It had been a long time since I had entered the basement, except to maybe grab a can of green beans or a crockpot that is at the threshold of the room. Even then, I pretended I had blinders on my eyes, like those horses that carry lazy newlyweds around, in the downtown areas.
After months of dodging it, I finally made my way down there. Not because I wanted to see what the children had been up to, but because I had promised to do a rock band video with them. This area just happens to have the most space. What I saw was appaling, and the sound that came from my throat made me think my larynx had competely come loose, and was being projected forward with my voice box as I (slightly louder than gentle) spoke words.
There were game pieces everywhere. Movies were lying on the floor outside the box. Video games were spread all over the floor. Pens, pencils and paper were dispersed evenly, from all the times they played school….. yet we lack any pens and pencils in our upstairs area. Lost gloves, socks, and shoes were suddenly found. Dirty dishes were stuck to the chairs. Legos, magnets, crayons, and just stuff was in every corner and every crevice in the basement.
Immediately, out of habit, I began to lecture. Afterall, it seemed like it was just 3-4 months ago that I had this basement cleaned spotless. I didnt make them pick up the entire basement at the time, but I did make them start picking up the area that we would be performing our music video. As I was sweeping and picking up items off the floor, I continued to lecture them, all the while telling them that I would not be helping them pick up one item up off the floor!!!!
As they began cleaning, I started to move furniture around, as to give us a bigger space to play, and to see what was hiding beneath them. What I found disturbed me even more…..Two pairs of my sons underwear, wadded in a ball!!!
There would be no reason for his underwear to be down here. His room wasnt down here. We dont have a changing area down there. Its certainly not hot enough to strip down to less than a pair of underwear down there. We dont live in a mansion, so it couldnt be too far to walk to a hamper, or shower, or his own bedroom. THIS WAS A COMMON AREA FOR GOODNESS SAKES!
I admit I tsk tsked him, in front of his siblings and his cousins. I asked him why his underwear were down there, and he only answered with a downcast face. Honestly, I didnt want to know why they were down there anyway.
He picked the underwear up in one hand, and he listened to me carry on about how we have laundry hampers, and bathrooms for that matter. What would happen next, would surprise us all….though I was the first to respond. While I was nagging, something fell from his unders. It only really caught my eye when it moved briskly.
……….It was a tiny mouse!!!! EEEEK! I screamed at the top of my lungs, and sent the children running in panic. The exit was blocked by chairs, so they all climbed on top of them. Some kids were screaming “What?”, while others were laughing. My son though, after realizing that he was holding that mouse for some time, started shivering, and shaking his arms, as though the mouse was still on him. Tears welled in his eyes, and he appeared to either be on the brink of crying, or psychotic laughter. Once the mouse pounced on his way, I started laughing hysterically……then so did everyone else……EXCEPT my son!
I couldnt imagine why any mouse would have selected THOSE underwear to start a home in….It made me laugh more. YIPES!…… In the end, we learned that we had a mouse running freely in our house, and we ended up setting about 30 traps to catch that little rodent. However, Im certain that that wasnt the biggest lesson learned that day.
I am ALMOST positive that I will NEVER find a pair of my sons unders in that basement again. There are some lessons a parent cant teach….This was a lesson only a mouse could teach!! 🙂