rollie left on tuesday for kansas city. he had to attend some meetings with all the other new guys doing the same job he is doing, but in different parts of the country. now that he has actually been doing the job for three months, i guess it was finally time for some training...
and so, diandra and i were home alone.
i don't mind being home alone. i never really feel like i am alone anyway, because of our two pups. and this time i had the added advantage of having diandra living with us--which is a situation that i am not going to be able to enjoy much longer. because at the end of the summer her husband will come home from kuwait, and then i am pretty sure she isn't going to be living with me any more! so i was looking forward to having some fun with my daughter while rollie was gone...
...and then i heard the scream. "MOM!!!!! THERE'S A COCK ROACH IN MY ROOM!!!!!!!" (believe me, the uppercase letters and exclamation points are not an exaggeration!)
this is not the first time we have found a cock roach in her room. this is the second time. in a month.
the last time we found one, rollie was gone too. diandra saw it on her dresser, behind a box, among some envelopes. and that's when she screamed. i went running up to her room, but when she showed me where she had seen it, i did not know how we were going to trap it, because it wasn't on a flat surface. and those things are hard to trap even when they are on the floor! then i remembered how our preschool director had sprayed a spider with an aerosol substance to kill it, so i said to diandra, "go get some hairspray!" she looked at me like i had lost my mind! i explained what we were going to do with the hairspray, but she said, "what if it doesn't kill it--what if it just makes it mad!!" an interesting idea. i wasn't sure i wanted to deal with an angry cock roach. what would an angry cock roach do? it occurred to me that it might resort to flying to escape. i said to diandra, "ok, maybe we shouldn't do that. it might try to fly away." "IT MIGHT TRY TO FLY AWAY?!?!?! COCK ROACHES CAN FLY?!?!?!?"
oops. perhaps i should not have mentioned that to her, because this resulted in some hysterical crying. now she had one more thing to worry about. "GET IT, MOM, GET IT!!!" i was trying to get it. but i didn't want it to get me! and it was not cooperating!
i finally decided that we were going to have to get it off the dresser and out into the hall, where we could trap it, (because it didn't look like killing it was going to be an option for us if we couldn't hairspray it to death,) but we were going to have to accomplish this without losing visual contact--which is not that easy, when you remember that cock roaches prefer the dark and will just keep trying to move out of the light. and they are fast! i thought about it for a minute and formulated a plan.
"ok," i said, "here's what we are going to do. i am going to try to flick the cock roach off your dresser toward the door. hopefully he will ricochet off the door and out into the hallway. then hopefully i can get out there and trap him under the cup before he scuttles away." "BUT WHAT IF HE STARTS FLYING?!?!?!" she said. and then the hysterical crying began again.
this was not going well. i was not all that confident in my abilities, but somebody had to be brave here, and it was clearly not going to be diandra. it was time to be the mom! "diandra, get on the bed! you should be safe there!" the bed was behind me, the exact opposite direction i was hoping to fling the cock roach. she was not reassured. "BUT WHAT IF IT GETS ME?!?!?!?" she said. and so i said, "put that blanket over your head. then if it does fly, it can't get you." i said it couldn't get her, and technically it couldn't, but i'm telling you... if that thing flew into the blanket she now had over her head she would feel it, and i did not think there were enough sedatives in the world to calm her down if that happened!
i carefully positioned myself between diandra and the cock roach, and prepared to fling it against the door and into the hallway. i just prayed it wouldn't fly and land on me. because if that happened, i was pretty sure i would scream or faint or something, and if that happened, i would probably just die, because there was no way diandra was coming out from under that blanket to save me! she would probably run screaming from the room and leave me there, passed out, at the mercy of the giant cock roach...
the cock roach climbed up on an envelope. i lifted it, (the envelope, NOT the cock roach,) ready to fling, but it just sat there. so i slowly moved toward the hallway (yes, i had the heebie-jeebies--i could just feel it crawing on me...) and then it moved! i screamed and threw the envelope out into the hall. diandra screamed, and started crying again. i yelled at her, "GIVE ME THE CUP, GIVE ME THE CUP!" i was trying to maintain visual contact so that it wouldn't crawl under something and escape. she practically threw the cup at me, ran back into her bedroom, and closed the door--leaving me alone in the hallway with the cock roach...
clearly, we were not in this together. it was sink or swim. do or die. i was on my own...
i zeroed in on the cock roach. it attempted an escape--it headed for the bookcase and tried to crawl behind it. had it been successful, it would have evaded capture. but i did NOT want that thing loose in the house. if i didn't catch it, we were going to have to load up the dogs and head to the motel 6! so i kept pursuing it, until i finally managed to trap it under the cup.
and there it waited until rollie got home the next day.
which brings us to last tuesday night. again, rollie was out of town. and again, i heard the scream, "MOM!! THERE IS A COCK ROACH IN MY ROOM! AGAIN!! COME AND GET IT!!!" i grabbed the cock roach cup and headed up the stairs. diandra was on the bed crying. she was crying, because she had LOST visual contact and didn't know where the cock roach was.
i wanted to cry too. this was serious, people!! that thing could ambush us at any moment!!!
but i couldn't cry--i'm the mom. so i talked to her in soothing tones, moved her away from the danger zone, and started slowly moving things around, sort of hoping i would find it. (and sort of hoping i wouldn't! because if i found it, i was going to have to try to trap it again. but if i didn't find it, it would be loose in the house! talk about being between a rock and a hard place...) and then diandra screamed, "THERE IT IS!" which resulted in me screaming, "WHERE?!?!?!" as i jumped up onto the bed with her. ( which, let's be honest here, was not going to save either one of us. this was a cock roach, not a mouse. and as we both now knew, cock roaches can fly!!!) she pointed, "RIGHT THERE!!" i slammed the cup down over the cock roach. i didn't even think, or gauge distances, or take into account the size and position of it's ridiculously long and creepily roving antenne--i just slammed that cup down and trapped it. it started running around and around and around the inside perimeter of the cup. this creeped us both out, so we ran out of the room and closed the door.
and left the cock roach there for three days until rollie came home.
i sort of figured it might just suffocate before rollie got to it. but it didn't. those things are tough! diandra, of course, had to occasionally go back into her room to get stuff, but there was NO WAY she was going to sleep in there. the cock roach was trapped on her dresser, right next to her bed! she said that every time she went in there, it was trying to dig it's way out!! now i had a whole new nightmare to deal with... because not only can cock roaches fly, they apparently can also dig!
i'm not sure we are ever letting rollie go out of town again. ever.