Monday, March 29, 2010

Not A Fan Of Spiders

I shuffled downstairs, half asleep.

For some reason Sundays exhaust me.

I was walking into the living room and that’s when I saw it.

“Stop!” I shouted, pushing my kids into the hall. They had been following me, hoping for some breakfast.

“What?” Tommy demanded.

“I saw…a spider.” My voice dropped down into a whisper. I’m not sure why. Probably because spiders can speak English, sense fear, and suck out your insides. At least that’s what they all do in my mind.

Natalie buried her face into my leg. “I don’t YIKE spi-dahs!”

Tommy wrinkled his nose. “Nona says we shouldn’t be afraid of bugs. She says they help the planet.” He was naming his grandma, my mother. Would you believe that my mother loves bugs? She does. She’s sort of like a hippie in a way. She loves plants, bugs, and leftovers. Yes, leftovers. I usually throw our leftover food out and she’s horrified by this. She’s probably wondering how she could have raised a daughter afraid of bugs, too.

“Well, Nona was alive in the 60s,” I replied, peeking around the corner to see if the spider was making its move to attack.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Tommy asked.

“I’ll…explain it when you’re older,” I promised. “But right now Mommy needs to figure out what we’re going to do and how we’re going to kill it.”

“Nona says we shouldn’t kill bugs but let them go outside,” Tommy explained.

Ugh. Mom! This is true though. She DOES think that. Back when Tom and I lived in Nebraska she came to visit and there was this disgusting spider by our front door. Tom was all set to kill the thing and Mom was all, “WAIT!” Then she scooped it up and carried it across the street to safety.

Once when I visited her in Texas a spider ran across my FOOT as I was throwing some laundry in.

Yes, I screamed.

I mean, a spider ran across my FOOT!

“What?” Mom shrieked, thinking that I was being attacked. And in a way, I was. Did I mention that a spider ran across my FOOT?!

“A spider ran across my foot!” I wailed.

Mom frowned at me. “Amber…honestly…” Then she got down on her knees, found the spider, scooped it up in her palm (shudders), and brought it outside.

“It’s just easier to kill the spider so it doesn’t attack,” I told Tommy, reaching for my tennis shoe that sat by the front door.

“But Nona said—”

“Shhhh! Mommy will take care of this,” I cut him off. I held the shoe out. “Say Tommy? How would you like to be the hero? Want to kill a spider?” I said, trying to make it sound like it was the most exciting thing ever. This could be like Tommy’s rite of passage. They do that all the time in Africa.

“No,” Tommy said, shaking his head.

“You sure?” I prodded.

Tommy gave me a Look. “I said no.”

Fine. Geez. It looked as though it would be up to me.

Then Max the Cat walked by.

“Hey Max? Could you kill a spider for us?” I picked him up and pointed to the offensive spider who was STILL IN THE SAME SPOT PLOTTING. “Sic him!” I bellowed, setting Max down. I expected the cat to take off and protect us from the spider. But no. He just lay down and started licking his butt.


Tom was not an option because he was sleeping after working the night shift.

Natalie…well, Natalie was holding my leg in a death grip.

So I’d have to do it. Fine.

“You guys stay here,” I said to the kids, prying Natalie off of me. I took a deep breath. I could do this. I gave birth twice for craps sake. Killing a spider is nothing next to that. “Here I go,” I said, holding the shoe out so I could strike quickly.

“You’re not moving,” Tommy observed.

“I’m taking my time so I don’t startle the thing,” I answered. This was partly true. The other part was that I was working up my nerve to move.

I took one step. Then another.

The spider still wasn’t moving.

Maybe it was already dead! Maybe it had a heart attack. Can spiders have heart attacks?

I was almost there. Almost there….almost….wait….wait….

I peered closer at the spider.

Why did it look familiar? Why did it—



It was fake. It was from Tommy’s bug kit. Well, it wasn’t my fault that I thought it was real! It LOOKED real and I was half asleep.

I had to save face. I couldn’t let my children know that I was cowering in fear over a plastic spider. I had to keep some sort of dignity. So I brought the shoe down and went, “Mommy got it!” Then I quickly grabbed the fake spider and stuck it in the drawer.

