Did you check the traplines? is a question that my husband and I have been asking each other since Saturday, like we’re old-timey settlers trading furs at the Hudson’s Bay Company for blankets and tobacco. Happily for us, the answer has been they are empty which is good for both my mental state and for the general atmosphere of the household. My friend Julie reminded me of the scene in Little Town on the Prairie, before the Ingalls get a cat, when Pa’s hair gets nibbled off by nesting mice. I did not need for her to remind me of that, because I had already thought of that, which made me feel like this, substituting the word “boogeyman” for the word “mouse”.
But, we are happily mouse free, I say confidently and hopefully, and not at all in a traumatized way. I spotted a dead mouse in our backyard, and envisioned Barkley eating the dead mouse, and me having to deal with the aftermath of such a situation, and I went inside to talk to the boys. Boys, your mother is having a nervous breakdown. Mark, after assessing the situation, asked for me to fetch him the large shovel out of the shed, and then neatly picked the mousey corpse up and threw it out into the alley where a “car would flatten it”. I wasn’t entirely pleased with this conclusion, but I was pleased enough to not have to deal with it one way or another that I baked some chocolate chip cookies for him and Jake to take to school for snack for the remainder of the week.
Tomorrow I’m heading to Toronto for the Blissdom Canada conference, and boy, am I excited. I’m especially excited because I’ve gotten all of my to-do items done, and also we have the vermin situation under control. These are equally exciting to me. I’ve been working hard to cross all of those things off the list, and at some point I was behaving exactly like this. I was a bit worried since a) this is the longest I will have ever been away from the children, yes I KNOW they are eight and nine years old, and b) I’ve never been away from the children during the school year. We all know things are much simpler in the summer, when there are no scholastic nor activity schedules to navigate. IT’S GOING TO BE FINE, I say to myself. What’s the worst that could happen? And then I come up with some strange worst-case scenario that makes me think I should just go ahead and open a bottle of wine.
The kids have had colds, and then my husband – who was possibly a wee bit run down due to work pressures and also sobbing hysterical wife pressures – came down with the cold, but in massive form, so that he basically looked like this, minus the sandwich. I have been so worried about getting sick before my very first blogging conference, and meeting all these people, that I have been sleeping over NINE HOURS A NIGHT and consuming possibly toxic levels of Vitamin C. Also oil of oregano, so much so that it’s not even gross to me anymore. Happily and knock on wood, I seem to have escaped the worst of it, only dealing with a tickly throat and fatigue.
But! I’m all packed (including a baggie full of Vitamin C packets, along with Advil Cold and Sinus JUST IN CASE) and for once I feel that I’ve packed just the right amount of clothing. Shoes, however. I have four pairs of shoes packed, not including the boots that I will be wearing on the plane, nor the fabulous hippo slipper-socks bought for the occasion. What is wrong with me? How can I possibly feel that FIVE PAIR OF FOOTWEAR is appropriate for a Thursday to Sunday trip? Well, there is no going back now! Tomorrow morning I’m going to be taking my well-heeled (literally, shoes, see what I did there?) self on the plane. And I’m going to read a book the whole way! And not think about what I’m making for dinner! Well, I MIGHT think about what I’m making for Sunday dinner….