After yesterday’s mess, it seemed that my house would never be clean again. Despite this, I was determined to restore some order to my house, even though we’re still battling this nasty cold and generally don’t have a lot of energy. With a pot of coffee and some Crazy Frog, I was off to meet the challenge.
However, Lil’ Duck was playing by himself in the corner by the front door. Even more unusual, he was chasing something and giggling. Then I hear, “Mama, ‘izard, ‘izard!”. Not what I wanted to hear at all. Sure enough, a lizard had hopped in through the front door and was trembling in the corner with a great fear of the toddler giant.
Now, I generally like lizards. They are cute, amusing and eat other nasty bugs. Sadly, after a drawn-out experience with a previous lizard houseguest, I didn’t want to repeat the experience.
To summarize his visit, it began with him entering on a bunch of paint supplies, evading my husband’s attempts to capture him with the vacuum, then lurking behind the television and under the couch for a few days, reappearing now and then for a moment. We could have named him Flash, as he would fly from one room to another and be barely visible against the carpet. After a period of a week or so where we saw nothing of him, we thought he either escaped or died. Alas, he reappeared in our bedroom, high upon the wall.
Then he disappeared again for about two months. We were sure that he had died this time, but no, apparently lizards live on carpet lint! He reappeared on the bedroom floor late one night, then hid in the window shade, evading capture yet again. His final day arrived a week later when we were playing with Lil’ Duck on his bedroom floor and happened to see a flash of lizard. My husband trapped it and sent it back to the great outdoors, where he is likely surviving still, hardy little thing.
As you can imagine, I didn’t want this new lizard to establish himself, as I was not anxious to repeat the lizard saga. So, even though I liked the little guy, I pulled out the vacuum. I detach the hose, put on the attachment, plug it in, pick up the hose, and it falls off the vacuum. The lizard is still lurking near the door in terror. Now I can’t vacuum up the lizard, but I certainly do NOT want to try to touch him. He’s sitting on the baseboard by the floor, so I can’t trap him beneath anything. I open the door and try to scare him into running out. Lil’ Duck helps by banging on the door and yelling ” ‘izard, ‘izard, oooouuuuttttt!!”. This amuses the neighbors, but doesn’t budge the lizard. Hmmmm.
Considering the state of my floor, I definitely need to vacuum. As my other vacuum decided to start making deafening noises, my only choice is to fix this vacuum. This isn’t the first time I’ve taken apart this vacuum, but that doesn’t make it much easier. It involves several hundred small screws (which require a special screwdriver which hardly works), temperamental plastic parts and an unwieldy hose. Lil’ Duck takes off with the screwdriver while I unplug the vacuum, so I chase him down, keeping one eye on the lizard. Recovering the screwdriver, I begin the slow process of unscrewing the screws.
Lil Duck starts stealing the screws and is relegated to lizard duty. He ignores this duty and starts scraping off an unknown blue substance on the underside of the vacuum. Lovely. I try to convince him to go and get a rag and clean it up – did I really think he’d do it?? While he is smearing the blue stuff all over, I’ve finally removed enough screws to fit the hose back into the vacuum. After a few repositionings and much brute force, it snaps back into place.
The screws refuse to go back in. They peel off little pieces of plastic around the holes. I finally realign everything and get all but one screw back on. Ten minutes later, I put the screw elsewhere and return to the original idea, taking care of the lizard. Alas, the phone is ringing. It’s my husband, who finds this all very amusing and wants to know why I don’t just pick up the lizard and put it outside. I tell him I’m putting it in his bed (too bad it’s my bed too….). He suggests a broom.
A BROOM! Why didn’t that occur to me before??! I take the broom, open the door, and tickle the lizard’s behind with the end of the broom. He moves toward the door, slowly. Then he jumps onto the wall. Uh-oh. With more broom encouragement, he scuttles towards the door jam. A little more tickling, and he is out. Success at last!
After all that, cleaning up the mess was nothing. Next time, I’m leaving it all and going to the spa.