Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm no Sir Mix-a-lot

I don't like spiders. Let's rephrase that. I'm deathly afraid of spiders. I scream in terror when I see even a small spider. I am useless if a spider has entered my line of sight. In fact, when I was home on maternity leave with Little Dog, I called Mr. Dog at work in a total panic, tears streaming down my face begging him to come home and dispose of a giant black spider that was lurking in the living room positioning itself on the ceiling right over my head no matter where I moved. I'm still traumatized by that experience.
I've tried to temper this phobia since the boys were born. I don't want to instill my fears in their young and impressionable minds if at all possible. Through an enormous force of motherly will I've managed to stifle my screams a bit, I'm no longer frozen in place, but the terror is still there. Over time I've been able to quell my fear of little spiders slightly. I still don't want them on me or even near me, but I am now able to pick something up and squish them if they invade my space.
Unfortunately my improved spider tolerating techniques came too late to keep Big Dog from developing a similar phobia. He hates spiders too. Even little ones. Even the ones that no longer cause a total meltdown on my part. And like good mothers do, I've tried to talk him down when a tiny spider causes him to freak out. "That's such a little one, I'm not even afraid of it!" Squish.
Now the boys have diagnosed my specific fear to spiders with large abdomens. And that is kind of true. The ones with bulging bodies make my blood run cold. Especially if they have really long legs that bend at a sharp angle, making them look like they're ready to pounce on you at the slightest provocation. Shiver. Ok, I'm freaking myself out even just writing about them.
Anyhow, they boys have found the link between my level of terror and specific spidery features. And now, if they want to tell scary stories they go a little bit like this.
"Mama, what are you afraid of?" asks Little Dog.
"Spiders." I'll answer
"Spiders with big butts, right mama? Once upon a time there was a spider with a big butt!" he says in a spooky story telling voice. And I'm supposed to scream in mock terror.
We play this game a lot. Lately in our house there is a lot of talk about spiders with big butts. And no, I do not like them.
So yesterday as I was sitting in the car, windows down, in front of the boys' preschool snapping photos of their hair I'd styled into "bat ears" (whole other story) when Big Dog started screaming.
He was pointing at something in front of him, yelling "fly" as near as I could tell. I tried to calm him down because really, a fly isn't anything to be afraid of, right? Finally I looked over and saw the source of his panic. A spider, roughly the size of my head sporting a butt that would have caused Sir Mix-a-lot to wax poetic, had flown in the open window and was now crawling down the interior passenger door. "Out of the car!" I shouted and managed to get the boys safely to the curb. I moved them far back from the car, then in an act of insane bravery opened the door to get rid of the ungodly beast. I tried to lift it on a piece of paper, but it sprung forward (kind of proving my theory about the bendy long legged spiders) and crouched on the edge of the seat near the gearshift. I grabbed a weapon, an empty Calistoga water bottle, and smote the bastard what I hoped was a deadly blow. Bam! I put the force of my fear into that blow and as far as I could tell it crushed him. Unfortunately the force of his blow also flung his carcass into the gap between the edge of the seat and the gearshift housing. I had no proof of his demise. Unsettling as that is I still had to drive to work and back home at the end of the day. Every little itch, every tickle all day long, I was certain was this beastly spider with a big butt crawling on me. Needless to say, today I am driving Mr. Dog's car. We'll take the shop vac to my car this evening. I just hope that puts my stage four case of the heebie jeebies to rest.

And now the gratuitous kid photos alluded to in the post:

Big Dog's Bat Ears. Taken just before the screaming started

Little Dog's Bat Ears. Taken just after we evacuated the contaminated vehicle.


Kaza said...

So I guess that means my kidlet isn't going to outgrow her terror of them?

You were vewy, vewy bwave! You deserve a large adult beverage. ;)

geekymummy said...

I;m still traumatized by an episode of "neighbours" where a character pulled down the sun visor on his car, and was leapt upon by a giant, in the way only Australian spiders can be giant, poisoous spider and then plunged off the winding road to his death.

See, your fears are justified, (well in Australia) so get out that shop vac.

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