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We woke up this morning because it sounded like someone was trying to drag a body into our backyard at 7:36 am.  An arrhythmic thumping of someone running themselves into the fence gate.  “What the fuck is that?” I asked Josh, and he started to pull on more clothes so he could go outside and investigate.  “Please be careful.”

I peered into our backyard, seeing nothing out of the ordinary, and then stepped into the hallway at the same time the ChickieNob came out of her room to tell me that she was scared.  I sent her to wait on my bed, walking around the upstairs of the house until I found the location of the noise.  It sounded as if someone was being scraped apart inside our attic.  I also knew that this wasn’t the most likely scenario.  It’s not a finished attic.  If someone was being dismembered, they’d probably come crashing through the ceiling at some point as their body rolls off the beams.  Plus, you know, it also seemed unlikely that a killer would enter our house, go into the attic, somehow get rid of the ladder and pull the attic door back into place, and then take apart his victim up there.  I just want it said that I kept my imagination somewhat in check.

Which left the more likely scenario that an animal was in our attic, destroying our children’s preemie clothes that I had stored away up there, not wanting access to them because the one time I loaned them out to a friend, I felt so distraught over it that I decided that I’d buy all friends who had preemies a new wardrobe for their child rather than give them our old clothes.  I am fine doling out anything in the size of 0-3 months and larger; it’s just those tiny nightgowns made for two-pounders that I have difficulty refolding when they’re returned.

Our friend recently had a bat in her house.  It flew around the upstairs, in and out of the bedrooms, and the exterminator told her that it came through the attic.  80% of bats have rabies, she told me (a quick Google search just now yielded a less impressive number of .05% of bats have rabies, but let’s go with 80% for the sake of this story).  Schrödinger’s Bat — since until we opened the attic door and let it fly out was both a bat and not a bat at the very same time — banged itself against the roof and beams of the attic, making the ChickieNob call out from my bed, “I am very very scared.”

And then we heard Josh’s voice outside bellow, “get out of here!”  The scraping stopped immediately.  I pictured the killer sighing with ennui and carrying the dismembered corpse out through the hole he made in our roof (the only explanation I could come up with for how he got into our attic without a ladder).  I pictured Schrödinger’s Bat taking flight after him through the same hole.  Josh came back in the house and returned upstairs.

“It was a crow.  On our roof.  Eating a dead animal.  With his beak.  When I called out to it, it took the dead animal in his mouth and flew away.”

Our preemie clothes were not defiled, our roof intact, corpse parts not strewn across the beams of our attic.

All was well in the house again.


After we had kicked out of bed all the children who had accumulated under the blanket while the crow ate its breakfast, strangely amplifying it so we could all enjoy the crunch crunch crunch of small animal bones and sinew, Josh and I went back to sleep.  And we were almost successful.

Our neighbours are evangelical deaf Christians, and they have a vibrating clock alarm.  Every year, on December 24th, for a reason known only to them, they leave their alarm sounding for several hours.  Every time it goes off naturally after a ten minute period, we get a two minute pause of silence; just long enough to allow our frayed nerves to relax.  And then the alarm goes off again.  Because it vibrates, it causes a bunch of houses in the neighbourhood to shake.  Josh went over to talk to them, agreeing that it would be better if he did it than if he left it to me because I have potty-hands when it comes to signing, and I was more likely to shriek and sign obscenities at them.  But they refused to answer their door.  Yes, they were home.  He rang the doorbell for about ten minutes as the ChickieNob returned to my bed to ask why our house was now shaking.

When I wrote about this on Facebook last year, we all had a good laugh about this sounding like a joke: evangelical deaf Christians who have been trying to convert us for ages are sounding the alarm on Christmas Eve day.  But I’m not laughing.  I don’t want my soul saved.  I just want to sleep.


No lie-in today, despite the fact that we stayed up exceptionally late last night because we were gleeful over the idea that we were having our first chance to get sleep since Thanksgiving.  I am cranky and hating crows, our neighbours, and Christmas (since I can’t believe that it’s an accident that the alarm has been going off now for THREE HOURS.  Yes, it has been shaking the wall behind my back the entire time while I’ve been writing this.  And looking back at Facebook and emails from years past, it always happens on December 24th).  I’m off to write Creme blurbs, so if you see the list on New Years Day and it has a lot of parenthetical statements about how crows and our neighbours suck, you’ll understand why.


1 a { 12.24.11 at 12:17 pm }

Maybe you should get a Menorah with about 400,000,000 candlepower to shine in their windows? I mean, everyone should celebrate the holidays, right?

2 Stephanie { 12.24.11 at 12:37 pm }

If it makes you feel any better, you misery made me laugh. I’m still giggling at Schrödinger’s Bat.

3 HereWeGoAJen { 12.24.11 at 1:38 pm }

Of all the things I would expect to wake you up early on Christmas Eve morning, those two things would not have been in my top 100 list. Good grief.

4 Becky { 12.24.11 at 2:06 pm }

I don’t even know what to say. If it makes you feel better (probably not) I waas awoken by a 5 year old telling me he needed to pee at 5:30am. Just as I got back to sleep, the baby woke up. I threw him (not quite literally) in bed with us. again, just as I was almost asleep, the 5yo came back, “uh, momma, I’m pretty sure it’s time to wake up now. Right?”. I growled at him to get back in his room. Tried to get back to sleep -again. Awoken by baby smacking me in the face. But then he smiled and said, “wub ewe”. So I sighed and got up. It’s was 645.

5 Still Hoping { 12.24.11 at 4:25 pm }

Wow, glad Josh was the one who checked this out and not you. The crow dismembering a small animal would’ve been too much, especially that early! 🙂

6 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 12.24.11 at 6:42 pm }

Schrödinger’s Bat: brilliant.
Potty signing hands: quintessential Mel.

I have touched a dead bat with my bare hand, accidentally of course. I have dealt with a live mouse while my twin infants crawled nearby. I have been stung on the face by a hornet who thought that my door belonged to her instead of to me. As a child, I captured a tarantula on my window. But the scariest animal infestation I ever experienced was in college, a little bird trapped in the ceiling tiles, making ungodly noise, occasionally poking out a mysterious claw, and, for days until the animal control guy finally showed up, forcing us to imagine all sorts of monsters about to devour us in our sleep.

7 Cherish { 12.25.11 at 1:23 am }

Thank you. I needed a laugh. I just hopped onto the group FB page of my original TTC group only to find that one of them had managed to get pregnant with #2 on her first month trying. Happy for her, but still, Merry Christmas to me. It’s already been so much fun having to update those who don’t know I m/c’d and ask how the pregnancy is going…..or those who don’t know we’re dealing with IF and ask when we’re going to have a kid. Love it!

8 battynurse { 12.25.11 at 11:18 am }

Sorry about the early wake up calls. Maybe you can nap today??? A family nap??

9 Kimberly { 12.25.11 at 1:20 pm }

Your stories always leave me chuckling. Thank you for the chuckle today. Have you ever called the cops to lodge a noise complaint on the neighbors? Just a simple, “We’ve tried and we just want the noise to stop.”

10 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.26.11 at 2:03 pm }

Ewww….I should NOT have read this on my handheld at bedtime last night.

Love Schroedinger’s Bat! Well not the bat part but the that-you-thought-of-it part.

11 Bea { 12.27.11 at 8:38 am }

Oh my goodness. Well, I am at least curious about the why behind the alarm clock. How bizarre.


12 lostintranslation { 12.27.11 at 4:22 pm }

This made me laugh, although I would be banging my head against the wall if my neighbors’ alarm would be going off for three hours and shake our house. They should do something about their acoustic isolation…

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