I didn't see it coming. At all.
Last night I came out of the bedroom to see Mark putting on his tennis shoes.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"Oh!" I'm excited. I love Home Depot. LOVE IT. "What are you getting?"
"Uhh..." Mark has a look on his face. I've learned that this look means that he is about to impart what he considers to be bad or distressing news. "A mousetrap."
I look at him.
I'm not afraid of mice. In fact, I think they are pretty cute. My friend Carly has pet rats and they are cute as well. However, I'm not looking to set up a nice cozy place for mice to live. I don't want them in my house. Unless they are pets, like Carly's. In which case they live in a box.
"I walked into the laundry room and there was this mouse. Sitting there. In the middle of the room. Looking at me."
"Really?" I say. "We have TWO cats living here."
"I know," says Mark. "Worthless."
"Oookay," I say. "Are you going to get humane traps?"
"I'm going to get traps..." he begins, then he sort of places his hands side by side and the snaps them together.
"NOT killing traps? Right?" I don't want those dead mice on my conscience.
Mark makes a sort of non-committal grunt. Then he's off to Home Depot.
When he returns, Harper is sitting on my lap. Mark takes his purchase into the kitchen and starts opening the traps. Harper notices what he is doing. Apparently, she associates package opening in the kitchen with treats, because she turns to me and says "I want treat."
I look at her. "Oh honey. That's not a treat. That's a..." (running into the frequent problem of how to explain something to a two-year old) "killing thing." Ok. No. I did not explain mouse traps well.
"Oh!" Harper is excited. She hops off my lap and heads to the kitchen. "I want killing thing... killing thing..." Oh great. I'm an awesome mom.
Mark eventually takes the trap downstairs. Awhile later, I've practically forgotten about the mouse. Mark is chasing Harper around the house. It's funny. She's running and screaming and he's growling. Big fun. She runs into the kitchen and he's right on her tail. I don't think she has a shirt on. Mark is fully dressed.
All of a sudden...
"Harper," Mark says, all fun and growling gone. "Come out of there."
"I hiding!" says Harper. (I learned later that she had crawled under the desk in the kitchen, walking right past the mouse without noticing it).
"Hey. Come... Come out..."
Mark comes out of the kitchen carrying Harper. He puts her on the couch and throws her pajama shirt at her.
"A mouse, in the kitchen," he tells me.
Mark grabs a shoebox (I recently bought new Privos! They are purple and awesome). He opens it, clearly intending it for a mouse-receptacle. He holds it up. "Awesome. It's a shoebox, with a hole in it." He puts it down and heads for the garage. I'm standing there in that oh-so-helpful it's-a-crisis-what-do-I-do? stasis.
I look to the left. Zelda is under the chair in the dining room. She's... playing... with something small. It has a tail. She picks it up in her mouth and it dangles.
"Zelda has the mouse! Zelda has the mouse!" Zelda is our cat. It's like she heard Mark's early comment on her worth as a mouser and decided that she would show him, by God.
"Oh!" I unfreeze, pick up Harper, and say to her "Let's go to your room!" We go. Stuff happens in the dining room. I don't know what. Mark eventually shouts, "The mouse situation has been dealt with!"
Upon my return to the living room he says "I had to get it away from the cat!"
"I know," I say. "I have to admit, I'm awful glad you were hear to take care of that. I'm confident that I could trap a live mouse myself. Or get rid of a dead one if I had to... But taking a dead mouse away from the cat..." I shudder.
"Oh," Mark says, "It wasn't dead."
Huh. Somehow I'm not sure if that is better or worse.
The story behind the name:
One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.