Today, I feel empowered.
And a little freaked out and sickened.
But mostly empowered.
Ok, a pretty equal mix of all three.
Yesterday as the kids and I went flying out the front door in a rush to get to school, I caught sight of a dead squirrel lying in our front yard and was brought to an abrupt halt.
It just looked creepy. So still. And visible.
I jumped, let out a little squeal, and quickly went down the front steps, instead of continuing through the yard. Reese kept walking towards it, oblivious, and it took me a few seconds to find my voice to holler out "STOP!".
So, of course, he (or she--no way was I getting close enough to decipher) was our topic of conversation on our morning walk. Horrified, I texted David as soon as I got home. I know animals in nature have to die somewhere. I just prefer it not be right outside my front door.
An hour later David's response was "Gross". Not, "Oh no! I'm sure that is freaking you out. I will run home on my lunch break and dispose of it so you don't have to look outside and continue seeing it and getting disturbed."
That afternoon and evening were crazy busy. The girls and I went on a Brownie field trip to the Olathe Water Plant (more interesting than you might be imagining), then I piled all the kids into the car to go to Reese's soccer practice. Even though she hasn't been able to play this season (oh, did I not post about her zip line incident?--stay tuned) she still goes to practices and games. David met us there, we all ran and grabbed a bite to eat afterward, then headed home for homework and bedtimes.
The squirrel was forgotten. Honestly, I was a little relieved to see him still lying in the front yard. And not in the middle of our living room. Mabel had gotten out of the fence earlier that day and since I couldn't bring myself to stop looking out the front window at the dead carcass, I happened to catch sight of Mabel at the end of our driveway. I dashed out there and rounded her back inside through the garage. I'm so glad it wasn't Molly who got out. She would have smelled it a mile away and helped herself to a mid afternoon snack.
Today, I cringed again as we passed by our furry dead friend on the way to school. I made a mental note to berate David for not getting rid of it the day before, but then remembered our crazy evening and realized it had probably completely slipped his mind. I would definitely be reminding him when he gets home tonight, however.
Flash forward a few hours. I got an email from the Mom of one Drue's little classmates asking if Drue could come over for a playdate this afternoon. Drue, herself, had been asking for a playdate with this same little girl for a few days so I knew she'd be excited. We emailed back and forth getting all the plans in order. They just live around the corner from us so the Mom offered to walk Drue home before dinnertime.
AAACCCKKK!! That would mean she would see the squirrel! I quickly responded that I didn't mind coming to pick Drue up, but the Mom insisted and said it was such a beautiful day that she didn't mind walking her. I don't really know the Mom all that well, but she's somewhat familiar to me since she's PRESIDENT of the PTO!
My brow started sweating. No way could I let her see that squirrel. I figured there were a few ways to go about it. I could jokingly send her an email in advance explaining the situation and assure her my husband was going to remove it this very night. Or I could act totally and completely shocked when she dropped Drue off and pretend it was my first time seeing it. The kids would definitely give me away with that one. I could already hear them saying, "Mom, you found that squirrel yesterday remember??".
Nope. The only other alternative was to get rid of it myself. I almost hyperventilated just thinking about it. I couldn't form my thoughts in a clear fashion to even figure out how to go about it. I started collecting my supplies. My first thought was to grab a trash bag, throw it over the body, and wrap it up that way. But I couldn't imagine even touching it through the bag. So I grabbed two trash bags and the snow shovel.
I was going to lay one trash bag on the ground next to it, and nudge him on top of it with the shovel. Then somehow get it into the other bag.
I laid down the bag. I went to scoop up the squirrel, but a gust of wind caught the bag. I grabbed a huge rock from the garden to weight down one side. I started again, but the wind blew up the other side of the bag that wasn't weighted down. I grabbed another rock.
I was scared what I was going to find when I scooped the body up. I didn't know if little maggots were already eating the underside or what. I am shuddering now remembering. Thankfully, I didn't have to scoop it entirely up. I was able to just sort of scoot it over onto the bag.
I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest. And I kept jumping back and squealing as though he had been asleep after all this entire time and was going to pounce awake. All this heart pounding and jumping had me taking a break every few seconds just to catch my breath.
I threw the other half of the bag over the body so I didn't have to look at it anymore, then tried to gingerly slide the body and the bag in my other bag. It was hard to slide it in there, however, because the body kept wanting to slide off the bag when I pulled it. I had to pull back a piece of the bag to make sure most of the body was still on it, which meant I had to get closer.
As I leaned in to check, I came face to face with one little closed eye and a furry little ear. A shriek escaped my lips as I bounded backward and quickly scanned our block to make sure no neighbors were watching.
I was able to get him half in the bag, and realized I would need one more bag to get the job done. Then I could just shove the whole thing in there. Which would involve me actually having to touch the body through two bags to finish the job. I took a deep breath and quickly swiped everything into the 3rd bag. I exhaled sharply as though I'd just finished sprinting a hundred yard dash. And I may or may not have whispered a curse to David for indirectly causing me all this turmoil.
I tied the bag, tossed it in our trash bin, then went and scrubbed my hands for 10 minutes.
I had conquered my fear and disgust, disposed of it all on my own, and made the front of my house presentable for a visit from the PTO President.
All in a day's work. A day I hope to never have to repeat again.