Monday, February 08, 2010

The Story of A Rat

It was Halloween of 2007. I was very large and pregnant with Dash and that made me more determined to make the holiday special for Finley. As such I also had that crazy pre-birth energy spurt to do just that. We made several trips to the pumpkin patch and took advantage of every fun activity it had to offer.

Maybe if just stay on this hayride all day, I'll go into labor.

We also decorated the house.

Well, mostly Brooks decorated the house. But I added the rat. I found it at Michael's and it looked seriously real. In fact, before it graced our porch we surprised our favorite neighbors by leaving him perched on their trash can. Really, we're awesome to live near, I swear. So anyway, once the house was appropriately cob-webbed and pumpkin-ed out, I dropped the rat on the front porch. Yeah, that's right, I was LARGE. So I dropped it. And it landed. And we laughed good and long. The haphazard placement just added to the authenticity and it looked just like a sad rat corpse. It was awesome.

An approximation of the never-documented rat

Then Dash was born. And we slipped into the routine of life with a new baby. Which is code for I stopped venturing outside the house. Our Halloween decorations remained in place an embarassingly long while. But we had an excuse, right?

Welcome Dashel!

But we finally did take the webs down, and we tossed out the pumpkins. And we meant to stow the rat for next year, really we did. But then the longer we left the rat out, the funnier it was. Watching people come to the door and scream and freak out was fantastic. The longer that the rat was out there, the more "weathered" it began to look. Even people who knew that the rat was fake would still do a double take. Delivery people would scream and then go over and kick him away.

And then it was Halloween again.

And we went to the Pumpkin Patch...

And then there were two...

And we decorated the house.

And the rat once again belonged...

And then Halloween was over. And we took the decorations down. Yet we couldn't bring ourselves to get rid of the rat. It had been too long and he made us laugh too much. Fin and Dash seemed to get just as much joy out of him. You could say he was family.

It sometimes seems that life with children can be measured with blinks and just like that it was Halloween again.

And we went to the Pumpkin Patch...

And there was a new addition again!

Welcome Kellan!

And we decorated the house. And the rat was there...

Only known photo of the rat.

And once again, it seemed a criminal to put him away. So he stayed. This year we even joked about gifting him with antlers for Christmas. He frightened more delivery people. And our doorbell stopped working which made us laugh even harder at anyone's attempt to breach our porch. Packages were often left on the bottom stair. And then came a sad day. I walked out front to see this...

The scene of the crime.

That's right. A sad empty porch. No rat to be seen. I called Brooks right away. Indignant that someone would STEAL our rat, he combed the bushes and the yard. But to no avail. Our rat was gone. Where did he go? Did he get scooped up by that cat who sometimes leaves real, actual rat noses on our back porch? Did a delivery guy finally get fed up? Did the trash man decide to do us a favor? I'm afraid I'll never know.

As you can see, this rat had been through a lot with us. He'd seen the birth of two children and watched all three of our boys grow. His absence would be felt. Ok, so maybe that's a little dramatic, but also, I was PISSED that someone would steal our FAKE PET RAT!

Well, it turns out that it's near IMPOSSIBLE to find a rat of this sort after the Halloween season has ended. I looked high and low. Rubber rats were a dime a dozen, but that would be a totally lame replacement. The only interesting thing I managed to find was a similarly designed skunk. And while I found this idea hilarious, I was informed by a very angry Dash - "No skunk! New rat!" For a child who isn't overly opinionated, this spoke volumes. So I went to the one place I hadn't tried. Ebay.

And I found this. Well, these.

A rat for each boy!

And I will have NO shame debuting them in February. Maybe we'll name one cupid.


Sassypants Wifey said...

That is awesome! I love that you had a fake pet rat. Sounds like you are our kind of neighbors!

Sister Janet M. Purcell, IHM said...

LOved this blog and the latest pictures. Keep allcoming and good luck with the rats!
Aunt Janet