5 Month Strike of the Deployment Gnome

RebeccaUncategorized4 Comments

Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me.  We’re 5 months in today.  5 months that he’s been gone, and except for the general insanity of little boys, we’ve kept the Gnome Strikes to a minimum.

Until Now.

Oh yeah, it’s like one day we’re cruising through this deployment and the next we’re basically all:

Oh yeah.  Gnome Strike.  That little guy walked into this house and made himself at home like:
First, I come downstairs at 6:15 (which is really an ungodly hour.  Yes, I’m 32, an adult, and I still think 6:15 a.m. sucks.  That’s never going to change), to pack lunches and get Aaron off for school.  Being September, the North Country has gotten cold enough that I need to turn on the heater.  No problem, set the thermostat for 68 (which usually brings the house to 70), and off we go.
Problem is, about an hour later, Aaron is off for school, lunches are packed, and the house is still like:
Huh.  I wonder if I did something wrong.  I check the thermostat.  Nope.  I walk upstairs to toss Brody and Chase in the tub, because the mother of boys knows that if you bathe 4 and 5 year-olds at night, well, they’re dirty BEFORE school with no explanation.  Anyway, while the downstairs is Freezing, the upstairs now feels like:
Huh.  Well, this can’t be good.  
No time to stress about it, toss the littles in the tub, time to get Brody on the bus.  Walking back in the house, all I can think, is HOLY GOOD LORD,
WHAT IS THAT SMELL????
So I ask Chase, who is almost always the offender, if he happened to do some business in the bathroom.  And he replies, yes, but there’s no way that smell is all from him?  Right?  I mean, he’s 5.  
So Aidan and I head down to the cellar, that’s right peeps, not basement… CELLAR, and whenever I go down there, I kind of feel creeped out like:
So I take Aidan, like an 8 year-old will make all the difference, right?  So we head down, flashlights in hand, because of course the light blows out just as we head into the front of the cellar.  Great.  Cue creepy music.  Anyway, we do a little investigating, and find… nothing.  No sewage leak, which is what happened when we came home from our Mediterranean cruise last year, no wet floors, and the furnace is working just fine.  
Apparently, Chase really just does leave that kind of … um…  presence… when he heads to the bathroom.  Yikes.  
So we wait an hour, and off the Middles go on their bus.  I get a run in, clean up the house, do a little writing and before I know it, Brody is home, and Aaron is home.  I figure, hey, the weather is nice, let’s get that garage door scraped so I can paint it before the winter gets here.   
I head to the mudroom to grab the scraper out of the mini-tool-kit Jason made me, and I hear… something…  I set the tool kit on top of the washer, and THIS THING flies out from under the washer, and it’s the size of my FREAKING HAND!!!  I mean, this CANNOT be a mouse.  Oh no, this thing isn’t all cute, like:
it’s more like:
  
