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Our friend who moved in the other day

We’re starting to get a little tired of it all: the midnight feedings, the neediness, the scratching and scrabbling, the nocturnal rambling.

It’s like we have a new baby in the house… but wait, we don’t have a new baby in the house. We have a relatively new pet, but he only bugs the girl he sleeps with. Our son, at 13, is finally (usually) sleeping through the night.

This is like the baby we didn’t ask for and we didn’t know was coming: We’ve got a lodger in the house, and he (or she) is not paying rent. On top of that, he’s a midnight partier.

I vote for “he.”

“He” is the new friend who has taken up residence in our wall. Not just any wall, mind you. We’ve heard them in the roof, in the corner of our office. But fer crying out loud, didja have to choose the wall at the head of our bed?

I was awoken last week to the sound of ripping. Apparently, although our friend had been living in there a while, it was redecoration time. He just didn’t like that insulation the way it was, and he was working on reupholstering. RIP! One of us awake. Scrabble, scrabble, crunch, crunch. We’re both awake.

I bang on the wall. He seems to settle down. Apparently, it wasn’t the right night for a party.

Good. Maybe he’ll move on.

Well, no. Our friend is a nightly visitor now. Apparently, he sleeps through the day, enjoying the comfy fiberglass decor. We go to bed with silence in the wall behind us. But sometime every night, he decides it’s time to have fun. He has loud dinner parties, dancing, and the ever-present redecoration of his apartment.

My husband has no plans to be outschemed by a rat. He set traps. Nothing. He banged on the wall. Our friend danced to the beat.

The other day he came home with an box. Later, he called me down to see the amazing scene. Snaked through an outlet hole in the wall, the miniature camera on a flexible extension reveals a fine nest full of nuts and other debris. But no one, apparently, is home.

Last night, the party started up again. RIP! Crunch, crunch. Scritchscritchscritchscritchscritch. My husband banged on the wall.  We groaned in frustration.

At least, when you have a baby, you have a sweet, cuddly thing during the day to remind you why you’re losing sleep.

This afternoon, I was walking through our bedroom, and I just couldn’t resist. I banged on the wall. I scratched. I thundered. I wished I had some insulation to rip.

“You hear me, rat? Keep it down in there! Go find somewhere else to live!”

The thing is, bad neighbors never seem to care when you’re a bad neighbor back to them. I could almost hear his thoughts.

“Hey, maybe those stupid, sleepy animals on the other side of this wall are more interesting than I thought.

Maybe tonight I’ll invite them to the party…”

Posted in Parenting.

One Response

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  1. Iris Seitel says

    Good story…..Well written……It kept me reading until the end.

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