A few weeks ago I posted this status update on Facebook:
“Right now I have a bag of stool samples, a live raccoon I need to release 15 miles away, 4 boys, and a library book I’m about to be arrested over in my car. Here’s a pic to prove it. The poop and book, you’ll have to take my word for. Happy Friday!”
Now here is the story behind it.
Where do I start? Well, let’s start with the easy part of that Facebook status update, the library book. I am HORRIBLE at returning library books. This is why I use Sonlight. I get it all. I’d love to be more frugal, but honestly, I’d end up owing more in library fines than an entire Core from Sonlight! So, there’s that. The book needed to get back and since I was on a hormonal high, and felt I could conquer the world, it was finally time to drop the book in the slot.
Next, let’s talk about the hormones. I hope I don’t trivialize what I’m about to type with the title of this post. I had a miscarriage a few weeks ago. I’ll need to post all about miscarriage another time. Now’s not that time, but you need to know that we were THRILLED about another baby and we were super thankful. I shared it with some close family and a couple friends, but not long after I found out, I knew I was losing the baby. This was my 4th loss. You just know when it’s happening. And it’s awful. No one can make it better. It just plain stinks. (“I wonder if she’s trying for a girl?”….my answer to that is here.)
I took it hard. Harder than the other losses. Or maybe it was the same amount of emotions, this was just at the forefront so it felt worse. However, as many of you know, when you have other kids to care for…regardless of what moms are going through….you just keep keeping on. So, I did. And now I must back track. Stay with me. This turns out not so depressing.
A few days after I found out I was pregnant, my husband (who has a home office out in our garage) came inside and had a curious look on his face. He said he was hearing things in the attic in the garage. Now, we have lots of critters where we live, so we both knew something was living up there.
Now, you need to understand my husband is a little more city than me. He’s scared of cows. Don’t tell him I said that. He was also super busy at work and poking around at a sound in the attic while he was on the phone wasn’t on his agenda.
So, the newly pregnant wife climbs up the attic ladder and sure enough, in the corner is a very large mama raccoon and 4 babies. They were already pretty big babies. Cute, yes. But, the insulation was torn up, there was poop EVERYWHERE, and they looked a little too comfortable.
Well crud. They can’t stay up there, we thought. So, I called a few ‘removal’ companies. Oh my. Ladies, do you know how much they are charging these days to remove a single mother and her baby racoons? Like, $500. For realz. Schnizzle my nizzle. I ain’t paying that. (Did she just say schnizzle my nizzle on a homeschool blog? Yes, yes I did.)
Next, I called my dad. He’s dealt with critters. Maybe he could offer up a solution for less than $500. “Well they are destructive. They can’t stay up there.”, he said. “I agree–but I’ve called a few places and they charge hundreds,” I replied. “What?! No, no. Now, Betsy (my family calls me Betsy), here’s what you do…..”
Now wait. I told you my husband is not too city and is scared of cows. Now, my dad, is a whole lotta county. A veteran. An old man. Don’t send me hate mail…
“Just get up there with a trash bag and a stick and get them in the bag and tie it up. You can dump them somewhere or whack ’em over the head.”
“DAD!!!!! No. Oh my. Plus, they’d scratch and attack me.”
So, the next solution was to borrow my neighbor’s raccoon trap. We have a lot of critters. It’s common to own a trap. I went and borrowed it and just figured we’d take care of it by trapping them one at a time and releasing them several miles away. Cool.
I also figured my husband would do this.
Fast forward a couple days later and I had started miscarrying. This put me into ‘super woman hormone’ mode. I don’t know why. I felt as though my energy soared through the roof. Most likely a ‘stay busy to avoid the heartache’ mode. Anyway, I set that raccoon trap that night with some cat food inside.
In the meantime, for the passed several weeks, our youngest who is almost 1 year old was having a lot of poopy diapers throughout the day. I had weaned him when I found out I was pregnant and we thought it could be his formula or a virus or something. Never the less, the dr. wanted to get a stool sample.
So, this particular morning of the raccoon incident, I woke up, collected the stool samples, and was all set to head to the pediatrician to take the samples in and then return the library books.
