When the dog goes crazy in the middle of the night, there's something up. He'll often bark in a half-hearted, I'm-bored-and-want-to-wake-up-the-neighborhood sort of way, but he doesn't often go crazy loud and agitated. We should know that when he does, it's something not to ignore.
Naturally, since I had multiple presentations this week, was on call, and was stressed to the max, it was a good time for a catastrophe of some sort. After waking at 2 a.m. to hush Malcom's craziness, I saw something flicker in my peripheral vision like a moth. Except it was a huge moth. A moth the size of a bat. I didn't want it to be a bat, but even through my groggy stupor, I couldn't quite ignore that it really was. A bat. Flying from one child's room to the other at 2:00 a.m. in complete disregard for my desire for rest.
I'd never want to endure a catastrophe without the Boss sharing the fun, so we together laid our plan: save the kids (if possible), open the deck door to let the bat out, and check for signs of vampire infestation. On the signal from Boss, I closed Grace's door, grabbed Sam, and propped open the deck door. As the bat swooped toward my neck baring its unnaturally long fangs, I dove for cover and cowered under our bedroom blankets.
This was not one of my finer moments.
Having lost track of the bat, we left the deck door propped, and barricaded ourselves into our bedroom with clothes stuck in the door cracks to keep the ravenous predator away from sleeping baby flesh. We'd de-bat the house tomorrow, I thought to myself. I tried to go to sleep, but boss kept punching me in her sleep. She told me the next day she was dreaming a snake was on her. I don't know what this means, but it made it hard to doze off again.
Unfortunately for us all, we were awakened later in the night by the clicking creature hanging from the blinds on the window next to me. I sounded the alarm, Boss jumped, bat spooked, and a fair amount of time was spent trying to capture a bat flying through our carefully barricaded bedroom while child's bodies were strewn about the room like so many corpses.
You would think, after catching the thing, I'd want to make it pay for what it did to us. But, in a moment of reconciliation with nature and the dark demons that possess bats to prey on innocent, overtired families, I let the bat go. Which was a mistake. Because then the Health Department said there was no way to be certain we hadn't all contracted rabies while asleep in the bat infested bedroom. For all the public health people know, that bat could have spit in our gaping, drooling mouths. (For his own good, I hope he didn't time his attack with any snake dreams.)
So now, having received three shots (only four more to go!), I'm well on my way to being rabies free. I feel for the little ones, troopers that they are. Grace had just had shots the day before the bat attack at her well-baby visit. Even Malcom's smug superiority at having ready proof of up-to-date vaccination was dissolved with the news he'd need a booster.
The silver lining on this cloud is that I have it on good authority that the Health Department will bestow us each with a certificate of completion after getting our last shot. Thus, after proudly hanging it on the wall next to my medical degree, I will be able to reassure my patients not only that I obtained my medical degree from an LCME accredited institution, but that my bites are rabies froth free.