My husband and I have been debating this last week on the size of rat poop. I’d like to think we were more high-brow than that, indulging in political discussions or loving debates over social issues. But, no, it’s been about the size of rat poop, and now our three sweet and precocious children have joined in the discussion.
One morning, several days ago, I sent my husband off to work and my kids off to school as normal, and started in on my daily routine. I clean the kitchen, wash the dishes and retire to my home office to dial into work. After clearing off the breakfast table, I grabbed a broom and swept the floor underneath. That’s when I noticed hard, little black pellets littering the floor. At first, I didn’t think anything of it, but when I bent to sweep everything into the dust pan, it suddenly occurred to me to wonder, “What does rat poop actually look like? Is this it?”
I got really upset at the thought of rats in the house. I work really hard at keeping a clean home, despite three very active children. I’m not saying it’s perfect and spotless, but it’s clean and sanitary, and I’ve always prided myself on an exceptionally clean kitchen. So, why on earth would I find rat poop under the dining table??
The pellets were different sizes – some round, some oval, but they were all the same dark color, and I could tell they were the same consistency as they rolled around in the dust bin.
Disturbed, I told my family about it that afternoon as everyone came home, and I begged them all to be careful not to leave any food out. I assumed my husband would have no issues with me calling in a rat exterminator, but he called the whole experience into question, asking me if I even knew the size of rat poop, or what rat droppings look like.
My eight year-old daughter raised the question of why I was so sure it was a rat. Maybe it was a mouse? My eleven year-old boy sided with his father, saying he thought rat poop was more uniform in size and shape.
I admit, I got exasperated. In my mind, I was sure it was a rat and I was going to battle it until we had gotten rid of it. Over the next couple of days, I’d find more black pellets. I’d show the entire family and the discussion over the size of rat poop would rage on.
One night, the mystery was finally solved and the discussion put to rest. It was late, and I noticed the light on in the kitchen. I padded downstairs, thinking we had just forgotten to turn off the light before going to bed. That’s when I saw him under the table. My 6 year old son, who had remained fairly quiet in our family discussion of what rat poop looks like and the size of rat poop, was sitting cross-legged on the floor. In his hands, he held a stale chocolate cupcake from a batch I made on Sunday. Apparently, he’d squirreled some away, and snuck down each night to nibble on them while hiding under the table. My “rat droppings” turned out to be chocolate cake crumbs.