Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Great White Hunter

I have talked in previous posts about Emily the neighbor girl and her parents, Walter and Shirley (and despite their names, they are not 75-year-olds, but rather, 40). We do love living next door to their family. About a year and a half ago Walter was laid off from his job and Shirley went back to work full time as a first grade teacher. Walter works 2 days a week, but is the primary caregiver to 7 year old Emily and 2 year old Daniel and is generally the one home during the day. Shirley and I have a fun and easy going relationship, but, as the primary caregiver myself, it is with Walter that I have most of my interactions these days. Walter is the one to call about playdates and childcare and he and I swap picking the older kids up from the bus stop.

Because Walter and I interact so frequently, our relationship has lost much of its formality. Walter sees me in my sweats, sees me when I'm sick, sees me with my retainer, is witness to me losing it with the kids in the backyard...phone calls begin with "Hey...". You get the picture.

So it was Walter I turned to yesterday when I was being held hostage in my home by a squirrel. It was naptime, Eric was asleep, and I was sitting on the couch in the living room reading Suite Francaise (which, by the way Bookgroup People who dissed it, is excellent and you are missing out!) when suddenly a squirrel came out of the playroom and ran right by me. In my living room. And then zipped off into the laundry room.

First I called Mike at work. I'm not sure what I expected him to do about it. So I said "I'm calling Walter" and hung up. And Walter came sprinting over armed for battle: a broom, loaf of bread, gardening gloves, and the baby monitor. He poked all around the laundry room, all over the playroom, the bathrooms (we figured it came in through the giant hole we currently have in our bathroom ceiling--that story is for another day), but we found no sign of the squirrel. I checked upstairs, where I found Alice sitting very calmly on my bed, not reacting at all. The one day she would have true reason to freak out on me--nothing. We figured that it ran out the back door I had flung open when no one was looking.

So he went back home and I went upstairs to get Eric. Eric and I came downstairs to find the squirrel sitting on the kitchen table eating his leftover lunch. I called Walter again and my only words were "he's back!". Again, Walter came sprinting across the yard with his gear and I told him that I know for a fact the squirrel is in my laundry room. He climbed my drying rack! Walter finally figured out that the squirrel had found a hiding spot under a tall cabinet. He moved the cabinet away from the wall and this squirrel went berserk. Walter and I both were armed with our brooms, Eric was laughing hysterically (it was the best thing to happen to him all week!), and the squirrel was racing around my kitchen table, trying to escape through the closed windows. It finally found the open back door and ran free. Walter grabbed his broom and baby monitor and headed back home while Eric and I rushed off to get Emily and Ryan from the bus.

That night, while I was at my pastoral search committee meeting, Walter, Emily, and Shirley called Mike and serenaded him with a song about a squirrel with a bushy tail (as the mother of 2 small boys I should probably know that song but, sadly, I don't).

Do you want to know the really funny part? This is not the first time a squirrel has unexpectly appeared in my house. If only Walter had been my BFF 2 years ago when the boys and I were holed up in the playroom forcing Mike to come home from work because a squirrel had come down the chimney!


Penny said...

Okay,now that is funny. I can just picture you running around. Thanks for the laugh!

Leah said...

Hilarious! And I DO remember the previous squirrel episode...

but I have to know: what was the baby monitor for?

Knittingqueen said...

Guess I should have clarified the need for the baby monitor--Daniel was taking a nap back at Walter's house!

Leah said...

Ah! Now I get it.