I was in the kitchen cleaning up, or trying to,when I heard this earth shattering scream from Rebecca. A normal mother would drop everything and run out. Since we all know I am no normal mother I went on with my cleaning up, since my cleaning up tends to get interrupted by other cleaning up. Example: I am trying to clean the counters after making the scrumdidlylicious cookie recipe to the right of the page when Alexander announces that he peed on the potty and that needs to get cleaned up. So I abort one cleaning for another. But I am digressing…
So I ignore Rebecca’s shrills which occur so frequently that even a normal mother would tune out. I turn around to see a little girl who has jumped up on to the couch pointing to something on the floor. “OH MY GOD!” She tells me “there is an enormous creature on the floor!” Then another ear-piercing scream. “MOMMY! There’s a poisonous scorpion on the floor!” My curiosity is now piqued, but I continue because I am not worried that such a creature will come and kill us in freezing Southeastern New England. Eventually, after taking my own sweet time — Rebecca still jumping up and down on the couch — I come out to see something that belongs outside in a warm summer garden. Not in my house.
I grew up in Manhattan, home to the cockroach and the rat. But no insects live there. At least I never saw any. I have been terrified of bugs for as long as I have lived. That’s a pretty long time! I used to dread visiting my relatives in Connecticut. I dreaded playing outside more. There were Daddy Long Legs everywhere, for as far as the eye could see!
Once, when I was in Florida visiting my grandparents, an ant crawled up my leg inside the car. I screamed so loudly that they had to stop the car and remove it from my body. This was a teeny tiny black ant. By my antics you would have thought I was facing Death in the face. Hmmm, I guess the apple doesn’t fall so far from the tree, after all. In college, in a Boston suburb, I had come face to face with those creatures with eight long legs again… no, not octopuses you sillies! Once, my room mate was not there to rescue me and I had to figure out how to rid the spider. My double room was not large enough for the two of us. It was the spider or me. One of us had to go. I decided it would be the spider. First I sprayed the heck out of it with hairspray. I figured the stickier it was the harder it would be to run away before I had a chance to suck the life out of it with the vacuum! Eventually it was stiff enough and I ran out to the hall closet, grabbed the vacuum and the longest extension I could find, and called a friend for moral support and screamed like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween 1 through 31, turned on the vacuum and let it do the work. After all that the spider was out of the room. I have no idea how I ever survived summer camp in the Adirondacks for 10 years.
And I digress again… eventually I finished what I was doing and came out to see what this great big monster was. “A Scorpion!” she continued to shout. I went over to the corner on the rug and saw not a Scorpion but certainly something that would have had me running in the other direction 1o years ago. I still have not gotten over my fear of creepy crawlies, but I have to show that I am the strong one — or put on a pretty good act. I took one of Alexander’s flushable wipes and scooped up the insect with a million little legs and ran — and I do mean ran — in the direction of the toilet. Shivers ran up and down my spine and I did indeed want to scream as loud as Rebecca had. The things we do for kids.
I’ve sure come a long way baby!