Oh, I’m sorry… did you miss that????  Yeah, this thing is like:
And I’m kind of feeling like there’s no reason for a mouse to EVER get that big unless it’s teaching these guys some mad ninja skills, you know?
Right.  So the jerk runs toward me, sees me, and races back under the washing machine.  Like laundry didn’t already suck enough, now I have to contend with a mouse for washer time?  Really?  So I’m screaming, jumping up and down, because let’s face it, I’m a
Right.  The thing runs BACK out, right past my toes, but then sees Diesel, and runs BACK into the mudroom.  So now I’ve hopped up on the bench (still shrieking like):
Which brings Aaron running in from the toy room.  Apparently it decides to take its chances with Diesel, because it runs BACK out, and now Aaron (who is the oldest boy, mind you), is also prancing and screaming like:
Damn thing escapes.  How?  Oh, I guess there’s a hole in the kitchen cabinets that goes to the basement,and the old owners had it sealed with some kind of expanding foam, which the giant-fire-swamp-mouse has eaten through.  SERIOUSLY.  How dedicated do you have to be to chew through expanding foam?  So Jason hops online that evening, and I’m kind of like:
Right.  We have no heat on our first level, and I’m living with freaking Splinter, who I know is in the mudroom, back there just waiting to scare the living bejeezus out of me again like:
Right.  I promise him I’ll check out the heat again in the morning, because there’s no chance in hell I’m going down there to the cellar of death in the middle of the night.  I have common sense.  So I set a trap for Sir LeMouse and head to bed.  He’ll be dead by morning, right?
So the next day, there’s no trapped mouse, because, well, he’s wiley.  I spend the morning trying to figure out why the heat won’t work downstairs.  And that means trying to figure out what kind of heating we actually HAVE.  Baseboard, water… um… are there fuses?  Did I blow one?  Is there a clog in some pipe?  Ugh.  
So the Aaron gets home first, and I take him down to the cellar, because let’s face it, it’s not quiet as scary with mini-man with me.  Except he walks into a spider web and is like:
Yeah.  Aidan is always the better choice for these missions, because Aaron is just… well…  Aaron.  So I’m basically like:
So we get through a little diagnosis, and I figure out the circulator pump for the first level isn’t working.
Looks like I’m going to have to call a plumber.  Great.  
Gnome: 1  Rebecca: 0
So, already mentally calculating what that’s going to cost us, we head back upstairs as Aidan and Chase make it home from school.  We’re in the mudroom, hanging up backpacks, and as I pull back the hamper, guess who the hell is there, climbing up the hot water pipe to the freaking washing machine?
Yup.  Just sitting there.  Staring at me.  Now, I play it calm… cool.  And I swear, the damn thing looks at the mouse trap and looks back at me.  And all I can think of is, well,
So I nudge the trap over with my foot, and the little Bleepity-bleep-bleep-bleeper has not only NOT died, but has eaten all the peanut butter out of the trap.  And I look at him like:
And he’s pretty much like:
Right.  
I’m pretty much just at my calm-as-can-manage wit’s end, where the only retort I can manage to Aidan asking, “Hey, is that the mouse?” is
Then Aaron sees it, and starts shrieking again like a girl, and tough-guy Aidan looks at him like:
At this point, the doorbell rings, and I climb over the huge mess I’ve created in the kitchen, (did I mention I thought it would be a good idea to clean out the fridge and freezer at that moment?), and it’s our next-door neighbors from Germany, who conveniently now live about 6 houses down in our village.   Yes, the army is a small world.  Apparently, Jason has called him and asked him to come look at the heat, but well, the house basically looks like… well…:
I could go on and on about rushing to PA on Friday after an insane amount of prep for Emily’s 16th Birthday, and the hockey gear all over the place, and the food all over the counters from me cleaning out the counters, and the laundry I was in the middle of folding because I have cleaning ADD where I’m like…  morally opposed to finishing something before I start another project… but really?  With them and their kids standing there, all I can think is…
Nothing like a deployment to really show people what a freaking mess you are.
Right, so we head down to the aforementioned creepy cellar, and we all come to the same conclusion I just had.  Yup.  Plumber needed.
So the kids play for a little bit, and they head back home.  
But then I get a phone call from our neighbors, and while they were here, Aidan told their daughter a little rhyme he’d heard on the playground that day.  Let’s just say that the end of the rhyme was something akin to:  “Boys go to Mars to get more Martini Bars, and Girls go to Venus to get more….”
Let’s just say I am screaming Aidan’s name at the top of my lungs before I even hear the end of the rhyme, and I’m so angry with him that I’m telling him:
After the whole tirade of “what were you thinking?” and “We don’t speak to ladies that way,” and “just because you heard it doesn’t mean you repeat it…”  Well, Aidan is off to his room. Add this to the fight Aidan got into with the kid that’s been bullying him (I’ll blog on that later), and I’m just… done.
Dinner happens, boys go to bed after about an hour of tattling on one another for being out of bed.  You know, “I saw Aidan in the hallway!”  Well, Aaron…  if you “saw” him in the hallway, then you were ALSO in the hallway…  and general:
Right.  And as much as I love, adore, and am dedicated to my children, I just want them to go to sleep, because if they scream at each other for one more thing, I’m going to lose my ever-loving mind.  I’m really not sure how four children, with the same genetics, cannot manage to get along for the span of time it takes to brush your teeth, put some PJ’s on, read (silently).  Really.  I kind of just want to slam the door on the day like:
So I can be done.  Right.  So kids get to sleep, and Jason comes online.  In the background, Diesel is barking and growling in the general direction of the washing machine, frustrated that he can’t get to Sir LeMouse, which is hilarious to me, because as an English Bulldog, he’s about as intimidating as:
And you know that Mouse is back there looking at Diesel from his safe Can’t-fit-an-English-bulldog-block-head-in-this space like:
Jason hears the commotion and his advice is really along the lines of:
Which makes me say:
Because sure, it’s just a mouse, and no heat, and a kid in trouble at school what feels like, well, constantly the last 2 days, and well…
And poor Jason, there’s like NOTHING he can do from there, and if we didn’t have the 100% full disclosure policy, I’d be tempted just to keep it to myself.  But we do, and when he tries to tell me the whole, “It’s going to get better, it’s okay, I wish I could take care of this for you,”  I’m all cranky-bitter like:
And I have to admit, for tonight, my coping method looks like:
And as he hangs up, I hear scurry/growl/slamming in the mud room, just in time to see Diesel chasing Sir LeMouse, who’s like:
 
And Diesel is about as effective chasing this guy as this:

Right.  So I set out another seventeen billion traps, and retreat to the safety of my bed like:
Because tomorrow is another day, where I fully intend to kick the deployment gnome out. 
 So I make my to-do list and convince myself, yes… tonight we sleep, but tomorrow:
Freaking Mouse.

4 Comments on “5 Month Strike of the Deployment Gnome”

  1. Jenn

    Thank you! Tonight I too will sleep and tomorrow start again ~ better, kinder, with my priorities back on track (unlike today) and I will hug my little boy even when… all the "gnome stuff" happens. 🙂 Blessings to you and your boys.

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