Well, we came home from a weekend away to signs of animal life in da house: critter or critters unknown had been chewing on the apples in a bowl on the kitchen table, digging in the potted miniature garden o' greens in the dining room and pooping on the sofa doing what critters do best on a piece of furniture that is now--voila!--scheduled for reupholstering.
It was a chipmunk.
The fourth or fifth in the past six months.
I have NO idea how they're getting in the house. Were people leaving the screen door open? Leaving the garage door open--who knows? Who cares? All I know is that it has been a homeless chipmunk shelter around here lately, and I. have. had. it.
I don't mean to brag, but the first one or maybe two were handled with relative aplomb by yours truly, with her son riding shotgun. The beauty part of chipmunks is that unlike most other outdoor critters, they WANT TO GET BACK OUTSIDE. And it's just as well they do, because That Stud Muffin I Married was invariably out of town on business when the little rodents took up occupancy. As I was the sole responsible adult on the premises, I needed every advantage.
So here's some free advice: if you're ever faced with a chipmunk-in-the-house problem, here's what you do: set up a barricade between said Alvin and a door to the outside. Then with a broom or a dustmop or anything else handy, encourage said Alvin to exit the premises.
As a freshly-minted expert on chipmunk removal, you'd think I'd have kept my head this time. But no. I'm afraid that there was a cumulative adrenaline overload effect happening. I'm familiar with the syndrome, as it also happened with the Emergency Room visits I appeared to make--routinely--with my son when he was a toddler. The time we were in New Hampshire and I was pregnant and he fell off a booster seat and bit through his lower lip and had to get all drugged up so he could get stitches? No problem. However, a week later, when he tripped and fell face-forward onto the rim of a metal wastebasket? Total meltdown city. Not him--me. I called That Stud Muffin I Married and told him to meet me in the Emergency Room, STAT, because I was "not going through this again alone."
Thus it has gone with chipmunks in da house. With the first one, I was Sheena of the Jungle. With the second I jumped a bit, but managed to get said Alvin out with despatch. The third time, I jumped every time the swinging of the pendulum of the kitchen clock appeared in my peripheral vision. The fourth time and upwards? For-fwomping-get it. I'm a total basket case.
And it didn't help that TSMIM was actually around this time. Because unlike our son, who can go into full-on Chipmunk SWAT team mode in the blink of an eye, TSMIM needed to have various principles of chipmunk engagement explained, which is pretty much impossible when you're screaming and hysterical and keep jumping up on the kitchen counter to get your feet up and way from possible chipmunk scrabbling.
But he and I finally managed to get the little bugger out of the house. YAY!
So here I am, in my boudoir, basking in the glow of accomplishment, and not coincidentally, chugging some very decent Shafer chardonnary. With my bare feet tucked securely under me. And not a rodent in sight.