No alarms and no surprises, please.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Last night we had a visit from a rat with wings. It's safe to say that if a 5 year old could have a heart attack my daughter would have had one on the spot. We were settling into bed when all of a sudden this little bugger started flying around the room. After much screaming (by them, not me), I instructed the kids to get under the covers until it left the room.

It did leave and I closed the doors behind the bat and followed it outside. My daughter was left lying in her bed going completely bananas. My son is lying quietly. Apparently his fondness for Batman is helping him cope.

I opened the sliding glass door and a couple windows, hoping the bat would leave as it circled the house. It didn't despite passing them several times. Eventually, it stopped flying around. Hmm... What to do.

I got my wife on the phone so she could tell me where our tennis rackets are and so she could talk to Emma while Daddy takes care of our invader. I found the tennis racket in the basement and looked for where our winged friend has gone. It was no longer flying about.

I found it perched on a piece of molding near the drop down attic stairs. I looked at it for a moment and pondered it's fate. It clearly didn't want to hurt anyone. And yet, here it was terrifying me with it's potential of being rabid and terrifying my kids with it's very presence. Could I really coax it out of the house? Is that even possible? I had the sliding doors wide open and the dumb thing flew right past them. While I'm doing that, what of my still screaming daughter - equally terrified that the bat's gonna "get" her or me?

I knew what I had to do. I terminated the bat with extreme prejudice. I put on yellow dishwashing gloves, picked it up, wrapped it up in a plastic bag with said gloves and put it out on the deck. Phew! The family is safe!

I came back to my kids and we all huddled in my bedroom. Emma had a lot to say about the bat. What did it look like? Why did I kill it? Do you think it came in here because it wanted the mosquito I saw flying around? Eventually, I answered her questions and calmed her down. She slowly stopped trembling as she lined up all the bits of information she had about this traumatic experience. Daddy had to kill the bat because it was proably sick and didn't want to leave.

I asked my son, "What did you think of the bat?" He said, "What bat?" "You know, the thing that was flying around the house?", I said. "Oh yeah, it was flying, huh?" He laughed. He's one cool customer, that Jonny.

Today, we'll get a visit from "the bat people" to make sure this never happens again.