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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tiny hero almost triumphs in battle

Thursday, December 29, 2011 By No comments

As I've stated many times before, bugs terrify me. Anything resembling a bug, even fake bugs, makes me nervous.

I'm lucky to have a daughter who is largely fearless when it comes to bugs. She volunteered to catch her first bug at 18 months old - and I let her, dammit. I am not sorry.

However, she is no fan of spiders. Foreshadowing.

The other night, we were snuggled on the couch, watching holiday movies and ticking each other. The house was a wreck, one of our homemade garlands was coming off the wall, the mail hadn't come in two days for some unknown reason, I was flat broke from Christmas shopping and all was right with the world. Until...

"Ohmigosh," I exclaimed. "Emmie to the rescue! It's a bug!"

"Where?" she jumped up. I sometimes give her spare change for her piggy bank after a successful de-buggification, because I am a manipulative jerkface - uh, I mean, because positive reinforcement is an important tenant of my parenting philosophy.

I couldn't really see what kind of bug it was from my perch high atop the couch, from which I had no intention of ever leaving while the tiny mercenary awaited me. So I pointed her in the right direction and chanted her name from the safety of the furniture. "Emmie! Emmie! Emmie!"

She waved me off and peered over the floor. She is done with my dramatics surrounding bugs.

"Oh, dats juss' a leaf," she dismissed it.

"No, closer to your time-out chair," I said, and in her enthusiasm, she darted in that direction.

"Ack! Emmie, it's right - "

She looked down, saw the spider. And the spider saw her.

"Rawr!" it hopped at her, a tiny monster move that can only be characterized as adorable.

She screamed, leaped from the front door to the couch, setting a world record for 6-year-olds in the standing long jump, and clung to me.

"IssaspiderIssaspider!" she screamed. "Get it! Get it!"

I was too busy cackling.

"Issnotfunny! Go! Go!" she pushed me. "Get da spider!"

I stumbled from the couch, still doubled over. The spider stood its ground. I had to admire its bravery.

"Okay," I gasped, and reached into the closet for the broom. "You open the door, and I'll sweep it out."

She sneaked over to the front door and swung it open. The bottom of the door caught the spider and dragged it towards the wall. Crap.

"I goddit," she called, and reached for the door.

"Yaaaahh!" The spider charged towards Emmie's feet from under the door. She ran screaming again, leaping back onto the couch and screeching for me to get the spider.

It was about the funniest "Man vs. Wild" situation I have ever witnessed: This little spider, about the size of a dime, taking on two towering giants. It gave not a single crap that it was outnumbered or outsized.

I finally got myself under control enough to wield the broom. The spider saw me coming, and raised its front legs at me.

Insane. This crazy spider was not backing down.

I shrugged. Sweep! And it was out.

On the porch, it lay curled into a ball, legs contracted against its body. It didn't move, but it was most likely still alive.

I decided to let it live. Likely, we will face him again on the battlefield. Or, at least, on the living room floor. But he had been a worthy adversary and I think he had earned a second chance. Hopefully, he would choose to make his home in the woods behind us. But the neighbor's cat was lurking nearby.

"Is it gone?" Emmie called, and I closed the door.



We laughed about the rampaging spider for an hour afterwards, especially because we came away from it with completely different perspectives.

For Emerson, the incident marks the day she almost died.

For me, it marks the first time I've ever seen a spider, those chitinous horrors, do something cute.

Side note: I came across this just a day ago, and it made me LOL.


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