Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, it all makes sense now. Looking back, the warning signs were there. But sometimes things happen that are so shocking, so unexpected, they are simply unpredictable.
Take my day today, for example. It started out great. I slept in, watched some TV, made plans for the errands, housework, and back-to-school stuff I wanted to get done, talked to The Hubs, even took a nap. (Don’t judge me….it’s been a LONG week.) And then it started….
I was right in the middle of a conversation with The Hubs about my upcoming trip to Texas when I heard a noise that stopped me mid-sentence. A high-pitched, squeaky noise. A high-pitched, squeaky, mouse-like noise. And I hate rodents. HATE RODENTS. I cope better with the increasing possibility that my house is haunted than I do with the fact that living in the country means that, from time to time, we’re going to get “critters.” I had a mini-freakout, then sat, silently, listening for it to happen again. About two minutes later, it did. This time, though, it was louder. And it sounded like it was coming from outside, which I was okay with. I like nature. I just don’t like it in my house.
Reassured, I forgot all about the squeaky thing after my nap. I got up, went into the kitchen, and was making myself a sandwich when my seven year old Pomeranian mix, Sammy, came flying around the corner, almost as if he was chasing something. I watched in horror as he cornered whatever “it” was underneath the bench in the foyer. I was paralyzed with fear.
I tried to convince myself it was just a bug. But the crazier my dogs went, the more certain I was that I wouldn’t be getting off that easily. I didn’t know what to do. When I say I hate rodents, what I really mean is that I’m absolutely terrified of them. So I came up with a plan, albeit not a very good one. My in-laws were coming over later, so I would keep an eye on that corner of the house until they arrived, then have my father-in-law investigate.
Unfortunately, my adult ADD foiled those plans. About ten minutes after the dogs forgot about the creature hiding in the corner, I forgot too. It was the last thing on my mind when I decided, at 2:00 in the afternoon, that it was finally time to take a shower. I grabbed a towel, headed into the bathroom, flipped on the light, and then……and then I screamed, probably louder than I’ve ever screamed in my entire life. There was something in the toilet. Something alive. Something treading water. I didn’t stay long enough to figure out what it was.
I slammed down the toilet lid in hopes that “it” wouldn’t be able to escape, closed the bathroom door, shoved my towel into the crack underneath the door, then pushed a chair against the door for good measure. By the time I picked up my phone, I was borderline hysterical. So I did what any hysterical girl would do. I called my husband. Who was 1,200 miles away.
“There’s something swimming in the toilet!” I screamed, before he could even say “hello.”
“One more time?” He asked, caught off guard and trying to stifle a laugh.
“There is something alive, swimming in our toilet!” I screamed again. “The squeaking, the thing in the foyer….whatever that was, it’s now in the toilet. And it’s alive. It’s treading water! I think it’s an otter.” I was no longer borderline hysterical. My hysteria was full-blown.
“What would you like me to do about it?” The hubs asked in that incredibly rational way that drives me crazy when I’m being completely irrational.
“Get it out!!” I yelled. Obviously. And therein laid the problem. As much as my husband would have loved to be my toilet-monster slaying hero, he couldn’t. He’s stuck in Texas and I’m stuck at home, fending for myself. That was the real reason for the frustrated tears rolling down my cheeks. Well, that and the baby alligator that had taken up residency in my bathroom.
I’m used to taking care of everything myself. The kids, the house, the pets, me. I manage it all on my own when The Hubs is away, which is most of the time. But it’s a very fragile balancing act. One so fragile that when the unpredictable happens, it doesn’t just tip the scales, it causes them (and me) to come unhinged completely. And I’m reminded, yet again, how much this long distance nonsense sucks.
But because I had no other choice, I put on my big girl panties, dried my tears, and dealt with the problem myself. Which did not, I repeat, NOT, involve me getting rid of “it” on my own. I did what any hysterical girl with an absent husband would do….I called my dad.
For inquiring minds….it was a chipmunk. Seriously?! Who finds a chipmunk swimming in their toilet?! Only me….