Country Mouse

by Marinka on July 6, 2011

at my parents’ bucolic dacha, in upstate New York, with my husband, kids, stepson, parents and in-laws, if you can read between the lines.

Everything was wonderful and couldn’t have been better and at no point during the decade long weekend did the vein in my forehead start to throb like a fucking time bomb, nor did my blood pressure set any records. Except for calmness and relaxation, that is. Because that record is in the bag.

And because having nine people under one roof is not enough, we also had two cats and a dog. Nicki, our cat, and my parents’ geriatric cat Sly and their dog.

And one morning I woke up early and sauntered out to get a cup of coffee and as I walked into the living room, this is what I saw:

1. One mouse, resting upside down with his/her paws sticking up in the air and Xs over his/her eyes.

2. One mouse, nearby, dismembered, I suspect disemboweled, and, I’m sorry to say regurgitated.

Needless to say, I almost passed out.

I’m a city girl. I’m used to seeing rats on the NYC subway tracks, but they look healthy and virile, like young rodent Arnold Schwarzeneggers.

These were dead. And disgusting.

So when I almost came to after almost passing out, I yelled for Mama.

“I’m getting dressed,” she yelled out and also asked why I sounded hysterical.

“Because there are two dead mice in the living room!” I shrieked. I decided not to tell her that one of the mice appeared to have been autopsied because I love my Mama and want to spare her unnecessary trauma.

She seemed far from traumatized.

“Just clean it up,” she said. As though she had never met me before.

So just in case you’re new here, there is no fucking way that I’m going to pick up dead mice. Because it’s gross (see also, disgusting.) I may not be a shoe-shopping-type of girl but I’m definitely an EEK! A MOUSE! type of girl.

“I can’t touch that stuff,” I told her, feeling more feeble than ever.

Mama was not sympathetic.

“Oh, you Americans,” she said, picking up the mouse with one paper toweled hand and the organs with the other. “Why is everyone so … tender?”

“I am tender because mouse organs are disgusting,” I defended myself. And America.

“Well, news for you: sometimes life is disgusting,” Mama was seriously annoyed with me. “I can see where this goes. If I am unable to take care of myself, you will not help because it is disgusting. Changing diaper will be disgusting for you. You only like pleasant things, like ice cream.”

“I do like ice cream-”

“Everyone like ice cream. It’s easy to like ice cream. Changing your parents’ diapers is not ice cream.”

“Mama, I-” I started, although it was difficult to know how to finish that sentence.
“Do not worry. Just put plastic bag over my head, and then have ice cream.”
“I will change your diaper! I will change it right now!” I defended myself.
Mama still wasn’t happy.
“I don’t need a diaper yet, cretinka. I need you to pick up dead mouses.”

I’m never leaving NYC again.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

OHmommy
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 11:33 am

LOVED this. You guys need your own sitcom.

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Kristine
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Yes. What Pauline said.

(But also, I finally feel superior to you, Marinka. I, on two separate occasions, picked up a mouse by the tail to remove it from my house. Because my cat wouldn’t disembowel it for me. And someone had to think of the children.)

(Though, come to think of it, a dead one might be creepier. Thinking it’d spontaneously come back to life and jump on my nose or something.)

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Alison@Mama Wants This
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

Oh my, I love your Mama!

“Just put plastic bag over my head and eat ice cream.”

LOVE.

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BrassyDel
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm

This is also my favorite part!
I think Mamadrinka needs her own blog.

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Holly July 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Dude, I’m with you. I’m from L.A. where we DON’T see those rats larger than houses in NY (Yeah, I FREAKED out in NYC!) and now live up in the mountains in Colorado… where there are mice… and they sometimes get into our house. I clean like a maniac and make sure there are always traps ready to kill. When they do get caught, I scream and run and make my husband do it. P.S. You can DIE from mouse poop so you have reason to FREAK.

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Megan July 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm

“Do not worry. Just put plastic bag over my head, and then have ice cream.”

Your mom is AWESOME.

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Suzy
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm

The country is not the place for a cancer survivor. I forbid you to go there again.

Dr. Soro
Charlatan

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Vicki
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm

My parents are convinced that I won’t be able to take care of them, so my dad suggested that if they get feeble, they’ll take each other out, Eva Braun and Hitler-style. My mom seems to be warming to the idea.

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Marta
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Its how I plan to go. =) I just need to get my husband on board.

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Polish Mama on the Prairie
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I snorted in laughter at that. My American husband is eyeing me with suspicions. Secretly, I think we will plan to take him out and pray there was a forgotten life insurance policy so that a nurse can change my diapers.

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magpie July 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Cretinka? Does that mean what I think it means?

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Melissa A. July 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm

When my diapering time comes (meaning, me IN the diaper) I’m going to instruct the kids to put the ice cream IN the plastic bag first…last meal and all that.

Great post!

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b a seagull
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm

We live in NYC. My daughter’s cat followed a tiny crawling bug, nose to ass (tiny ass of tiny bug) around her apartment. Our cat appeared to be clapping for a flying bug hovering around our herb plants. She would get on hind legs, “clap” front paws, miss bug and look confused. At least Nicki knows what to do. Our cats are cretinkas.

