I got a text message from my ex on Friday morning, informing me he’d found a rat cage in the eldest’s bedroom.
And that marked the premature end of my mental health day.
The rat was out of the bag.
More specifically, the eldest’s pet rat Twitch was no longer a secret.
Let me rewind …
The eldest has been angling for a rat for months and months and months.
And we’ve been adamantly saying NO for months and months and months.
Then the eldest’s friend Justice’s rat gave birth to a litter and … you can guess the rest.
Twitch led an exciting life before I became aware of his existence.
He caught a train to Casino. He popped into KFC for a Go Bucket before heading to Lennox Head for a lovely holiday. He hitched a ride back to Sydney with me. He went to dinner at a groovy burger bar. He became very familiar with Sydney’s public transport system. He even attended a climate change rally.
My suspicions were finally raised when I threw some garbage in the bin one day and noticed a pile of the eldest’s socks in there, together with a plastic bag of what looked like soggy paper towel or toilet paper and some rabbit food pellets.
I stormed into the eldest’s bedroom and demanded to know what all that stuff was doing in the bin … and the eldest demanded to know what I was doing snooping in the bin and we both got very stroppy and I stomped off in a huff.
A few hours later, I was introduced to Twitch, who’d been snuggling in Bond’s socks in the eldest’s wardrobe for six weeks … when he wasn’t sunning himself on our family holiday.
Ironically, I’ve been trying to kill Twitch’s cousins in my ceiling over a similar period.
Vast amounts of Rat Sac have been chucked into the roof space and the corpse of a dead rat – which could pass for Twitch’s identical twin – has been subsequently discovered in the backyard.
I initially accused the eldest of making one of the ceiling rats into a pet, but I’ve been assured the similarities are purely co-incidental and Twitch is a “fancy” rat.
There is nothing fancy about rats.
I HATE RATS.
And I was very, very, very unhappy to learn one was being nurtured under my roof in addition to ones living in it.
Numerous people have offered numerous suggestions on what I should do about the rat, including telling the eldest to get rid of it. But the eldest has been caring for the rat since it was a tiny baby and is completely besotted.
Telling the eldest to get rid of the rat would not go well. Very, very not well.
Others have suggested accidentally slipping it some of the Rat Sac … but I couldn’t do that either.
So, after being terribly upset about the deception, I’ve sighed and gotten on with having a rodent in the family.
Last week, we introduced the youngest to Twitch and she went NUTS.
I’m talking wildly excited, I WANT A RAT TOO nuts.
The youngest thinks the rat is the cutest thing ever. She makes love eyes as it runs around inside the eldest’s hoodie, poking its little head out of the end of the sleeves and the neck.
She’s already thought of a name for her rat – Remy.
I pointed out that neither child was considering how their father would react.
My ex hates rats even more than me. And I get the impression his girlfriend is totally not jiggy with blending families with one.
It could be the rodent that breaks the relationship’s back.
So my ex looked really, really, really angry when he arrived on my doorstep on Friday night with the rat cage. So angry that he couldn’t even speak properly. He said the rat couldn’t stay at his place. He added that he was “making this one my problem”.
To complicate matters further, rats apparently get depressed when they’re left alone, They require daily cuddling and attention.
There’s no way it’s hanging out in my hoodie when the eldest is at their dad’s place. I can’t even bring myself to touch the gross furry thing, with it’s long, icky pink rail. Shudder.
I’m also not too keen on adding rat prozac to my weekly shopping list.
So we’re at a stalemate.
A rather tricky, grenade-like stalemate that I’ve been dreading for weeks.
So the eldest stayed at my place last night with Twitch instead of going to their dad’s place.
Now you’re up to speed on my latest drama.
How was your weekend?
Song of the day: Boomtown Rats “Tell me why I don’t like Mondays”