I didn’t even get the boys dressed because they didn’t need to get out for any of these errands. I put on my trusty yoga pants and a big t shirt and running shoes. Let’s do this.
My husband walked out side as I was getting ready to leave and he stopped in his tracks…”Um, babe…did you set that trap last night?” Darn. I had forgotten! And yup, there was a large racoon trapped. The poor thing was digging through the cage like crazy trying to escape. We couldn’t leave him there. We also didn’t want to release him and be one raccoon richer.
“I’ll go dump him somewhere.”
(Here come the hormones.)
So, I load up the library book, stool samples, 4 boys, spandex wearing miscarrying hormonal lady, and a caged raccoon into my suburban. I laid an old towel down in the back so the raccoon wouldn’t make my car a mess.
I start driving. I called my girlfriend to chit chat and laugh about my baggage that morning. My girlfriend, also from the country, suggested I drive farther than I had planned because her grandpa had raccoon issues and they can find their way home. So, I kept driving. Finally, one of my boys had to pee. It was my three year old. He was doing the frantic, “I gotta go peee!!!!” scream. So, of course, you whip off the road as if your engine is on fire so they can pee. I just happened to pull off into a quiet subdivision. However, once I got down the road, I realized this was a NICE ($500K plus homes…and in TX that’s fancy) subdivision. All the homes were on land, though, and not many people were around, so I thought I’d just let my little guy pee, and then release the raccoon and go on with my errands.
Well, when I pulled over on the side of the road, there was QUITE an embankment. I was at a steep incline. I get out of the car, and of course, there are 3 big boys begging to get out as well. “No, no, this is a mommy job. It’s dangerous. Stay put.”
My one son pee’d out the door of the car NOT facing the road (no judging) while I went around to open the back of my car. Now, I forgot to tell you. When I tried to load the raccoon into my car at the house, the little metal handle was flush with the cage and that critter would have scratched me up! So, I found an old shovel handle/stick without the spade (you can see it in the pic above) on it and shoved that through the handle and kinda balanced this massive metal cage into my car. The stick was like 6 feet long.
So, imagine this. Hormones. 3 year old peeing off the side of a suburban. Nice subdivision. My car at a steep incline and I’m balancing a massive cage with a thrashing raccoon on a 6 foot pole. Oh my.
I set the cage down and try to release the levers to open the door of the cage. Not working. A car drives by. I nearly have a panic attack because I HATE confrontation and I just knew they’d ask for my address or something. Or call the cops.
I jiggle the lever harder. Nothin’. At this point, my boys are screaming and whining, baby crying, to get out of the car. The raccoon is flustered beyond your imagination. Hormones are raging. Another car drives by and he’s going sllllooooow. I don’t even make eye contact.
Then I realized that the towel I had set down in the back of the car to avoid a mess, had been twisted and chewed and snarled up into every nook and cranny of that cage. I guess he was trying to dig his way out on our drive. At this point, I’m laughing so hard, I’m nearly crying.
It hit me…”What in the WORLD was I thinking?!!!!” I know most women in their right minds wouldn’t think to even try to run this errand. I blame it on the hormones.
I finally submitted that I must take him back home. I couldn’t get that cage open, y’all!!!! So, with that 6 foot pole leveraged, my strength running low, my spandex pants in full stretch, I tried to hoist the cage back into the car, but the embankment must have been too steep and I couldn’t get it back in. I just wasn’t strong enough. The cage FLEW off the pole, hit the bumper of my car and went FLYING, TUMBLING, CARTWHEELING down the ditch with a beach towel waving in the wind. It was quite dramatic.
Another car drove by and I waved and smiled. I’m not sure if they saw that cage in the over grown grass or not. I ran down into the ditch and when I hoisted the cage onto the pole, the raccoon shot out of the little door and ran into the forest. I guess the tumbling knocked it loose.
I got in the car. Delivered the poop. Then had a good cry.
I didn’t learn a darn thing from this except that raccoons and hormones don’t mix. I hope I’ve helped you avoid similar drama in your own life. Your welcome.