Saturday, December 10, 2011

It was just a dream

Last night at 1am Zari burst out of her room yelling at the top of her lungs. Think 5-year-old girl imitating Braveheart. She yelled all the way down the hall and ran into our room. Once Eric got her calmed down enough to talk, this is what came out:

"Papa, papa, il y a un oiseau dans ma chambre!" Dad, dad, there's a bird in my room!

Of course we knew that was totally silly and that she'd had a nightmare. Eric assured her,

"Je crois pas qu'il y a un oiseau dans ta chambre. C'etait un cauchemar. Viens, je vais voir." I doubt there is a bird in your room. You just had a nightmare. Come, I'll take a look.

He found a bat flying around in her room.

This called for my superior bat-catching abilities; I've caught at least 6 bats in the past few years. Here's how you catch a bat:
1. Get a medium-sized bath towel.
2. Close the doors to the room if possible.
3. Swat at the bat every time it flies by you. Bats tend to fly in circles when they're trapped indoors, so it's pretty easy to swat them down. You have to really snap the towel quickly. Once it falls to the floor, throw the towel over the bat and gently pick it up.
4. Release outdoors.
Eric settled Zari down, then came back to bed. About a half hour later, he woke up convinced that there was a bat in our bed. (He does this fairly regularly. Over the years I've had to fend off attacks when he thought some creature was on top of me and assure him that no, there really wasn't a giant lobster-sized centipede trying to attack me.)

I told him, "There's not a bat in the bed. You're just having a dream." I used my best mother-telling-her-child-she-had-a-nightmare voice.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. It was just a dream. Go to bed."


  1. Are you speaking only French to your kids? That is fabulous!

  2. That is amazing that Zari knows French at her age. Good for Eric for teaching her! We always have bats in our house during the summer and trying to get rid of them is even harder with our cats around. We had one leap up and snag one out of mid air. Thank goodness they're up to date on their rabies shots. Did she have a window open or something?

  3. We always had bats in the house during the summer when I was growing up. My dad keeps a badminton racquet under his bed to catch them. They can't see the racquet threading with thier sonar and try to fly right through the center of the metal loop. Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. Hahaha, oh man, this is hysterical! I've had more bat encounters than anyone I've ever met (of COURSE I have! I'm petrified of animals that fly, so that makes me a magnet for them! They would find their way into my bedroom at night and dive bomb me while I was saying goodnight to my mom! Crazy!) The first time I had a bat in my room I woke up because of a rustling sound, and woke my mom up to tell her, "There's a really big bug on my mini-blinds!" ;) Your story is even better, though (and good tip with the towel, I'll have to tell my mom that the next time I go home and a bat finds me!)

  5. Eric speaks only in French, and I speak a mixture (more French when he's home, more English when it's just me and the kids).

    I don't know how the bat got in, since both the inside windows and storms were sealed shut! But bats can slip through the tiniest of cracks. I'm guessing it came in the attic and somehow got down into her room.

  6. I don't want to sound alarmist here, but do keep in mind that bats are one of the top carriers of rabies. I used to work at our mutual university's student health clinic and many times had to give the rabies post-exposure prophylaxis series (rabies immuneglobulin, based on weight, and four rabies vaccines over two weeks) to students who awoke to bats in their rooms. Bat bites can can be difficult to detect, so with any unconscious/sleeping person awaking to a bat in their room, post-exposure prophylaxis is indicated. However, keeping the bat so it can be tested can lead to the shots not being needed.

    I have no doubt in your ability to assess the situation or your thoughts about your family's risk. I just wanted to share in case you didn't know about the rabies risk with bats.

    Here are some links that might be helpful. (flow chart for rabies risk assessment)


  7. That is scarey-funny. My BF had a bat in her house and she picked it up with a towel just like that and it bit her through the towel! She had to have RABIES shots for 6 weeks! I would check your attic and soffits for how they are getting in! I think bats are cute and very useful outside, but if they come in my house is the DEATH SENTENCE! Same with spiders! Just becareful and don't get bit and find the holes so the kids don't get bit!

    Thats too funny about Eric!! We are laughing with you ,buddy!


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