She was not afraid of mice | On raising brave girls

So, this happened the other morning – I went to push the pedal of the garbage can and discovered a mouse perched up on the side.

I wasn’t planning on writing about it here because I don’t really have a sense of humor about a rodent infestation, but then my friend Jill sent me some funny words from her sister who had a similar problem and now enough days have passed that I can see the funny in the situation, mainly, what our pest control tech found behind the fridge.

The disgusting truth is that the mice were starting a little nest behind our fridge made up of what else, but chewed up wine corks. So my drinking has finally become a problem.

I shrieked when I saw the mouse and that scared the girls who were in the other room. They ran into the kitchen to see what was wrong and then I quickly checked myself because I don’t want them to think mice are scary or influence any fear they haven’t yet developed on their own.

I kinda laughed it off and told them the mouse lost his family and that we should send him outside so he can look for them because mice don’t belong in the house. Elliot was the first to agree and firmly told the mouse in her short broken sentences, “No mouse. This our house. Nobody can come in.” Then we talked about Madeline and how she was not afraid of mice and loved winter snow and ice which made for an easy segue to ice skating. Happily, that’s all it took to distract them and then I pushed the garbage can outside with my foot (while documenting on Snapchat*) and proceeded to freak out on my own.

The whole situation is just gross, but I think the worst is over now, thankfully.

Make no mistake, I know these little moments of panic and reaction are moments of influence. I see the girls keenly observing and digesting my every move and I’m continuing to realize how my actions can and are shaping their outlook. I think it’s safe to say that most everyone wants their daughters to grow up brave, intelligent, rational, and independent. Over time, they will develop their own individual sense of what’s scary or gross. I just want to make sure that I’m not leading them in any way. (Just like how I plan to keep my opinion on algebra to myself. That said, of course, I do plan to share my thoughts about walking in dark parking lots and eating your boogers, etc.)

Whether situations like this will leave a lasting impression on their memory, time will tell. This certainly won’t be the last funny story we tell about something that freaked us out. If any of it influences their bravery and self confidence then I hope to feel a little bit better about my drinking mouse problem.

*If you care to follow my shenanigans on Snapchat, my handle is RecoveringCorp

2 thoughts on “She was not afraid of mice | On raising brave girls

  1. Great piece, Rachel! Just last night I read a book titled, I am Brave!, to Asha. I’ve been thinking about it and am hoping to do the same for her. Put on a brave face and let her decide what is or is not scary (within reason as you point out). Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Sweet Asha is so lucky to have you as her amazing mama, Mary. That’s awesome! I’ll have to check out that book, too. Thank you for the recommendation and kind note.

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