Annie and I took Ken to see the movie "Up" last weekend. (Wonderful movie, but no one told me I'd need tissues.) In the movie, dogs wear collars which allow humans to hear what they're thinking which was hysterical. And that got me to thinking about our family's squirrel encounters.
To appreciate this squirrel story, you'll need to know three things. The first is that in addition to being extremely handy, Ken has always been very helpful when it comes to normal household chores. When the kids were growing up, Ken would change diapers, fold a load of clothes, cook a meal - whatever I needed, he'd do it and usually without being asked. He's still that way which makes me one very lucky girl, dontcha know.
The second is that Helpful Daytime Ken does not function well at night. When this man hits the bed, every cell in his brain goes into sleep mode until the alarm goes off. Matt was crying one night shortly after we'd had him, and I asked Ken if he would go get him. Ken got out of bed, tossed his robe in the closet, slammed the door and got back into bed without ever waking up at all - and this man loved everything about being a new dad. Needless to say, I was only too happy to take care of the kids at night.
I also need to assure you that I am not the kind of wife who typically throws shoes at her husband.
One night I kept hearing a rustling sound and was sure the sounds were right there in our bedroom. I was terrified so I woke Ken up. He did a quick-like-a-blind-bunny investigation, told me it was nothing, plopped himself back into bed and firmly requested that I not bother him again.
But the scurry scurry rustle rustle noise continued so I got up, turned on all the lights and started poking around with the only weapon I could find: a coat hanger. Couldn't hear a thing. Couldn't find a thing. Ken never woke up, either.
After checking every nook and cranny of the room twice, I finally turned off the lights and got back into bed. There was no waking Ken, that's for sure, so I hung on to the coat hanger for good measure. I was exhausted but I decided the best thing to do was just stay awake in case the rustling turned into stomping, say. Or growling. Around 4AM, though, I must have dozed off.
That's when something with tiny cold feet jumped on me.
The next thing I remember is standing in the hallway screaming. There in the front bedroom window was the silhouette of a squirrel - a big hulking squirrel the size of a doberman with a tail big as a baseball bat and it was sitting on my windowsill. I was too scared to go back in the bedroom so I found a couple shoes in one of the guest bedrooms and threw one toward Ken. I yelled that there was a squirrel in the bedroom. He told me in no uncertain terms that he wanted to be left alone. Well, okay, I didn't hear the exact words he moaned into his pillow but I understood the tone of voice. Actually, he could have been saying "You've given me a concussion with that damn shoe and I need medical attention immediately," but I didn't think so.
So I threw the next shoe and that's when he spoke very clearly. And I understood alright - I understood I was mad.
I closed the door, stuffed a towel under it in case squirrels can flatten themselves and slide under doors and went downstairs. I kept thinking that a good wife wouldn't leave her poor defenseless husband alone in a room with a big, hulking squirrel with huge sharp teeth. A good wife would go rescue him no matter how afraid she was. But I wasn't a good wife at that moment. I was an exhausted wife. I was angry that Ken never believed me the first time I told him something was in the room with us. So I told myself that if he didn't wake up in 10 minutes, I'd go try to get him up again.
Ten minutes later, the bedroom door flew open then banged closed and a bleary eyed husband came shooting down the stairs. "Squirrel!!" he yelled on his way through the house, robe flapping behind him. First he slammed around in the basement. Then he slammed around in the kitchen. Then he ran back through the living room and up the stairs brandishing a squirrel trap in one hand and a jar of peanut butter in the other.
Three things happened as a result of that morning:
A small tree squirrel got a new home in the country.
We got a new roof.
And any noise complaints I now make in the middle of the night are thoroughly investigated by an alert and attentive husband.
I'm just hoping squirrels can read. And that they like to read blogs.
PS - Ken just read this blog post. He thinks I should add that in our nearly 30 years of marriage, I've gotten him up in the middle of the night 1,378,425 times to investigate noises and that this was the first time there really was something amiss.
Like any thinking person would believe such obvious exaggeration.