“Can I see?” Tommy asked.

“No. It’s too gruesome. It’ll give you nightmares. You stay there while I…shake the body outside.” I pretended to do this and then came back in all set for praise from my children. But no.

All they cared about was getting some breakfast. And okay, the spider turned out to be fake but THEY didn’t know it. Where was my thanks?

That’s the last time I protect them from a fake spider, let me tell you.


  1. I would have done the exact same thing.

  2. EWWWWW, I hate bugs too! The worst/funniest bug story I have: I was awoken in the middle of the night once by my cat going apeshit in the living room. I wake up like what the f is she doing. so i get out of bed and go into the living room, where my cat is running in circles meowing at the wall. i look up and there is the biggest, greenest, ugliest bug I've ever seen in my life just chillin on my ceiling! I almost died. The thing was literally 4 inches big! It was too high for me to use a shoe so I grabbed a broom. I had the broom all poised and ready to go but I couldn't swing it. I was just stuck there, wanting the damn thing to be dead but I couldn't just swing the broom to kill it. I kept thinking I was gonna swing the broom and this monsterous bug was gonna attack me. I started crying and just stood there panicking for like half an hour. Then I came up with a brilliant plan: oven cleaner. Yep I sprayed that fucker with oven cleaner. It killed that thing D.E.A.D

  3. You need a bug sucker like my sister sucks the bug up like a sweeper, then zaps it with a mini bug zapper. Yeah, way to kill a bug!! LOL AND it has about a three foot to four foot gap between where you hold it and where you catch the bug!

  4. Funny story! I don't care much for bugs except looking at it from afar. I was the bug killer in the house. My mom could not stand it and send me to kill it every time. I had to kill a mouse once too! Which was the worst thing ever to do! I don't like killing things.

  5. Hahaha! I put an inverted glass on them and then a piece of carton below, and toss 'em out.
    Bacause they are living being, like us...

  6. Yeah, I don't yike spi-dahs either..way to be the hero a great day!

  7. Spiders really are good, they eat other bugs. I always get them on the end of a broom and put them outside. Snakes on the other hand do not belong in my house or my general vicinity.


    PS- I finally saw Yo Gabba Gabba over the weekend. Cripes! Those things really are creepy. What kind of kid's show is that??!

  8. That was too funny!! My mother is afraid of spiders too! and yeah so am I. When I was little we had gigantic spiders the size of a half dollar bill. Yeah, so was not going near that. We children would also scare our mother with fake spiders in the kitchen cabinets. We'd laugh, she'd scream and then realize that it's fake and then laugh.

  9. Hilarious, as always! I happen to be a spider killing QUEEN and was always called in to be the hero and dispose of the evil creatures (true story, my oldest sister used to have this big, athletic boyfriend who would scream like a little girl every time he saw a spider).

    I do have to admit though, even I have my limits. Last summer/fall I lived in a farmhouse, primarily by myself, and I was killing 6-7 spiders the size of an Oreo cookie DAILY (I don't know why I picked an Oreo, guess I'm craving them). I got out of that place FAST. I laugh now every time my housemates freak out over little itty bitty spiders.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  10. kids are so ungrateful...

    I had to giggle right out loud at this one. I did the same thing with one of the boys fake centipededs last summer....YUCK!

  11. Oh, that's an awesome story! Thanks for sharing it! I'm so glad you were able to bravely protect your family from the fake spider! I would've done the SAME thing!! LOL!!

  12. ingrates! the whole lot of them!

  13. If that spider was actually real and in my house, I probably would have ran screaming out the front door. That's what I did when a hornet made its way inside, and left my defenseless son laying on a blanket in the middle of the room where it was at. So, you know, GOOD MOM, YOU!

  14. This is why I will never be able to buy my children toys that involve fake bugs. If I would have seen that thing and thought it was real I would have grabbed the kids and ran out the door and probably never returned. I hate spiders. I know they eat other bugs and all but they should do that outside!