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Peajaye
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I live in L.A., across from a reservoir, and one time I had to dispose of a dead rat about the size of a softball – no exaggeration – that was in our basement. And even through the paper towel I could feel the rubbery texture of its skin. It was not pleasant.

Rest assured, though, when the time came I changed the diapers for both my parents. Not pleasant, but nowhere nearly as bad as a dead rat.

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A Mommy in the City
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Ha ha. I wouldn’t have picked up the dead mouse either. And I do see that you get your wit and sense of humor from your mom. :)

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Marie C.
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I am not touching a dead mouse either. America is awesome.

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Marta
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I agree with Pauline :-) Also, I would never pick up a dead mouse either, and I have to say I’m not looking forward to changing adult diapers. I’m pretty sure you can pay someone else to do that. Isn’t that why our families came here? The American dream to one day have the money that someone else can change your elders soiled underpants?

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tracey July 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Damn. I seriously need a woman like that for my blog. Can I borrow her? But not for the diaper changing. We do have a mouse in our backyard, though. Many screams have been uttered by me because of it…

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Polish Mama on the Prairie
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Sadly, I would have picked up the dead mouse. Unless my husband was home and then, it’s his job. I will dutifully scream in horror, just so he doesn’t realize I am not actually squeemish about death and plastic bags. Not on me, though.

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Jen July 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Your Mama is hilarious.

But really, never ever touch a dead mouse, nothing good can come from it.

Nothing.

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Nona
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I laughed so hard at this I think I may need to call my daughter to change my diaper.

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Sharon July 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Oh now this was fun to read.

I agree this could be a sitcom.

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anna see July 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm

I love this! So fun to “hear” your voice as I read.

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Stasha
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Someone told me your cat giving you it’s catch is the ultimate sign of love. As is diapering I guess. Then again I have a dog. And an ocean and a continent between my family and me.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
July 6, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I will change your mom’s diaper if you change my mom’s. Somehow that seems a little less disgusting.

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Miss Britt
Twitter:
July 7, 2011 at 7:07 am

You are a better daughter than me. I don’t pick up mice OR change diapers. I’ve already told my mother that I’ll put her in a really nice home or hire a nurse, but I’m not wiping her butt – and none of that “returning the favor” business, either. I only wipe butts if you come from my vagina, and so far, she’s not offering to return THAT favor.

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From Belgium July 7, 2011 at 8:19 am

You do know that some of us read your blog during lunch break do you…

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dusty earth mother July 7, 2011 at 9:01 am

I can’t stop laughing. “Put a plastic bag over my head.” Dying over here.

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Mwa (Lost in Translation) July 7, 2011 at 9:41 am

I’m using the suggestion of the plastic bag and ice cream on my own mother when she goes incontinent. Thanks!

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annie July 7, 2011 at 9:48 am

This is why I love you and want to go spend my summers at the dacha! We had a darling dead chickadee on our sidewalk and I still wouldn’t pick it up.

Mama’s plastic bag and ice cream comment made me pee.

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Crisanna July 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

It’s the noble defenses of our country, such as yours, that make me ever so proud to be an American.

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DawnA July 7, 2011 at 10:20 am

That is hysterical! I don’t mind mice. As long as they stay out of my house.

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joeinvegas July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

I love ice cream. Not mouse ice cream, just vanilla is fine

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naomi July 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm

oy marinka — I don’t do rodents either … disemboweled or otherwise — but I did get my groove on recently and cleaned up AFTER the rats that took over my house …

the “if you can read between the lines” was what got me :)

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Joie July 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Uh oh…So I have to admit I would have picked up the mice. I keep LOTS OF napkins in my car (used to keep a box of latex gloves – ran out) for road kill.

To clarify though, I don’t KEEP the roadkill. I am not country up in here. I just moved them over to the side of the road and say a little prayer for them.

I am a freaking nut job. And moving PIECES of any animal SUCKS.

Oh hell, who am I kidding…I SO would have called my mommy to come pick them up! IT’S IN THE HOUSE!! UGH!!!

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Becky
Twitter:
July 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Your family received way too much awesome DNA. I believe it may have been usurped from my husband’s family … based on their lack of awesomeness … which is all too frequently on display.

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Jonathan July 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm

omg I can’t stop laughing from beginning to end. The description of the discovery of the bodies is hilarious and makes me reminisce to my childhood with cats and finding different mouse body parts in various places. And one time my cat dragged an enormous dead rabbit in the house. I think she may have been the cat version of Dexter.

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Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
Twitter:
July 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm

At least your mom was actually born in another country. My mom loves to yell “You Americans and your over-tipping” or “Americans and their love of soap operas,” yet she was born and raised in New York.

Dead mouses. ha.

Shudder.

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Sophie@Fabrications July 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Regurgitated mice and Mama’s future diaper. And I was hoping for a quiet, dreamless night.
Also: REGURGITATION!

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Melissa July 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Perhaps we were separated at birth. Reminds me of the time my sister was snorkeling with us in St John (we both lived in NYC at the time, not in touch AT ALL with nature) and she goes under water and pops her head up really quickly and with exasperation exclaims in horror to the rest of us on the snorkeling trip that “THERE ARE FISH DOWN THERE!” Imagine that. A city girl for ya.

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