I am friends with Michelle. She is married to David and they have a little 1-year old daughter. Michelle and David met at the rowing club. They love rowing together, but with a toddler it is almost impossible.
Respectively it is possible, but only if someone else takes care of their little one. For her birthday I gave Michelle 5 days of babysitting that she and David have the time to row together. It didn’t cost me anything, but Michelle was as happy as if I had given her a weekend in the most expensive hotel in the world.
We agreed that I would look after the little one on Saturday and Sunday morning so that the two of them could leave in the dark and row on the lake at sunrise. So far so good. But I didn’t feel like getting up at 4 in the morning so that I’d be with them shortly after 5 in the morning so they could leave. Michelle suggested I stay in her guest room. That seemed to me a valid solution.
They have a house on the hillside and the guest room in the basement has ground-level windows and lots of light. We had dinner together on Friday evening at 7 o’clock and then the three of them went to bed at 9 o’clock because Michelle and David wanted to get up at 4.30. I got a baby monitor and was able to sleep through most of my babysitting in the morning. But on Saturday morning I was up at 6am. They were already gone by then. The guest room has a small bathroom and I wanted to take a shower. I saw strange black spots on the ceramic tiles. I wondered where they came from, since I had showered the night before and was pretty sure that I had left the shower clean. When I took a closer look, I discovered a frightened frog in the corner. I assumed that the small black spots on the floor were the result of its fear. I tried to imagine how the frog got into the bathroom, but it was kind of a mystery. Catching a frog in nature is not so easy, catching a frog in a closed room is much easier. I just had to be very careful because he was very scared, and I didn’t want to hurt him. I succeeded after a short time and I carried it outside into the garden. He disappeared in a flash and I cleaned the shower. The little one woke up shortly before 8 and our time together was fun.
Saturday evening, the same procedure. On Sunday morning I woke up because of a funny noise. It was completely dark, and I could not see anything. It sounded like a cable being damaged by electricity. It stopped and started again shortly after. And again, a moment later. I turned on the light and a shrew was sitting in the middle of the room! I think we were both scared. It disappeared behind the closet and I started thinking about how to catch a mouse. Frogs are one thing, but a mouse!
After a while the mouse came back into the middle of the room. I failed miserably when trying to catch it. I made three more attempts but catching a mouse with your bare hands is only for experienced people. I gave up. I took a shower and thought about a catching technique. The room did not offer many possibilities. And when I dried off and stood naked in the shower, the shrew sat under the toilet bowl. I threw the towel over the mouse and voila. I found the little shrew. I held her in the towel but without pressure and managed to hold her so that her little head was pointing up with the tip of her nose and she came out into the air. But now the big question is – what do I do now. I have both hands full with a little mouse, I am naked and must get rid of the mouse. I dared to do it and walked outside as I stood there to release the mouse into freedom. Of course, I did not meet anyone this early in the morning. The shrew disappeared into the grass and I disappeared into my room. Sleeping was no longer an option. My adrenalin level was much too high.
Looking after little strange children can be quite an adventure.