  15. Generally speaking, bugs don't terrify me UNLESS:
    *They are spiders. I HATE spiders. My house is not your home. Stay away!
    *Have the ability to jump in directions other than the one they are actually facing; you are never safe around said bugs. Grasshoppers, crickets, and camel crickets are diabolical in this area.
    I find you brave to even approach a spider that big, thinking it was real.

  16. hehe...

    i hate spiders too.. i'm always afraid to step on them.. b/c i'm scared they'll somehow escape my shoe and crawl up my leg... YIKESSSS!

  17. Oh my holy Lord.

    If that was the thing I had seen, I would've called the fire department to come take care of it.

    I don't care if it is fake! That thing is huge. And why are children encouraged to play with giant, fake, evil creatures that want to kill you and eat your brain?

  18. Not to make things worse or anything. But my husband got bit by a brown recluse and the venom ate a whole in his leg the size of a 1/2 dollar. Eeewwwww!

  19. Okay, I probably wouldn't want THAT spider around, if it were real. But we have a couple of small spiders who manage to be the only bugs in the house because they eat anything else that comes around. We coexist nicely...they mostly stay out of sight but when they're patrolling we ignore them.


  21. I am the exact.same.way! Although you are much more clever then I! :) You are too funny girl! Seriously! I think you are a hero-fake spider or not!

  22. That is a very realistic looking spider...I would have freaked, too. I may have even flushed him down the toilet, just on principle. All spiders deserve to be killed dead.

  23. I know the feeling!! We have wolf spiders that get to be bigger than a half dollar and I HATE them!

    I'm glad it turned out to be a pretend spider anyway. Will you be giving the toy back to Tommy anytime soon? hehe

  24. I am terrified of spiders, too, but when I saw your arachniddy picture jumping at me in my blog Reading List, I thought, "I have got to go to there. I must feel Airing My's pain and eight legged-horror. That will surely be of great comfort to her in her desperate time of need." Bravely, I just read THE best spider story ever!

    Still rolling on the floor!

  25. That was too funny!! I'm not scared of spiders (as Laynee thinks)but used to go through the whole screaming bit to make the kids and grandkids laugh! Now want to see me cringe? Roaches! THOSE WILL make the stand in a chair!!

    But I'm proud of you for being the hero for your kids!! You are showing them bravery in the face of fear! AND you conquered!! WOOHOO!! You go!!

  26. well aren't you the hero!!!! I still give ya props even though it was fake! I HATE SPIDERS!!!! That is my one fear....I will tackle a snake for ya, but if its a spider...I'm outta here! When Kyle was small around 2 or so he was my spider killin boy...and still is. He use to say"I dit it for you momma, is otay" I go to freaking out and he is my hero everytime...[[[sigh}}}}

  27. I'm the same way. If I see a spider, or anything that looks like a spider, I automatically feel like I have about a million of them crawling all over me. I hate Halloween for that very reason...

  28. Next time pick it up and throw it at them! LoL! Buah ha ha! Granted . . . Make sure you save up for future therapy bills, k? LoL :)

  29. Oh my! hahahahaha! Well, I have to say the saving face is vital. ;)

    I told my son I was a dodo head today and he looked me dead serious in the eye and said "Yes you are.".

    You be silly head. :D

  30. You can't be too careful. The one time you let your guard down could be your last day on earth.

  31. I'm always finding creepy fake insects. Why can't they, like, make them a color that no insect REALLY is and that way unsuspecting mothers will know right off the bat what it is?

    I'm all paranoid lately because it's getting to be spider season. The huge gnarly wolf spiders that Kendall mentioned in her comment always seem to end up on the stairs to my basement ... where I throw my laundry. Hence, I've accidentally shaken more than one of them out of a pile of clothes, scaring the bejesus out of myself in the process. So even fake spiders give me the heebie-jeebies this time of year.

  32. BWA-HA-HA! Well, its the thought that counts, and in your MIND you were saving the lives of everyone in the house. For what its worth. . .

