Tracking a ruthless criminal with a Project MC2 Ultimate Spy Bag (review)

Honestly, it’s been rather a fraught few days. The turmoil began last Monday evening, when a tiny little mouse was discovered in the playroom. To a normal person, this may represent a minor shock and inconvenience, but due to a trauma suffered in France at the impressionable age of 20, I was practically in need of a fainting couch and smelling salts.

The wretched cat, having lost interest immediately upon depositing the miniature rodent was now nowhere to be seen. My husband was my hero on this occasion. After two hours of intense activity, he caught the little blighter and released it far from home.

img_1164.jpg

PHEW! Thank heavens our mouse ordeal was over!

…ha.

On Friday, at 2:00am, I was awoken by a rather insistent, slightly manic meowing. Luna – strutting, immensely pleased with herself, was keen for my approval. Looking through bleary eyes, in darkness, it took me a moment to appreciate the cause of her self-satisfaction, until a small movement on the rug, mere inches from the bed caught my eye. Calmly and patiently, I awoke my husband with the news that her crimes were escalating and now there was A MOUSE IN OUR BEDROOM.

That same innate ability that has allowed him to sleep through nine years of child-centred night-time disturbances meant it took him some time to respond, during which time my blood pressure reached  levels previously only seen when I had life-threatening pre-eclampsia. The mouse stayed frozen on the rug as Luna purred proudly and looked on benevolently. I can truthfully say that this is the only time in my whole life I have hoped to find a dead mouse next to me.

Alas, even this modest desire was to be unfulfilled. Turning on the light shocked the little critter into action and it scampered off to the right, seeking refuge under the radiator. The idiot cat, meanwhile, hunted furiously under the chest of drawers to the left, unearthing a roll of wrapping paper and about 15 hair bobbles, which entertained her greatly. With gentle encouragement and tender handling, I moved her to a centimetre away from where her victim was cowering, but those hair bobbles couldn’t be left and, ignoring the mouse, she sped across the room to catch more. The mouse, seizing its chance, fled behind the wardrobes that line the end wall of the room.

At this point, my dear spouse suggested returning to bed, as evidently nothing further could be done, but with my musophobia ramping up to unprecedented levels, I wasn’t sure I was quite relaxed enough for restful slumber.

After a few minutes of frantic Googling, I came up with a foolproof design for catching the mouse. My husband, to his credit, humoured me to the extent of finding me gaffer tape and cheese, as I flew round the house cutting up boxes and unrolling Andrex like a mischievous pup. The trap was set and we waited for the inevitable victory promised…

img_6458-1At 3:30am, victory not yet achieved, it was insisted that, with work tomorrow, we really must go back to sleep. Just as he turned out the light, my sweetheart said, conversationally, “Yes, actually, I think I felt something scurry over my face before I woke up. Luna must have jumped onto the bed with it first. Night, night!”

He rolled over and was asleep in 15 seconds, I lay, rigid with horror, until the shrill alarm disturbed me from this state of suspended animation. I have had colourful nightmares ever since. The mouse has not been seen again. I am in talks with local estate agencies.

That afternoon, the children were somewhat on pins and I was like a woman who had had 2 hours sleep and then toiled all day in a sweltering classroom, so the arrival of a Project Mc Ultimate Spy Bag was a very welcome distraction. Quite possibly the most exciting thing to ever arrive by post.

img_6408-1
Making it clear from the outset who’s going to be lead investigator. The look in that subordinate’s eye spells trouble though…

I had tried to buy one of these at Christmas, but like the Fingerling monkeys, it seemed you needed to start your shopping rather earlier than I managed, to get hold of one, so when I was asked to write a review, I was delighted. My girls are big fans of Project Mc² on Netflix – I can’t truthfully say I’m a committed viewer myself, but anything that makes being a clever girl cool, has got to be onto a good thing. As a teacher, anything that encourages a bit of science also wins brownie points.

