Monday, August 31, 2009

There are some things one does not want to hear at night.

One of those things is the pitter-patter of feet which passed up "little" years ago, the size of which more than doubles my own and is significantly larger than Aaron's. So last night it was a bit disconcerting when, around midnight, I heard Chris rise from his bed and begin descending the stairs toward my bedroom rather quickly. He stood in our doorway and said, "Mom? Dad? I need your help."

Aaron said quietly, "What's the matter, Chris?"

"Well, there's either an animal or an extremely large insect in my windowsill. I don't know what to do."

Aaron lay in silence for a few moments, then said, "Okay, I'll come up in a minute."

Chris stayed in our doorway for what seemed hours, but was probably only about ten seconds, then made his way back upstairs. Aaron left me in bed. A couple of minutes later he was back.

"You should come see," he said.
"Why?" I did not want to leave my bed.
"I think it might be a bat. Or a mouse."

I knew it wasn't a mouse. That critter would have been long gone the moment Chris got out of bed. So I grabbed my robe and wandered up to his room.

The bat was between Chris's blinds and the window pane, clutching one of the slats with its tiny claws--which were all we could really see. I went closer and looked through the side of the blind. Sure enough, it was a furry, very frightened brown bat. Then I noticed that the majority of my kitchen utensils and large mixing bowls were strewn over Chris's floor.

"What were you planning?" I asked, pointing at my salad tongs.
"Uhhh, we hadn't gotten that far yet." Aaron looked sheepishly at Chris, who shrugged.

I figured, as long as we were using my kitchen utensils, we should find something that worked. Aaron accompanied me back down to the kitchen and Chris stayed to guard the bat--or at least follow it wherever it might decide to fly, should it choose to do so.

I grabbed my largest mixing bowl, Aaron located two large round spatter screens with handles and suddenly became very excited about using his newest finds to capture the bat. I suggested we join forces, using both the bowl and one of the screens. He agreed.

Back in Chris's room, Aaron and Chris discussed different ways to get the bat off the blind and into the bowl. Both were fairly anxious to handle the bowl and splatter screen, but neither one wanted to pull the blind away from the window, which they agreed must happen, but also deemed the most dangerous job. I still haven't figured out why.

So it fell to me to work the blind while Aaron got ready with his bowl and screen and Chris guarded the closet--just in case the bat wanted to fly in there. Aaron slid the bowl easily over the bat, but the little rodent did not wish to relinquish its death grip on the blind slat. Aaron tapped the slat with the handle of the spatter screen, to no avail. Finally, Aaron slid the screen slowly toward the bat, being careful to keep the bowl edge tight against the blind, blocking any attempted escape. As the screen came toward it, the bat suddenly let go of the blind and hooked its claws into the circle of mesh. Aaron pulled it out from under the blind and plopped the bowl, bat and all onto Chris's carpeted floor, barely disguising a shudder.

I mentioned that the screen did not completely cover the bowl, and if the bat wished to do so, it could easily fly out. We needed to get it outside. I went to pick it up, but Aaron was determined to finish the job. The poor bat was squeaking.

Aaron went outside. And stayed there for a long time. After about five minutes, Chris and I stuck out heads out the front door to see why he hadn't returned. Aaron was sitting on the front porch. The bowl, still covered with the bat adorned screen was sitting in front of him on the lawn.

"Is something the matter?" I asked.
"I can't get it to fly away," Aaron sounded tired.
"Oh, that's easy. You have to tip the bowl upside-down and then remove it. Once the bat is out in the open, it will leave."
Aaron looked up at me. "I don't want it to fly at me."
"Aaron, it has one of the best radar systems in the world. It's non-aggressive and it wants to eat something significantly smaller than you. Do you want me to do it?"

Aaron sighed, turned the bowl over and lifted it off. The bat took off in the other direction like a bat out know...

Chris said good night and went to bed. Aaron came in the house, went downstairs and got into bed. I put the kitchen paraphernalia away, then joined Aaron. His hand closed around mine and he started giggling. Minutes later he was snoring and I was wondering how I would ever get back to sleep. I walked to the bathroom, turned on the drier to help drown out (or at least blend with) Aaron's snores, got a drink of water, and went back to bed. I'm certain I eventually fell asleep because we all overslept this morning.

Interestingly, Natalie and Alex were happy to hurry getting ready for school. I wouldn't talk about the bat until they were completely ready to go--and they wanted to hear about it. I’m never above using a good story as a motivator.