The Car Cracker and the Rat King

nutcracker2It’s been a WEEK.

On the way to the Nutcracker last Friday, Vinny was rear-ended, causing over $4000 in vehicle damage, sore backs and necks for me and Laylee and some serious emotional trauma and reduction in driving ability.

Until now, I’ve never been in an accident. In the past when I’d see a lame and tentative driver with part of their car smashed, I’d shake my head and think, “No wonder their car is smashed in, they’re such a lame and tentative driver.”

car crackerNow I realize I had it all wrong. What I should have been thinking is, “Poor thing. No wonder they’re such a lame and tentative driver, they just got their car smashed in.” I’m a bit terrified to be out on the road, picturing over and over again stopping quickly at that light and watching the other driver coming towards me in the rearview mirror, bracing for impact.

Dan met me at the side of the road and took Laylee to the ballet while I filled out the police report. I went on to meet them downtown a little bit late and a lot bit freaked out. Remember how I said I always cry when I hear beautiful music? Well it’s usually a few tears and a lump in my throat. I don’t normally burry my head in Dan’s shoulder and snort and sob. This time was special.

nutcracker

nutcracker cry

nutcracker4The ballet was gorgeous. Laylee danced and gasped at the appropriate places. It almost makes me regret dropping out of ballet and music class for the rest of the school year…almost but not quite.

We signed up for ballet and music class to take the place of traditional preschool this year and a few weeks later were invited to join 3 other families in running a co-op preschool where we all take turns teaching. Preschool is two days a week, the same two days as the other activities.

nutcracker3For many reasons, it’s been a hard couple of months and I find that I’m more frequently away than home. Laylee is acting out and BEGGING for attention and the little time we do have together is spent running around and telling her to “Hurry, hurry, hurry.” The other day we sat down to lunch and she asked me if we could just eat in the car. I said we weren’t going anywere and she said she just likes eating in the car. Telling? I think so. I am really happy with the decision to cut out a couple of her activities and spend more time snuggling.
The other day she was teaching Magoo how to draw pictures and she told him that to draw a girl, you need to draw the face, the hands and then the tears.
sad girl
The second set of eyes are the tears running down her face. Today she drew “a girl who hates the world.” I don’t know what to do with that statement. I ask her about it and she smiles and says, “I don’t know why she hates the world. She just does. She hates all the pretty and beautiful things in the world.”

It is a dark, dark rainy day. The roofers are working away next door, pounding and reminding me that we need to replace our entire roof this year. Anyone have a 0% interest second mortgage they’d like to sell me? Laylee has learned to belch whole words so she spent this morning’s breakfast drinking sips of milk and belching our conversation.

She thinks the song from Handel’s Messiah says, “Oh we like cheese.” I told her that they’re saying, “All we like sheep,” and she said, “I know. They’re just saying ”˜Oh we like cheese’ in SIGN LANGUAGE.” Hmmmm….. Can you belch that for me?

Maybe you can barf it.

Laylee and Magoo took turns barfing all over the east side of Seattle Thursday night, concentrating their work on our van and house.

I hope rats aren’t attracted to vomited Mexican food or we’re doomed. A month ago Dan found “some droppings” in the attic but refused to tell me details considering I’m a flaming rodent-a-phobe. He said he’d take care of it.

Last week, we had an exterminator over to assess the situation. I called someone from a large company, big enough to have a good reputation and to take the hit if they have to pay to replace my home when I light it on fire after seeing a rat in my living room that they failed to eradicate.

They’re also big enough to have a giant truck-mounted rat vacuum which they will be employing this week at the low price of half our life savings. They found that we did not have mice, but rather large rats throughout the puffy insulating in our attic. They will use the rat vac to suck out all of the insulating along with all rodents, nests and droppings. They will then plug all possible entry points, blow fresh insulating into the attic and spray it with rodent repellant. I imagine it like a giant can of OFF. Hopefully I will be able to photo-document the entire experience.

In the future, I will tell my exterminator to never gesture with his hands how big the rats are likely to be based on their poop. I will also ask not to see the brochure with color photos of rats, listings of the 46 diseases they carry and stats on how fast they multiply (1 rat can have 50 babies in a year). If I ask him about the ceiling damage that can occur from rat urine, I would prefer not to hear about the family who noticed water spots soaking through their ceiling and then one day one of the spots started to swell as the rat pee from all the rats in the nest over their family room soaked through, the ceiling crashed in and rats came spilling out all over their house.

I will be playing loud techno music on Tuesday morning to drown out the sound of the rat bodies flying down the giant vacuum tube, out of Laylee’s bedroom, down the hall, down the stairs, out the door ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk. I don’t want to know what happens to them in the belly of the truck. If they set them free, I’m freaked out. If they don’t, I’m freaked out. Is it like a giant garbage disposal, a final rodent solution? Shudder.

Maybe I’ll use that time to hide in a closet and call our insurance adjustor about getting a rental car for our Christmas road-trip. Our van will be in the shop for almost 3 weeks over Christmas and they have offered us a rental but we’re not supposed to take it out of state. We may be spending our holidays home alone with the rat king’s ghost.

On a sidenote – The current ad running on my site for thefind.com is part of their giving campaign. For every search you do on their site (up to one per day) that includes the word “red,” they will give one dollar to support Doctors Without Borders. It’s a great cause and an easy way to give.

the reasons: trees, baby giggles, favorite colors, 72 hours vomit-free

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