Note To Self: Cows Don’t Care About Glory

The cows…they just don’t care.

I am a stay-at-home mom, which means that I don’t get paid and that I’m never home. I live in my car. Consequently, my car (a midsize, luxury SUV in name only) consistently looks as if it’s been plundered and pillaged by rogue Norsemen (which it has because my sons have a full quarter Norwegian ancestry). This morning after the boys had removed themselves from the back seat, I noticed that I could no longer see the black, leather seats back there at all. They were covered with Legos, food wrappers, various school papers, and sticky substances I have been ignoring for weeks. The floor was not much better. I knew there were floor mats down there somewhere. But where? As far as I could tell, the carpet had been replaced by shredded tissue, chewed on straws, and Star Wars action figures missing their heads. It was at that point that I seriously began to wonder if the mess back there was partially due to a rodent infestation.

I headed to the local, automatic car wash to vacuum out my filthy car and find the silver paint again. I immediately realized I had not enough quarters for the vacuum, so I sent the car through the wash and drove home to rescue the inside. I dragged out the wet/dry vacuum, a trash bag, a damp rag, a roll of paper towels, and about a gallon of Windex to begin my quest. I was mildly concerned that during my cleaning I might shove my hand under the backseat and pull out a rodent (something similar happened in our family before when hubby pulled up a seat cushion and uncovered Voldemouse in his FJ Cruiser). I tried not to think about it as I opened the back door and started digging through the rat’s nest where my children usually sit. In the first three minutes, I rescued five mangled Lego magazines, four pieces of foreign currency (not sure when my kids had time to vacation in England, France, Italy, and Denmark without me), about a gazillion Lego bricks and assorted Lego pieces, a super-high bouncing ball, an empty water bottle, some crude drawings of battles and dragons, and a spelling list. (I’d wondered where that had gotten to.) When I at last found the back seat and started working on the floor, I uncovered an interesting piece of paper. It was in Luke’s handwriting…neatly penned but with the kind of obvious errors only a child with dyslexia could make. It said: “Note to self. Cows don’t care about glory. Cows don’t care about you.” I stood there staring at that paper with my head cocked to one side. What the hell does that mean? I had no idea where to go with that information. It was funny, but what made it even funnier was that my darling son had flawlessly executed his b and d letter reversals in the most stereotypical dyslexic way. I love the way his mind works.

I finished cleaning the car to the best of my ability without uncovering any evidence of the Lost City of Mouselantis. But, I walked around for the entire rest of the day thinking about Luke’s note to self. Instead of mice occupying my thoughts, it was cows. And, not just any cows. Cows that don’t care about glory. I later was able to ask Luke about his cryptic message. He disclosed that he heard that quote on some Lego video on You Tube. Ah. It suddenly all made sense. Chalk the whole thing up to You Tube. And to think I’d been blaming the obscure cow mention to our trip to Chick-Fil-A last week. Silly me.





The Rodent Who Must Not Be Named

Hubby registers concern about interlopers in his precious SUV.

I love it when my morning starts with a heartfelt text from my husband.

Hubby: A mouse has been visiting my car.

Me: Where has it visited so far?

Hubby: I’ll look tonight. It might be a stowaway.

Me: How do you know is my question.

Hubby: I vacuumed up some droppings and some tissues were shredded this morning.

Me: I wonder if it’s a stowaway or just a frequent visitor.

Hubby: I don’t know but I feel violated. 😉

Me: I’m sure.

My husband loves three things in this world: 1) his family, 2) his camera equipment, and 3) his Toyota FJ Cruiser. Tamper with any one of these three things, and my exceedingly mild-mannered hubby can become a bit less mild-mannered. I pity the fool mouse who messes with (or in) my hubby’s FJ. That mouse just became Public Enemy #1. Later in the morning, I received more texts about the rodent in question.

Hubby: That mouse better not be crapping in my car.

Me: Right now he is taking a huge dump. 😉

Hubby: And mocking me

Me: While dumping!

Hubby: He’s probably eating through the interior as we speak.

Me: I hope not, for his sake.

That was the last of the mouse conversation for the morning. I was hoping the whole mousecapade would blow over by dinner so we could go for the 12-mile family bike ride I had been thinking about all day. I should have known better. Hubby walked in the door after work with something other than his lunch box in his hand.

“Look at this,” he said, holding a Clif Shot Blok in his hand.

“What am I looking at, exactly?” I inquired.

“This!” he said, pointing out a corner of the wrapper that I now noticed had been gnawed open, some of the gooey, mixed-berry, energy-replacement goodness was chewed away.

“Wow,” I said, trying to appear impressed. “Is this evidence of mice malfeasance?”

“The furry creep is hyper now. No telling what he’ll be capable of after this meal,” he said with slight concern.

“He’s probably bouncing off the walls. He might have bounced right out of your vehicle after ingesting that. He probably jumped out at the light rail station,” I suggested, hoping this would end his mouse hunt.

That was wishful thinking because the next thing I knew hubby was walking back out to the driveway. He was going to root that furry little terrorist out of his cave. Hubby stormed back in with copious additional evidence, including some slightly gnawed pieces of plastic from the interior of the FJ. He was not even remotely amused.

“I’m getting out the Shop Vac,” he announced.

That poor mouse had taken his last crap in that FJ. Hubby let the security door slam as he went out to do battle with Voldemouse. A few minutes later, he excitedly re-entered the house.

“Do you want to see my mice?” he asked, giddy with personal triumph.

“Mice? As in plural mouses?” I questioned.

“Yes. Mice. Plural.”

“Are they alive?” I questioned.

“Yep. I pulled back the seat, and there they were. We just stared at each other for a minute. No one knew what to do. Then I came to get you,” he replied.

I grabbed my iPhone for photographic proof and chased hubby back out the door to his open FJ. The mice were no longer visible. I assumed they had run off after hubby left them exposed. (There was evidence of mouse urine, so I know they were scared enough to pee their little mousey selves upon discovery, despite their bravado during the ensuing staredown.) Hubby, not entirely convinced of their departure, put the hose on the blower side of the Shop Vac and prepared to root the little f***ers (his expletive, not mine) out of their hiding spots. But, it was for naught. They never showed their mouse-diaper needing hineys again, and hubby placed a trap I baited for him with peanut butter and chocolate chips (because who doesn’t love that combo?) in his car for their overnight reappearance. I’m certain he’s hoping for their untimely yet appropriate demise this evening.

I’m tempted to wake up at 5:45 to check hubby’s car in the morning before he leaves for work, just to see if there is an overnight mouse homicide. If there is, maybe tomorrow night we can go for the family bike ride I was hoping for this evening? If not, at least my brave hunter will have something to distract himself with while I immerse myself in back episodes of Breaking Bad for the rest of this week.