Just last week, I was bragging about how I'm the only inhabitant of the Small World that is not creature-phobic in some way.
It's true. I have no real issues with creepy-crawlies. I don't mind putting a worm on a hook, taking the fish off the hook, picking up a caterpillar to put it in the bug house, or letting the roly poly crawl around on my hand. I campaigned against killing the bat on the screened in porch at the cottage recently, and didn't jump off my chair when the snake emerged from the coiled hose at the beach. Also, killed the cockroach in the outside bathroom at the beach (It was big, and I swear was waggling its antenna at me as if to taunt me.)
J. does this really nice little dance anytime there's a wasp or mosquito around. He has been known to squeal at the possibility of a fish swimming next to him. (To his credit, a parrot fish DID bite him on the finger in the Cayman Islands. Drew blood and everything.) At the beach, there was this really enlightened running joke about the fact that he's the hunter of the bugs, so I can be the gatherer (meaning, he doesn't actually pick up the dead flies after he swats them).
O. has the normal preschool phobias of snakes, monsters, wolves and moving picture frames in his dreams, but his all are tied in with a dislike of the dark, and you know: sleep.
N.? Well, she doesn't much care for anything squishy. Think koosh balls, and the small rubbery frogs, lizards and dinosaurs that can be stretched out and snap back into place. O. calls them "gooey." N. cannot handle anything with this texture, the frogs especially. I can always tell when O. is taunting her with them: there's a squeal and sound of tiny running feet, and then her stricken face appears. She wraps her arms around herself as if to give herself a hug. For a while, anytime we even pulled into the Walgreens parking lot, she gave me that look and said "Ball? Ball??" as if pleading for her life. There is a large display of squishy balls next to the counter there that we have to give a wide berth. For some reason, this has also transferred to a generalized fear of snakes. "Nake! Nake!" she quakes, with this look of mock horror that is really hard not to laugh at.
Earlier this week, I had let O. play with two of his larger squishy dinosaurs while N. was napping, and forgot to put them away when she woke up. After dinner, N. discovered them and wouldn't come back into the living room. J. held one and petted it and kissed it, trying to show her that it was not anything to be afraid of. She took a few tentative steps toward him to try and check it out, only to step barefooted on the other one on her way. Shrieks and sprinting, and I don't think she'll fall for that technique again.
Anyway, I tend to stand on the sidelines of these outbursts, chuckling and shaking my head. "Oh, you poor, poor souls."
This morning, though. There was a spider. ON MY UNMADE BED. In the sheets. It was furry, and had yellow marks on it. (I can't rule out that they weren't hourglass shaped. You know. Like a BLACK WIDOW.) I swear, it was as big around as the mouth of a Mason jar. (Okay, maybe more like a quarter. But still.)
I tried to be brave, went and got a tissue to squish it in. I was trying on a new shirt, though, and as I leaned over to pounce on it, the tag shifted, and I SWEAR it felt like the spider jumped up and bit me on the neck, so I screamed. Then, when I did actually pounce, the spider JUMPED. And is still missing, even though J. shined the flashlight under every surface in the room.
The point is, if you need me to scoop out your pumpkin guts, I'm there. Need help with the more gruesome acts of fishing? No squeamishness here. I'll even help set up a worm or ant farm.
But I might be sleeping in the spare bedroom until further notice.