Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The monster in the bathroom

Scooter had trouble falling asleep last night. At one point, he had Trillian close his window because of a ghost. She complied, along with a gentle promise that there were no ghosts and that he was safe.

We were in and out of his room for other things, some of them the usual sort of little-boy-who-doesn't-want-to-sleep ploys. We continued with the firm "it's time to go to sleep" reminders and limited even those to when we were passing by his room.

But then he screamed. Trillian got there first. He told her that there was a scary monster in the bathroom. When I got there, Trillian was making a move to turn on the bathroom light and Scooter informed me that he was scared of the 'slithering snake.' Trillian flicked on the light and jumped back. I was half expecting a snake* when she said, "There's a huge centipede." No discussion was required--I went into our room and slipped on my new sneakers (although new, they seemed the better choice than my Crocs) while Trillian assured Scooter that I would take care of it.

I returned to find Trillian sitting on the bed with Scooter and gesturing to the door; the centipede had come back into the bedroom and was hiding there. It really was huge, at least 8 inches long. No need for gory details. It took several stomps, multiple paper towels and a plastic bag.

Here's the thing: I don't like killing anything. But for whatever reason centipedes, even more than spiders, really freak me out. I knew that I could not simply shepherd this thing out of the house. And I knew that it was pretty much up to me to make the situation better. So I was my son's hero, even if my heart was beating a mile a minute.

*I should have realized immediately that it wasn't a snake since Trillian merely jumped back and did not run screaming from the room. If it had been a snake, no amount of motherly concern would have kept her there. Anecdotal evidence: we went to a children's museum recently. There was an outdoor area with all sorts of activities. Near the sand pit was a bunch of seating made up of tree stumps. Trillian passing where my mother-in-law and I were sitting said, "I'm going to sit in the shade." I thought that was a pretty good idea, so I headed over towards a stump just past where Trillian had settled. Looking down, I realized I was looking at a couple of snakes. As they slithered away, I let out a sort of puzzled, "Huh." Trillian asked suspiciously, "What?" "Snakes," I replied. To her credit, she did not scream, but she did leap up and run out of the area faster than one would think is possible. Leaving me there with Scooter a few steps away. I, on the other hand? Sat down, a few stumps away from where I had seen the snakes. But they weren't there any more, were they? And I was pretty sure they were either hognose or garter snakes.

10 comments:

kittenpie said...

Eww. Centipedes are hideous. And 8 inches must be some kind of record. That's just wrong!

Aliki2006 said...

I got shivers reading this. I HATE centipedes I really and truly do. Blech. Ick.

Poor Scooter!

Mouse said...

We're still trying to figure out how he could see it that well in the dark. I've been trying not to think about it too much when I do things like go to the bathroom at night.

Lisa b said...

Holy night vision Scooter has.
That centipede sounds disgusting. I have never seen one that long. You are brave.
I think my husband would have been like Trillian at the zoo, hightailing it out of there leaving me with the kids.

cinnamon gurl said...

Ewwwwwww! I hate centipedes when they're like an inch long.

Poor Scooter. Poor you!

Bon said...

i am waffling between totally horrified by the mega-centipede and totally sympathetic about not liking killing things (hell, they crunch!) and totally impressed and proud that you were able to do it anyway just 'cause you had to.

i have noticed that when it comes to the (thanks be to jeebus) smallish bugs around our place, i'm way cooler "disposing" of them when i simply have to because my toddler is about to eat them. i still shiver, but i'm cool. it's neat.

crazymumma said...

Those centipedes are like every parents nightmare. They ALWAYS show up at bedtime.

poor Scooter....

Mouse said...

One problem that has come from this incident is that now Scooter can point to a time that there was a monster. So we can't just resort to our usual "don't worry, there's nothing there" saying.

Laural Dawn said...

Ick. I hate centipedes. And, I love that you debated the shoe issue before killing it.
I would have been like Trillian with the snakes. Even garter snakes scare me. Mind you I would have grabbed my son because my husband would have probably brought him over to show him the nice snake.

Trillian said...

When I was 6 yrs old I leapt a 4ft fence to get away from a cotton mouth snake...I cleared it in one shot much to my Mom's amazement. My Flight instinct definitely wins out over my fight instinct when it comes to creepy crawly things.