I believe the word we want here is “irrational”

23 04 2009

There are numerous things I don’t like about being the solo parent so often: being the only “bad guy” when it comes to discipline, having no one to hand the THIRD PAIR OF POOPY UNDERPANTS IN A ROW off to, and going to sleep alone all come to mind. But even worse than all those things is a certain situation that involves creepy crawly things and NO ONE AROUND TO DEFEND MY HONOR. I’ve been fortunate to have escaped any of these situations in the whole 5 months we’ve lived in this house and Jeff’s been off traveling the world.

Until tonight.

I was on my way outside to bring the recycling bin back up from the curb, and I don’t even remember why anymore but for some reason I turned around instead and came back in AND THAT IS WHEN I SAW IT. A spider, the very biggest spider I have ever seen in real life. I’ve only ever seen spiders bigger than this in movies or on tv. And it was sitting in the doorway that led from the room I was in (laundry room) to the rest of the house. Blocking my path. Daring me to make a move. Laughing evilly at me, no doubt. And I literally FROZE where I was standing. I’m not joking, I stood there, completely unmoving, for NEARLY 30 MINUTES while desperately trying to figure out what to do, officially putting my reaction in the Seriously Phobic category and not just the Wussy category. Although, to be fair, I am still most definitely a wuss.

I knew I couldn’t just run out of the room; there was stuff in the laundry room that I needed (my other laptop to get some studying done, for example), and besides, THEN WHAT? Then I’d have an enormous arachnid on the hunt for some human snack roaming my house, THAT’S WHAT. And, uh, no thanks. I’d like to be able to go to sleep at some point tonight.

So the only option was death (his, not mine; though it was sketchy in those first few moments). I knew I couldn’t throw something at the thing; I’d need to find something both big/heavy enough as well as disposable, because there’s no way I’d keep something that had the remains of this mutant on it. And there was nothing within my reach that met these requirements. Not to mention the fact that I’d have to actually aim well enough to hit him, which we all know is just not possible.

I looked around and saw a bottle of LimeAway sitting near the utility sink, and briefly though I’d found my answer; the warnings on the label sounded fatal enough for my purposes. But then I realized it wouldn’t kill it fast enough, and that in the process of dying he’d be able to scurry away. And hide somewhere. THEN die. And then at some point in the near future I would come across his carcass and then I WOULD DIE TOO at the sight of the giant dead spider.

I looked around again, wishing DESPERATELY that I could do what I always USED to do whenever there was a bug in the house: stick a cup or a jar on top of it and leave it there until someone else arrived and took care of it for me. In college, we had one particularly ladybug-infested Spring, and I LOATHE winged things, including ladybugs, and I was constantly finding them in my dorm room. So, too chicken to kill them, I’d stick a glass Lipton Iced Tea bottle on top of them and leave them there till the next time my mom came over and could dispose of them for me. LAME, I know. There were upside down Lipton bottles all over the place!

I’ve employed this technique a few times since then, one of them documented on my blog, in fact (the link to which I searched for unsuccessfully, but did succeed in getting sidetracked for an hour looking at Ethan’s and Oliver’s baby photos). But that was when I had only one child, so keeping him away from the upside down cup for a few hours until Daddy got home from work was not that difficult. But keeping two of them away from an upside down container (it’d have to be something big; a Lipton bottle wouldn’t cut it this time) for nearly 24 hours? Was not going to work.

AndreAnna suggested vacuuming the sucker up, and that’s a good idea. That’s exactly how my mom disposes of all her creepy crawlies, too. No killing necessary, right? But the thought of him crawling around in my vacuum cleaner… searching for a way out… so that he could come find me and EAT MY BRAINS IN THE NIGHT… No. No, that would not do.

And then I saw it, my savior: my Swiffer dry mop. It was only inches from me, hanging out next to a roll of paper towels. And I knew that I’d be able to do it. My Swiffer has come in handy on more than one occasion; more, in fact, than 20 occasions. It’s a very convenient way to kill something yucky while being able to remain a safe distance away from the yuckiness.

It only took me another 20 (twenty!) minutes to inch my way closer to the thing and talk myself up to the act. I’ll spare you those details, but suffice it to say, I’m fairly certain that he is now dead. However. I am still so thoroughly grossed out that I can’t bring myself to move the Swiffer and dispose of him. And that is why the doorway leading from the kitchen to the laundry room looks like this, and will continue to look like this until Jeff comes home tomorrow and can make it all better:

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(You can’t tell from the picture, but I have the Swiffer wedged in there; the door is pushed open as far as it will go, and the handle is shoved into the grooves in the door frame. He might still be alive under there, but ain’t no way he’s getting out.)

(Also, I plan to try to get the baby gate up on this doorway without disturbing the crime scene, in order to keep the boys away from it all day tomorrow. I will most likely be bribing them away with candy and money, but WHATEVER IT TAKES, I say.)


