A cat? No, a bat.

August 16, 2012

BFing, Family, Parenting, Unfortunate, Wildlife

I often wake in the middle of the night.

I’m one of those hippy parents who still nurses her toddler and co-sleeps, too.  So I have the joy (and that’s really only a slightly facetious word choice) of nursing G a couple of times a night.

We have a communication system.  He makes a small sound, or just turns over and gives me an unintentional whack with a wayward hand.  I sleep with my mommy-spidey-sense (MSS) active, and I know just what’s happening and what he needs.

But not last night.

Last night, instead of “wake up, time to eat!” the MMS said “WAKE THE HELL UP WOMAN!”  And when the MMS speaks in capital letters, I know to pay attention.

My first look was to G, to make sure he wasn’t climbing the headboard or choking on slobber or otherwise engaged in some ludicrous and fearless toddler mischief.  He was fast asleep, cuddled up adorably to M’s back as he is wont to do.  No problem there.

Then something flashed through my peripheral vision.


I find it really awe-inspiring how many different thoughts can pass through one’s mind in the space of a heartbeat.  Here are a few that vied for prominence in that moment:

  1. FUCK! (screamed, reflexively, very loudly so that any neighbor within a mile could hear me through the open windows, great)
  2. Not again! sigh
  3. Sheet over G, get sheet over G, GET THE SHEET OVER G!
  4. M! (again, screamed, since the previous scream which seemed insanely loud in my ears didn’t appear to wake him)
  5. BAT BAT BAT BAT!!!  Bird?  No, BAT BAT BAT!

Now. We’ve been here before.  And let me tell you, waking up to a bat careening around my dark bedroom in the middle of the night is very high on my It Sucks To Wake Up To… list.  It’s right above waking-up-to-baby-bed-and-me-wet-with-urine-after-I’ve-already-been-awakened-multiple-times-that-same-night-and-feel-like-I’ll-never-sleep-again, and right below waking-up-to-a-friend-drunk-dialing-and-threatening-suicide-when-you’re-pretty-sure-they’re-not-serious-but-you-can’t-guarantee-it-so-you’re-damn-worried.

This is the first time we’ve had a bat in the house since G’s been around, though, and worrying about keeping him safe raised the ICK factor tenfold.

Now I know that generally bats in homes are harmless. The poor creatures think they’re just getting into a nice hole to cuddle up in for a minute, and find themselves in a strange place with lots of walls and no way out. The only *real* danger is if the bat happens to be rabid or otherwise carrying disease, and ends up biting you while it’s enjoying your hospitality. And while the danger of that is actually low, if it does happen it’s really really not good, especially for a baby.

A sheet over me and G is perfectly fine for keeping the bat off, and I know there was really no need for my panic and oogly horrors. But, oogly horrors and panic there was, ’cause damnit, bats are just freaking scary when they’re desperate and think they’ve found a way out because they can feel the breeze through your open window, but can’t get out because you’ve inconveniently put up a screen to keep bugs (bat food!) out.

M braved the world outside of the protective sheet, and slammed the bedroom door closed when the bat obligingly flew out for a moment into the hall. From then we were safe in our bedroom enclave. We knew that, it being 3AM and with one of us needing to stay with G, we’d not be able to chase the bat out of the house (which really requires two fairly awake adults working in tandem). So we decided to leave well-enough alone, stuff a towel in the gap under the bedroom door, and try to get some sleep.

“Try” being the operative word. G was quite upset, because even though I was with him under the sheet encouraging and comforting, he really didn’t know what was going on and HATES having anything covering him completely. He calmed a bit once the bat was out and we could take the sheet off, but it really woke him up fully and he got back to sleep an hour later, but only fitfully and woke multiple times the rest of the night. M got to sleep about 30 minutes after the ruckus (he’s a champion sleeper). Me? I was up with the light on for two hours, then at 5:30 decided it would get light outside soon and allowed myself to turn off the totally useless (but comforting to the oogly horrors) light and fell back into a doze myself.


This morning, we sent G off with our nanny for a walk, and we attempted to hunt out our furry winged visitor. He proved elusive, tucked and squeezed into some tiny nook no doubt, tired and exhausted and scared.

We’ll have to wait for him to come back out at dusk. We have a battle plan involving many closed doors, some brooms, some open windows, and a whole lot of girly screaming.


G is now totally enamored of the word “bat” and is speaking it ad nauseam. “Bat. Baaat. Bat!” I tried explaining to him that a bat is basically a mouse-bird, but I’m not sure he fully understood. He didn’t see the bat in the night because I got the sheet over him before we turned lights on, so he really has no clue what’s going on. It may be better that way for now.


Speaking of things G likes to say… a friend recently introduced G to sidewalk chalk via a goodie-bag he received from her at her son’s second birthday party. He LOVES sidewalk chalk. He cries piteously whenever we go near the front door and don’t get the chalk and head outside.

More problematic than the piteous crying, however, is G’s proclivity for shouting “chalk!” at the top of his lungs, wherever and whenever we happen to be, when he gets the urge.

I know, it sounds harmless. But… he hasn’t mastered the “ch” sound yet. So what he actually yells at a really fantastic decibel level is “CAULK! CAULK! CAAAUUUUULK!” (I’ve deliberately elected to use that particular spelling of the homophone to lessen the number of hits I’ll get from people on Google searching for something TOTALLY different…)

I don’t really understand it. He says the “ch” sound just fine when he says “cheese”. So why not “chalk”? M and I are at great pains to stress “ch, ch, ch!” but he just looks at us like we’re insane. I’m tempted to think he somehow perversely knows what he’s saying and why it’s funny, but he can’t possibly (he doesn’t ever hear the word, not even in the context of a male rooster, so it’s unlikely to be mimicry).

At least he doesn’t appear to have the proverbial “truck” pronunciation problem. Things to be thankful for… 😉


Sorry I haven’t posted in forever. I have many excuses, but they’re all boring. I won’t even promise to post again any time soon because I really just don’t know what will be happening. But many thanks to you all who still read and care and have commented wondering how I am and what I’m doing. I miss you and I hope to be back around more often.

Wish us luck with our bat!

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2 Comments on “A cat? No, a bat.”

  1. Jaime Says:

    wow dude… that’s insane. Good luck bat hunting.


    • Venus Says:

      Oh boy… well, we thought we got the bat out the next evening, but NO… it came out again the day after that. In the living room while the baby was napping there… ICK ICK ICK. Anyway, it’s really gone now. Let’s hope there aren’t any more!


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