Rigby has been a city dog her whole life. Our old apartment didn’t have windows that looked out onto “nature,” so she rarely saw birds. Now she sees them out our bedroom window every day and loses her freaking doggy mind. We are constantly saying stuff like, “Rigby they are just birds! Chill out! STOP BARKING OMG!” One of Annie’s favorite books is about birds, and last week she suddenly made the connection that Rigby’s barking means Rigby wants to hurt the birds. This makes Annie lose her freaking toddler mind all, “WIGBY! NO BARKING! NO BIRDIES! NOOOOOO!”  It’s just so much loudness, all the time.

Last night Mike and I were sitting on the couch doing…well, I don’t know what he was doing, I had an Us Weekly so I was pretty focused. Anyway, he suddenly goes, “What’s that, is that a moth?” I managed to tear my eyes away from the magazine in time to see a pretty gigantic moth fly from the kitchen into the family room. Mike was chasing it, waving a dish towel. I’ll give you a moment to snicker at that visual. “I have to kill it, it’s gross,” he said as he fanned the moth with a cool breeze.

I’m not afraid of moths, but I didn’t need one flapping around its giant wings, leaving moth dust everywhere. I already have a hard enough time keeping up with the regular dust around here. Plus this one time I watched a TV show about people who inhale bugs and it was disturbing. So what I’m saying is, I was on board with Operation Moth Removal. That’s when Annabel joined us from the playroom. She saw the moth and yelled, “BIRDY!”

Mike was literally in the process of throwing plastic balls at the moth when she yelled this. Everything went all slow-motion as I watched the ball leave Mike’s fingers on a collision course for the moth (which I’d named Carol Anne because it kept flying into the lights and if you get that joke you are my new boyfriend). As the ball hit the moth, Annie screamed in a very low-pitched voice (because it was slow mo, duh), “NOOOOOooooooooo!”

The moth was clearly some kind of mutant, though, because while it stumbled, it did NOT fall. It did drop like 80 metric tons of dust DAMN IT, but it kept flying into the ceiling lights like a moron. I started comforting Annie. “Look Annie, the birdy, I MEAN the moth is fine! See, it’s still up there flapping its gross moth wings, flappy flappy!” Meanwhile, Mike had grabbed his old standby, the kitchen towel, and was fanning the moth and Rigby was barking. Everything was awesome.

After an embarrassing amount of time, Mike and I finally realized we should turn off the lights in the family room and turn ON the lights near the door to the back yard. The moth, sensing victory, flew down to a low spot on the wall. I yelled, “SMASH IT!” and Annie screamed, “NO SMASH BIRDY!” Mike grabbed a random party hat from Annie’s birthday and trapped the moth, then carefully carried it to the back door and let it go…only to have the moth immediately fly back into the house.

I started cursing Carol Anne while Annie cheered, “yay birdy!” and Mike started fanning the moth with the party hat. Finally, after we turned off all the lights in the house and turned ON all the lights in the back yard, the moth flew out the door and into freedom. Annie immediately burst into tears. “Oh no! Where birdy go?” We explained that the moth had to go home to its mommy. Annie was unconvinced. When we put her to bed a few minutes later, she said, “Mama…birdie go see mama? Come back?” I said, “Annie, the moth is probably on the other side of your window.” Mike was horrified but Annie looked at the window and said, “Night night birdie!”

I’m sleeping with a surgical mask on. You never can be too careful.