Yesterday I had a problem in the middle of the day.
So I called David.
Surprisingly, he answered. I almost dropped the phone. He is usually in the hospital black hole and cannot be reached until after six or seven when he reemerges into our lives. I was only going to leave a heartfelt, desperate message.
I said, breathing heavy, "I just saw a mouse."
"Are you sure?"
"Um, yep." And then, just so we were clear. "And it's your job to kill it." There are a few jobs in our marriage that I just can't stomach. Those ones are clearly his. And this is one of them. I'm a traditional girl and I believe in having defined roles in marriage.
He assured me he'd take care of it.
Last night after I returned home from teaching a body image class the girls asked, "Why didn't you tell us you saw a mouse?" Apparently the subject had come up over dinner.
"I didn't want to scare you."
"Why would we be scared? It was probably just Shiloh."
"Shiloh. Our pet mouse."
"We found a mouse in the backyard and we've been feeding her and we named her Shiloh. It's probably just her." Given the chance, these girls will mother anything.
I stared at them, aghast. My mind reeled and stumbled around forming a quick lecture on the black plague. I was just about to start in on it when Olivia said, "Now that you know about her, can we keep her like a real pet?"
I told David we have a problem. The mouse in our house has a name.
And that is how David acquired a new job around here. One that not only includes killing the scorpions and mice, but one which includes killing our children's "pets," along with their hopes and dreams and romantic notions.
Clearly another job I don't have the stomach for.
I just hope that David does.