  33. I almost did the same thing with my son's plastic spider the other day. It was hiding behind the chair in his room, half-tucked under a clear plastic bin, and I about had a heart attack. After I caught my breath, I realized it probably was a toy, but on the off-chance that it wasn't, I just couldn't muster up the courage to lift up the bucket and get a closer look at it. I ran out of the room. It's still there, so I think that pretty well confirms that it isn't real. Still not touching it, though. I shudder at the possibility that it is actually real and one of these days when I go in and check on it, it will have wandered away...

  34. YUCK. I hate spiders...they just plain scare me to death.

  35. Oh that is too funny! I'm also guilty of trying to get my dogs and cats to kill bugs. It doesn't ever work for me.

  36. Mighty Mommy saves the day! We have the huge hairy Huntsman spider here, which is not venomous, but ugg-lee.

    I don't mind little wee spiders, because as they say, they eat bugs, but anything larger than a fingernail is not welcome in my viscinity.

    Thanks for the giggle.


    PS: The other day, I picked up my shorts to put on after swimming and there was a snake curled up under them--not fake!

  37. Amber! Girl girl girl! What are you thinking? Just get a plastic cup and a postcard. Put the cup over the bug, side the postcard under, and toss it out! No harm no messy bug guts on your nice walls! LOL. If you read my piece on Humphrey, the Snake and Nellie, you will know what a rotten hypocrite I am! They terrorize me! I used to make my husband (ex husband) come home from work to kill them.) But I have reformed after making Alex kill his parents pet spider Humphrey. Who knew?

  38. Darn kids have no appreciation for the hard work we put into saving their butts... you know... from fake spiders.

  39. I will trade your fake spider for my very alive rat living fat and happy somewhere in my house!

  40. That would be my husband with the saving of every creature that invades our home. And my kids, too. Evan cried when I sprayed the ants last year. CRIED. Sobbed, actually.

    And our recent mouse incident... well. You know. It could have gotten ugly, had I been contaminated by it. It's just lucky I never had to touch it...

  41. Everything you did was exactly right. Fake or not, you are now prepared for the real thing.

  42. My friend would have freaked out so much worse...she is deathly afraid of spiders!

  43. I'm dead afraid of spiders. Last weekend we were going 140km/h on the highway and I was driving and suddenly a spider was dangling right in front of me. I was all like, "There is a spider in front of me. HONEY, THERE'S A SPIDER IN FRONT OF ME. TAKE IT AWAY." And my boyfriend (sitting next to me) freaked out. Luckily I have nerves made of steel (from too much coffee for too long - and I'm having another cup right now, just to be safe) and no one got killed - not even the spider, I guess.

    However, I understand your mother, and most of the time I try to go out of my way to not kill spiders and all the creepy-crawlies. We have a deal - they stay outside, they stay alive. If they are inside the flat, I can't guarantee anything.

  44. I am trying so hard to be reformed bug killer, but it is so haaaard! I don't like bugs especially spiders. They move to fast.

  45. LOL, gotta laugh at that one! You were afraid of a fake spider!!! HA, HA, HA!

  46. LOL...start plotting your revenge against him now.

    And this:

    “Say Tommy? How would you like to be the hero?


  47. Hahaha! That's hilarious! You totally sucked me into that one!

    Tommy should start his own little PETB.....People for the Ethical Treatment of BUGS! lol Nona could be co-founder. ;)

    I need to use this girls are so afraid of spiders, it's crazy. K got bit by a brown recluse when she was 3. We.Don't.Do.Spiders. But, I do have lots of fun with fake snakes & fake roaches. (especially when I tie a string on them to make 'em move! lol) Spiders are next....

  48. Spiders don't bother me. So much to the point where I can totally creep other people out just talking about them and the things they do when you're sleeping. Snakes, on the other hand, TERRIFY me.

  49. I'm with you on the spider thing....ewww....shudder....

    I used to kill spiders and leave them right in the spot where the met their death. I thought it would serve as a warning to all the other spiders that this was not a friendly place.

  50. I sic the dog on all bugs even fake ones!

  51. I don't care what your mother says, I don't care what your kids think, YOU ARE MY HERO!

  52. Spiders are so icky! Luckily my boys are all very good spider smashers. But the hubs? Not so much! lol


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