so today . . . a spider crawled on me. don't worry. i survived. i didn't even scream. at least, not out loud.
i was sitting on the couch, watching a little tv and playing on my computer. rollie had already gone to bed, and diandra was out at a high school football game (ah, the life of a youth pastor . . . ) and i was just sitting there, trying not to cough. i felt a tickle on my arm, glanced down, and there it was. a spider. on my arm. my BARE arm.
you know how moms and teachers always say, "oh don't worry. they are more afraid of you than you are of them . . . " it isn't true. trust me. i am absolutely certain that the spider on my arm was not even a tiny bit afraid of me--if he was, he would not have been strolling down my arm! and while i'm not sure i would say i was exactly afraid of it, i wasted not even one second trying to GET IT OFF OF ME!!!!!
diandra would have never survived the experience. for some reason, she has a seemingly irrational fear of any kind of spider. she will yell to me, "mom! there's a HUGE spider in my room!!" she says this with every expectation that i will come and kill it. and i usually do. but when i get there, and she shows me the spider, i realize that her definition of huge is not quite the same as mine. she seems to think that any spider visible to the naked eye is huge. to me, it isn't classified as huge unless it looks as though it is going to be yukky if i squish it.
i don't enjoy killing spiders. i know they are an important part of the bug food chain, and there is a part of me that wonders what evil creepy crawly things will overtake me if the spiders aren't there to eat them. so as long as they are not bothering anyone, i tend to leave them alone. but since diandra is so freaked out by them, i have learned to do my job as the mom and get rid of them.
my method isn't unique. i grab a big handful of toilet paper, hover over the offending arachnid, then quickly grab and squish. and then i flush it--just to be sure. i didn't know there was any other way to eliminate a spider. then one day i was out on the playground with my class, and one of the children found a spider. of course, everyone went to look, and i was all ready to give my speech about how the outdoors is where spiders live, and we should leave it alone so it could eat other bugs, and how it is important to respect all living things, blah, blah, blah. and then i saw the spider. it was a big black widow. i decided the speech could wait for another day, and sent someone inside to get the director. this looked like something that was in her job description, not mine.
a few minutes later, she came out with an aerosol can and sprayed that spider to death.
i had never thought of that. i didn't know you could kill a spider with a chemical weapon. i thought it had to be hand to hand combat.
i know i sound brave, but spiders are the only bugs i can work up my courage to kill. we also occasionally see crickets or cock roaches here in the lovely southwest--this is one of the downsides of our mild climate. i try to deal with the crickets myself by shooing them outside. i grab a magazine and sort of herd them toward the doggie door flap (which is probably how they get in.) this is not all that easy, as they seem incapable of jumping in a straight line. getting a cricket from point a (anyplace in the family room) to point b (outside) can be a nearly impossible task--especially since i am not willing to touch it. or have it touch me.
and then there are the cock roaches. thankfully i don't see too many of them, because that is the bug that freaks me out. talk about HUGE!! i'm not even sure how you can call a cock roach an insect. insects are tiny and cock roaches are not. i am sure they are really some sort of small animal disguised as an insect. i cannot even imagine stepping on one--i might never recover from that! so my method of dealing with cock roaches is to trap them and wait for rollie to come home and dispose of them. but they are hard to trap, because they are so FAST. and they seem to have special mind reading powers, so they know exactly when i am about to drop the big glass measuring cup over them, and they move. once i do trap them, they run around and around and around in circles at the edge of the cup. i can't stand it--i have to leave the room.
one time rollie came home and found one half in and half out of the cup. he asked me if i had dropped the measuring cup ON the cock roach. i said no. the only explanation i can come up with is that it managed to lift that big heavy glass cup just enough to start to get out. thankfully the escape attempt was not successful. and yet, just knowing it tried creeps me out. so now, i put something big and heavy on top of the glass cup--just to be sure.
once i found a cock roach on the dining room drapes. this was the first time i had seen one not scurrying around on the ground. i yelled for rollie (in much the same way that diandra yells for me when she sees a spider,) and he came to the rescue. that is the day i learned that COCK ROACHES CAN FLY!!! you do not want to hear the story behind that revelation. trust me. it involved much running about, hand flapping, screaming, and fear of death by gigantic flying bug.
thankfully, i survived. unlike the spider that chose my arm as his route from point a to point b.