I listed a lot of our garage sale leftovers on Craigslist.
Last night, while Chris was out and the boys were ostensibly in bed, some people came over to pick up our highchair.
They were nice people (though they were disconcertingly tall) and we were having a nice conversation as we stood outside. Until I heard the boys shrieking inside the house. I waved the couple home and went inside.
"WHAT is going on here?!" I asked
"A what, now?"
I wasn't sure whether or not to believe them, but it seemed like a weird thing to make up out of nowhere. So I peek in our room and, sure enough, a bat goes flapping by.
So I screamed. I don't like animals. I ESPECIALLY don't like small, fast, mammals. Give me a squishable spider any day.
The boys also screamed, but their screaming was more like fun-screaming-followed-by-giggling-induced-by-the-thrill-of-authorized-screaming. Not like my real screaming. They thought this was excellent avoiding-bedtime drama.
I called Chris and told him that he must return immediately to the homestead. I was very calm. I called my Dad and told him Chris might need some help.
"Awe you gonna cwack it?!" asks Owen. Crack? Whack? Trap? I don't know. But he was pretty sure we should cwack it.
"YOUAREGOINGTOHAVETOCATCHITANDKILLITANDLETITFINDITSFOOTPRINTS," says Sam.
I really don't understand how the kid who mumbles "yes" when asked if he wants breakfast at school is the same kid whose normal speaking volume is ALL CAPS at home.
"Be quiet and get down!" I hiss. Not really. I tried to be very calm. But Sam might have caught a whiff of my fear when I asked if. the. bat. had. touched. him.
"Bats can't hurt me!" Sam said.
"They can bite!" I tell him. And then, reconsidering that brilliant parenting, I amend that to, "I mean, bats can be really dirty, so if a bat touches you I need to know so we can wash you off."
But the bat at the center of the controversy has gone into hiding.
Eventually Chris and Dad give up.
"Did you catch it?" Sam wants to know.
"Did you cwack it?" Owen inquires. "Did you take it and cwack it?"
"Yes," my Dad LIES.
"Oh, you'we a good helper!" Owen praises.
As I try to get the boys calmed down for bed, we talk a little about bats.
"Bats eat bugs!" I offer.
"And they hunt fruit!" Sam adds.
"Yeah! FWOOT!" Owen agrees.
"Maybe," Sam hypothesizes, "the bat came in to hunt our cantaloupe and then went upstairs."
Yes, probably after all that fruit-hunting, the bat got tired and went upstairs to take a nap. Then, when commotion ensued, surely the bat high-tailed it out of here. Who wants to hang out (HAHA) with a whole bunch of screaming children? Not me!
So I tell myself that the bat has simply returned from whence it came.
Until we turn the light off to go to sleep.
Then a fluttering black shadow catches my eye.
The fear that takes over my body at that point is PROFOUND, my friends.
From here, in the daylight, in front of a computer, I can be all like, eww, bats.
In bed, in the dark, with a bat flying around, I was mostly paralyzed with fear.
I literally couldn't speak.
"UNH. UNH!" I grunt at Chris.
"What's the matter, dear heart?" Chris inquires, oblivious to THE BAT.
"It. Is. In. The. Room."
"Okay, just get down and get out of here," Chris says, all manly-like.
But I'm trapped.
If I turn on the light, I'll be able to see the bat real good.
If I leave the light off, I'm in the dark with a BAT.
If I try to leave the room, the bat could fly into my head or chase me or something.
But if I stay in the room, I'm in a room with a BAT.
You get the picture.
So I just break down crying and turn on the light and crawl out of the room.
And sure, from here, that seems all wussy. But I was IN a ROOM with a BAT.
I go downstairs and listen to Chris do battle with the bat.
At one point he comes downstairs and chugs a beer.
I don't judge.
Then, twenty minutes later, he comes downstairs and says the bat has disappeared.
I suggest he turn the light off again and wait for it to come out.
An hour later of Chris alternately lying in wait and actively hunting, it occurs to me that this problem might not get solved tonight. That we might NOT FIND THE BAT.
So I start to help look.
I know, right? I'm so brave.
But we find a whole lot of flying NOTHING.
Eventually, I get too tired to continue and I go to sleep on the chair in Lilly's room.
Lilly finds this EXTREMELY odd when she wakes up. I wish I could imitate the face she made when she saw the Big Milk Lady hanging out in her room BEFORE SHE EVEN CRIED.
And that's where we are now.
I feel that this is somehow the fault of the excessively tall couple who bought our highchair. We never had bats before they came over.