This set is aimed at those aged 6 and up, and with a 9-year-old and a 6-later-this-month-year-old (“Let’s just pretend I’m 6, Mummy, please.”) we fell neatly into the target demographic and were well placed to put it through its paces.

img_6523

The whole set is housed in a plastic case, that with a generous eye, looks a little like a Chanel bag. I’ve long been a fan of a toy that packs away inside itself, so this was a positive for me straight away. Inside, disguised with fiendish brilliance as handbag paraphernalia is a plethora of spy equipment, including a tiny torch, a magnifying glass, a selection of test tubes and flasks and the apparatus for taking fingerprints.

Little girl waiting to play
Ready for when she’s finally allowed a turn…

I always imagine that in other families, siblings revel in each other’s company and that life is like one long episode of Topsy and Tim, whilst my own little beasts squabble almost constantly. I have to say that they have played together very pleasantly with this (so long as the little one remembers her place and doesn’t commence work without close supervision) and after the initial exploration of it they have enjoyed carrying out the experiments suggested and have built it into other games of spy masters and Sherlock Holmes (no prizes for guessing who had to be Watson.)

img_6441

I’m not a big fan of PINK – I have a feminist heart and feel it unnecessary – but none of the girls (nor the one boy) who have been here and played with it (only about 6, so not a comprehensive survey) have shared my feelings and have all completely loved it. The app which complements it is good, and will extend the interest for older children. My two have probably enjoyed the fingerprinting the most – it’s good to know we have a selection on file, should we need to refer to them in the future…

img_6443-1

On Amazon, this costs £40. When it first arrived, I thought the price tag was a bit steep, but it’s sturdy and well made, and, seeing the enjoyment they have from it and the potential in it for other play, I wouldn’t have felt hard done by spending this.

Of course, no finger printing has been necessary to identify the criminal in our own household, but since Friday mouse-gate, Luna has disgraced herself only the once. We arrived home from school on Monday to find her toying with a little bird – possibly a thrush, I am disgracefully ill-informed about native birdlife – in my littlest badger’s bedroom.

img_6507

For once there is a happy ending. After much muttering under my breath of words that primary teachers probably shouldn’t even know, I managed to transfer it to a basket (ironically enough, from the dissembled mouse trap) to await further advice from Dr Google. The bird was very still, but there was no blood. The first article I read instructed breaking its neck; fortunately for the bird I read on and the second, rather less knee-jerk, suggestion was to put it in a covered box and see if it recovered from the shock. After half an hour it did, and our hearts were gladdened by the sight of it flying away, hopefully having learned a (hard) lesson about visiting our garden.

img_6521.jpg

Luna is now living the life of a dissolute rock star; going wild all night and sleeping all day. Is there anything I can do? Anything??!

I was provided this toy free of charge, in return for my honest and unbiased review. All the observations and opinions expressed are mine or those of my little badgers.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mum Muddling Through

8 Comments Add yours

  1. whatrachdidnext says:

    Oh dear! I have two male cats, thankfully they’ve grown out of hunting now but it did last until they were about 7 years old. Your post did just have me in stitches though! Thanks and for that! X

    Like

    1. Thank you! 7?!!! Oh no! This little minx is only 6 months old! Argh! X

      Like

  2. Emma T says:

    I’m loving those mouse traps. If you want to know the best traps, my son is obsessed with watching this guy on youtube who tests out and videos all these types of mouse traps from all over the world. He’s huge on Youtube (I blame my brother for introducing it to N)

    Like

    1. Are mice involved?! I’m not sure I’m up to it! Thanks for the tip though!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. emmamc84 says:

    I think this is one of the reasons why I could never get a cat! All those lovely ‘presents’ they bring in the house and present to you! Loving that mousetrap by the way!

    Like

    1. You are very wise!

      Like

  4. Lol that is absolutely hilarious! I am loving your home made mouse trap…maybe you should patent it lol? Glad there was a happy ending after all that – phew! Thanks for linking up with us at #coolmumclub!

    Like

    1. I’m taking it on Dragons’ Den! Thanks 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s