So I have a problem… I have a hard time saying no. I just want to be helpful. People know this about me and ask me to help with the strangest things. It is probably because they could not find anyone else to ask that would say yes. Haha.
So anyway, I was recently asked to babysit a pet tarantula for a month. Yes, weird request. I was assured it was really easy. Apparently they only eat once a week. All I would need to do is keep the water bowl full with bottled water (something about the tap water containing something harmful to spiders) and toss in a worm once a week. There was even a grate at the top of the cage so I can just poor the water right through it and not have to open the cage.
Doesn’t seem so bad does it! And hey, I have three boys so having a tarantula around would make me immensely cool in the little boy world. So I say yes. Wow, I am so cool… I have a pet tarantula staying at my house! Everyone wants to see it and each time I let a neighbor kid or a cousin see it, I am a little more cool in their eyes! Now I am anxious to show off this freaky looking spider to all my child guests.
One day during this spider babysitting month I have a little girl visitor. She has just had her second birthday. She comes to the front door and the first thing I do is ask her if she wants to see my big spider. She agrees and gets all excited. My 3 boys and I all run to the cage to show off our prize. I grab the cage by the handle on the top of the cage to lower it down to the little girls level and pop… the bottom of the cage drops off and I am left standing there holding just the lid.
A mass panic breaks out as this seriously freaky spider starts running all through the kitchen… this normally lethargic looking tarantula is pretty dang fast! The little girl is now screaming and crying historically as all the grown ups run around trying to catch this spider. It was an insane few minutes. If only I could really put into words the screaming panic you feel when this big freaky looking spider is racing around your feet while babies scream in the background!!! We did catch him, but I am afraid this little girl will never recover! I was really hoping I didn’t scar her for life!
I kept imagining this little girl waking up in the middle of the night screaming about spiders because I am an idiot and dropped the cage! Poor girl! So I took it upon myself to rehabilitate her new fear of spiders I had imposed on her. We talked about how cool the spider was and how it was safe in its cage now. After a while I asked if she wanted to see it again. She would only look at it if I was holding her in my arms (can you blame her!). We did this many times through the day. We talked about where spiders live and what it eats. Finally she was ready to take a real look up close! By the end of the day this little girl was blowing kisses to my freaky tarantula! Mission accomplished… Thank goodness! Three cheers for not permanently scaring an adorable little two year old!
About Jamie Hinckley
I am a mom of three crazy boys! We love life, play hard, and ALWAYS get messy! Life is busy and full of fun, jumping, crashing, skinned knees, rough housing, torn jeans, scratches, but most of all LOVE. Yes, life is crazy. Actually its completely nuts, but I wouldn't change a thing! We love life and can't wait for our next adventure... and one day, possibly a little girl! Haha!