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She practices rolling to her left side and grabbing her feet all night. When she rolls back, her arm thwacks the mattress. When she lets go of her feet, her legs thwack the mattress. This is why I don’t really sleep anymore.

Spouse worked hard to schedule the insulation job for the day immediately following the tear-out to reduce the chance of bats finding a way in (the spray foam insulation would seal any remaining holes). We stayed a week longer at our friends’ house in order to make the bing-bang-boom of the schedule happen. It did not happen. There was a misunderstanding of large proportion between the man who gave us the estimate and the workers who were supposed to do the job, the result of which was that (1) they showed up one day later than we had planned for, (2) they found the site too large and too un-ready for foam insulation, and thus (3) it didn’t happen. Spouse talked to the Estimate Man again who said he’d give us a new estimate (???) on Saturday. That didn’t happen either.

We moved back into the house on Friday anyway. Friday afternoon, Spouse was walking around the front of the house when he heard the characteristic sounds of bats. Of course. We couldn’t locate them precisely but later that evening, Spouse assumed his monitoring position on the front sidewalk and watched 26+ bats flying freely from the front left corner of our house. Excellent.

We have spent an anxious weekend in the house reassuring ourselves verbally that even if there are dozens of bats in the attic itself, there’s no way for the bats to get into our living space. The hole in the closet under the attic stairs that Bat Man had cut to clean out (this is the space they were using as a delivery chute into our living space) has been sealed up with a new drywall panel courtesy of Dad and his buddy. The attic door remains taped shut, as do the fireplace and pocket hole door voids. It’s not impossible that they’ll find a new way into the house, but it seems very unlikely. Still, it doesn’t take much to set us on edge. We’re still unable to use the air conditioning on the second floor and we’re still sleeping in one room. Both of these things seem such small inconveniences as to be barely worth mentioning in light of the fact that the BATS ARE BACK.

Bat Man is coming back out today to pick up the remaining trash bags that wouldn’t fit in his trailer last week. He didn’t tear out a couple of walls we assumed he’d tear out so Spouse will talk to him about that. Spouse will also talk to him, I imagine, in a slightly raised voice about the dozens of bats that have returned. I assume there will be no satisfactory answer from anyone and we’ll have to keep hanging in there.

This summer is the pits, man.

Spouse has just spoken with the Bat Man, who is currently at our house tearing out and cleaning up the attic. If you recall from a previous post, Bat Man had told me he expected to find live bats when he tore out the walls. Today, he and his colleagues have found none. Zero. I can’t properly express my surprise, nor can I allow myself to fully enjoy this good news. There has to be a catch, right? In spite of a few days of neither seeing nor hearing any evidence of bats living in the attic or siding, is it possible that they have indeed been successfully sealed out of our house?

Big and little

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36 for my 36th

Met the bat man at the house today just as he was coming back down from upstairs, where he had previously laid glue traps to catch bats who found their way into our attic rather than the great outdoors. He told me there were four bats on the traps. He saw Spouse a few minutes later and reported “four or five,” so, you know, I’m thinking it was five. That brings the grand total–thus far–to 36 bats who have been in the living space of our house since this all began. Thirty-six bats in celebration of my 36th birthday yesterday. Thirty-six. Let that sink in a little, then consider that it’s a mere fraction of the total number that have been living in our attic. Hundreds would be a fair estimate.

The bat man has been diligent, working for four months now at the most complicated bat exclusion he’s performed in his ten years in the business. It wasn’t terribly cheap to have him come out in the first place but the company has undoubtedly lost money dealing with our job. It’d be easier to feel bad about that if we hadn’t had hundreds of bats in our attic, three dozen of which have come in to say hello and scare the shit out of us.

On Wednesday, the bat man and two of his associates will begin tearing out the walls and ceiling of the attic, as well as cutting a hole in the closet between our room and Nuala’s room, and cleaning out the considerable piles of guano and soiled insulation down to the studs, then disinfecting it with some sort of spray, sealing any holes they find along the way. Today I asked whether it was likely they would find live bats when they began cutting out the walls. He said, “Oh, definitely.” He estimates “double digits” are still living in the siding of the dormer on the driveway side. They will be suited up for battle, however, and all I can say is better them than us.

On Thursday, the insulation company will come in and spray foam insulation in the bare underside of the roof and inside the walls, further sealing those surfaces from the exterior. After that comes the duct cleaning and drywall. And every night henceforth, prayers, burnt offerings, voodoo magic, and God knows what else to discourage the bats from ever returning.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

Tooth 2 has popped into view. Or rather, the razor-sharp edge of Tooth 2 has been felt by Mom.

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Today, Nuala got fitted for a cello–1/8 size!
In a couple weeks, Nuala will do strings camp. She had the choice of learning violin or cello. She first said she wanted to play violin, but I worked my magic on her and convinced her to play cello. Why? Because my brain will break if I hear a 5-year-old scratching at a violin and it probably won’t break if I hear her scratching at a cello. Score one for Mom, huh?

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