Why I Need New Oven Mitts

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A few nights ago, I proclaimed that oven mitts would be an excellent Christmas gift, but at first, I was ashamed to admit why. The time has come to tell you the truth.

No, it’s not because I pulled a bad cooking stunt—my cooking skills are rather amazing, thank you.

No, it’s not because ‘lil Miss A stole them to take hot pans out of her play kitchen when we reorganized her bedroom.

No, it’s not because Mr. Burgher made a late night pizza and accidentally threw them out when he was cleaning up.

It’s because…we have some…uh…friends…in our kitchen. Of the (eek!) mice variety. It is no secret that we live in a century (plus) old house. There are nooks and crannies, unique touches. There are really warm, cozy spots that a city mouse would love to cuddle up in. One of those, is apparently my oven mitt/kitchen towel drawer. The culprits tore all the stuffing out of my mitts. I discovered this one day when I was trying to take a hot casserole dish out of the oven and almost burnt my hand from the lack of “fluff” and a big hole in the mitt. I was mad.

When I asked my go-to co-workers about how in the world this could happen in a clean kitchen, they told me it’s because the mice are trying to come in from the cold. (Can’t they just find a home somewhere else?) Regardless, Mr. Burgher and I took everything out of the lower cabinets (they didn’t get to the top ones) and laid humane traps. They were supposed to be the “no kill” traps—you know, the sticky ones—but I am (sad?) to report that we caught one bugger. When we caught him, we thought the problem was over and resumed normal kitchen organization.

This normalcy was jumping the gun. Last night as I was making my lunch, I heard a tiny “squeak” in an empty drawer. When I pulled it open, there were two beady eyes, begging me to let him off the trap. I yelled for Mr. Burgher (first mistake) and asked him to come with gloves and without the children. My animal loving husband (remember this?) gingerly took the rodent out of the drawer and disappeared out the back door. In this time, ‘lil Miss A appeared at the kitchen door. “Mama, I don’t want a rabbit living in our house!” (So glad she sees things my way!) I had to assure her that one, there were no rabbits, and two, no animals besides Rowdy would live with us.

I was apparently wrong. Back inside came husband with hands cupped together. “The aquarium isn’t getting used. He needs a warm place to live, that’s why he is here.” And off he trotted to the toy room. I threw my hands up. ‘lil Miss A screamed and cried. She did NOT want “that rabbit” near her toys. Mr. Burgher put it in the empty aquarium, secured a lid, and then ran out to return a movie. While he was gone, I consoled a scared child and told her daddy was (not) crazy. I tried hard not to threaten the mouse with a flagpole…but let’s be for real, I wasn’t touching that thing!

When Mr. Burgher came home, A asked to talk to him about the mouse. “Daddy, he needs to be back with his family, he is going to miss them.” She had a point (and no, I didn’t tell her to tell him that…I actually threatened that he was lucky I didn’t have a BB gun). Mr. Burgher…did he listen?

I sure hope so. And I think Santa better have some oven mitts under my tree.

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