically.  Maybe it's time to invest in a turban.

As we worked, Carol suddenly remembered that she and Paul had plans to go out for dinner.  This worked out well for them, but I struggled to figure out what I would feed my children, since we didn't finish the pantry until around 5:30 and the kitchen was in shambles from our work.  I wound up giving them nuts, chocolate pudding, and oranges.  They seemed to enjoy it.

Matthew called a little after 6:00 to say that he was done with work.  Hurray for Fridays!  And hurray for a husband who said he'd bring home Muchas Gracias!  I always love my husband, but there are some days I really, really appreciate him.

While I waited for Matthew to get home, I called Savanna to see if she could come over and write this evening.  (She couldn't, but oh well.)  As I sat chatting in the comfy armchair in my room, Rowan came in.  "Mommy, I just peed in the hallway."  Sigh.  I went downstairs and there it was, on the carpet in front of Lili's food dishes.  A towel thrown over the spot--I've got a few of those now, so put in the washer tomorrow--and I sent Rowan up to take a shower.  I'm glad he's able to shower himself now.  If I were less exhausted I might have supervised, because he tends to use half the bottle of body wash, but at that particular moment I didn't care.

The rest of the evening was fairly uneventful.  Matthew and I had dinner together <3 and the children went to bed fairly easily, snuggled in our bed with me.  I woke up around 12:30 and put them in their own beds, then remembered that I still needed to scrub the hallway.  Sigh.  That's done now, and I am snuggled in bed next to my sleeping husband.  I suppose I should go to sleep myself.  It has certainly been a Long Day.

I still want a turban.