I have a very clear code about which living creatures extending beyond our own permanent residents are allowed. It’s a pretty open door policy in which we love to have friends, family, invited canines, and many others. There is a “No Monsters” sign posted on the door, and I mean it, no monsters. Anything that scurries, scuttles, or scampers are not allowed. This includes all mice and bugs.
Generally I am a “love all God’s creatures” kind of woman. I will slam on my brakes for a squirrel, detour my stroller for an ant hill and have picked up an embarrassing number of stray dogs. I used to have issues with inanimate objects having feelings and felt guilty about tossing out broken toys, stray puzzle pieces, scratched cd’s, and so on. I thought they would be sad. I’ve participated in far too many empathy training sessions.
In January, I would scoop up the box elder bugs and toss them outside to “return home to their Mommy’s.” If there was a bug in the kids play path, I would stop what I was doing to scoop and toss. Even when the bug was crawling on my baby’s HEAD, I scooped and tossed. When the Bigs went outside to play and wanted to catch the bugs on the deck, I gave them a spatula so they could scoop and toss them back to freedom in the grass.
Then the weather turned warmer and the occasional box elder bug became a dozen box elder bugs. I walked outside one day to find dozens of them stacked up on top of each other, SCURRYING up from the deck. There is no scurrying allowed. I frantically started stomping and muttering total disgust under my breath. Then and there the rules changed. The box elders had taken advantage of my kind and loving nature.
The other day Greyson went running to the closet, grabbed his snow boot and slammed it to the ground, shouting with delight “Frickin Bugs!” I was clear, no scurrying creatures in the house.
When I was laying in bed and felt something tickle my arm and squished a scurrier in my fingers I decided the war is on. Watch it bugs. I’m not giving warnings. I’m not counting to three. I don’t even know if you have mouths so I am not threatening to put soap in it. Call up your friends the ants and tell them to leave my front door alone.
Elders, if you know the mouse who thinks my garage is a cool hang out, you might want to let him know he falls firmly into the scamper category. He is not related to the mouse in Ratatouille. I’m smarter than that.