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12 responses

23 04 2009
Stephanie of Stopbouncing

Oh, Caley… you convey so well.

You’re so brave! A lesser woman may have screamed and danced until it went away, or hidden behind the door, or thrown a number of objects at it.
We had ants and I was spraying them with vinegar water, much to the “Does that kill them?” of my husband and the “No.” Of me.

How long until you can dole smooshing responsibility on Ethan?

23 04 2009
Kristi

OH this sounds like me! I was at the computer desk once, and you know how you see something out of the corner of your eye? The creepiest way to notice a spider! It was huge, lumbering towards me on the floor…with it’s big creepy legs. I threw my flip flop over him and squished. Sure he was dead. And the flip flop remained in that spot until my hubby came home later that night, and did the dirty cleanup work =o)

You are not alone!

23 04 2009
parkingathome

EEeee! Now I feel things crawling on me!

When I was a kid I had a friend who would employ the cup for this purpose. One day I asked her about an upside down cup in her room and she told me that it had been there for months with a spider under it. I talked her into lifting the cup because the spider was probably dead. When we lifted it? Nothing was there.

23 04 2009
aliasmother

Oh, girlie. I love you. This is hysterical.

I once shared a house with four other women and I was the designated bug killer. It really doesn’t bother me (notable exception below). I spent a lot of time that year running around the house with a newspaper while everyone else shrieked and cowered.

Lest you think I am a big, brave, Amazon warrior, you should know that our house has these nasty, leggy things that come out in the warm weather and freak me right the hell out. Spiders, wasps, centipedes..none of these bother me. But these “crickets” (which is what my husband insists they are) (they are SO NOT crickets), well, I refuse to touch them. I yell, he kills them. So far I haven’t seen one while home alone. If I do, I may need to employ the Lipton bottle option.

23 04 2009
aliasmother

I want you to know that not an hour after I posted my comment, a GIANT SPIDER dropped from the ceiling onto my desk with an audible thump, landing 8 inches from my hand. And I jumped and gasped like a little girl. And then I killed it with a nearby notepad.

23 04 2009
RookieMom Whitney

Two pieces of good news for you.

One is that my 4.5 year old is obsessed with bugs. He keeps a bug jug and is constantly looking for bugs to add to his jug. He even puts them on his arm as if he is some kind of Zoologist on The Tonight Show. This means if there are any bugs in the house, Julian is on the case. Start grooming Ethan for this job, stat.

The other thing is that I happen to work with a woman who does PR person for Swiffer. When I told her of your misadventures with the spider and the Swiffer’s role in it, she offered to replace your Swiffer with a new one so that the old one can be relegated to Bug Squashing Tool while the new one cleans your floors. If you are cool with it, let me know and I’ll have her send the new one out to you!

24 04 2009
Caley

Stephanie: That day can’t come soon enough! Unfortunately, as Jeff likes to point out (a lot), I made Ethan afraid of bugs by letting him see me afraid of them. Oopsie. So I may have a while to wait yet.

Kristi: “…lumbering towards me on the floor…”

GAH! My spider was so big IT lumbered, TOO!

Parking: Oh. My. Goodness. You realize that I now have to go look under the Swiffer, right? Because now I am wondering… Oh no…

aliasmother: WE HAD THOSE THINGS AT OUR OLD HOUSE! Jeff, like your husband, would insist that they were crickets, BUT NO THEY WERE NOT, I tell you! Leggy! Much too leggy! AND THE SIZE OF GIANT DATES.

Oh, I am so grossed out right now.

Also, how is it that it took you mere moments to kill your spider, but it took me AN HOUR? I need help.

Whitney: I can just SEE Julian with the bugs on his arms showing Jay. So funny! And, um, Swiffer just for bug killing purposes? Yes, please! That’s hilarious!

24 04 2009
Snap-crackle-squish « Sublime Bedlam

[…] even noticed it, so there were no problems there. But then after reading parkingathome’s comment about how she had a friend who used to trap bugs with overturned cups, and then went back to check […]

29 04 2009
astarte

I use the vacuum when I can, too, but what a GREAT idea for the Swiffer!!!! They should market that as an actual use for the thing!!!!!! And, maybe they could market some sticky pads to put on there or something!!!!!

30 04 2009
Itchy and scratchy « Sublime Bedlam

[…] we’ll wake up and it’ll be all gone, right? Right. And I’ll never find another bug in this house again, […]

4 05 2009
Not me! « Sublime Bedlam

[…] did not run away scared from an already dead teensy little spider. COME ON. I killed the MOTHER of all spiders, the Spider KING. A teensy weensy little DEAD ONE can’t scare […]

26 05 2009
Sweep and squish « Sublime Bedlam

[…] 26 05 2009 A little birdie mentioned to someone she knew that she’d read an amusing post on my blog. The one in which I spent HOURS frozen in fear trying to work up the courage to take […]

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