This is the highlight reel of my trip to Georgia with a toddler, 11 teenagers and 2 male youth leaders in the middle of June while I was 7.5 months pregnant. The trip: I drove a 15 passenger van filled with luggage - and a little hole carved out of the suitcase pile for my daughter's carseat. I drove this van through a Amazonian-caliber thunderstorm, and through Atlanta. #marriedtoayouthpastor
The accomodations: I slept on an air mattress in a a field house at the local high school with roughly 30 other girls. My friends kept asking me if I was okay, and I was all, "Of course! I'm fine! But if the fire alarm goes off, please don't forget me." Because while sleeping on an air mattress was a total breeze, GETTING UP took about 7 minutes - 7 bumbling, ungraceful minutes.
All in all, it was a pretty nice set up. There was, however, one little issue.
The issue was about 4 inches long to be exact, with whiskers and a creepy rodent tail.
On the third morning there, I was sitting in the field house "supervising" our belongings so that some cheerleaders from the high school could practice in our room. (I was chosen for this task because I was pregnant, and while babysitting sleeping bags is dreadfully boring, at least I was in the air conditioning for a few hours.) I was laying on my air mattress making to-do lists and texting when I heard the cheerleaders scream. Girls fell out of lifts and libs and hopped up and down, pointing to a pile of mats in the corner.
"THERE'S A RAT IN HEEEERE!"
Dear Moses. Now what do I do? Because honestly, all of our students contracting the bubonic plague would be LESS disastrous than the mass hysteria that would ensue if a room of 30 high school girls learned that a rat was crawling around their stuff.
After several hours of deliberation I decided to tell one person who 1. Had some authority over sports camp and 2. Was not staying in the field house. Then I gathered a bunch of zip lock bags and lovingly suggested that the girls close their food tightly INSIDE of bags, INSIDE of ZIPPED suitcases. I also became the door-nazi. If ours was propped open for more than a second I lashed out at unsuspecting teenagers about the "possibility" of rodents coming in to escape the rain.
The good person on whom I dumped the burden of the knowledge of the rat sent me a brief text message the next morning that simply said,
"I've assembled a task force."
This task force was to go into the field house immediately after the girls left for the morning, armed with traps and poison. The task force would then check/remove the traps before the girls returned at 3:30. It was all very covert and exciting. Then this person also suggested (jokingly?) that as a last resort, I leave a trail of crumbs from our side of the field house down the hallway to the boys room. For the record, I DID NO SUCH THING.
Because after looking at their room compared to ours, I deduced that the rat was already over there wallowing merrily in a pile of sweaty socks and Dorito crumbs. I imagined him much like Templeton the rat enjoying the garbage at the fair in Charlotte's Web.
It's good to be a girl.
It should be noted that we saw neither hide nor hair (nor droppings, nor knawings, nor rummagings) of the rat all week, and so far, none of our students have fallen into comas. Crisis averted.