Without considering the consequences, I hit the snooze button today. Twice. When I finally got up the panic hit me. I not only had extra things to do before leaving, but I needed to leave early today.
I quickly showered, dressed and was about to open my door when I heard the scream. I knew from the volume and pitch that my dearest daughter was not angry or hurt. She was scared. Really scared.
I had heard that same scream at 2 a.m. when she had a bad dream about a creepy doll that was dirty with antennas, yellow eyes and green skin. It was hours before either of us could get that image out of our heads. Yikes.
I opened the door and she leaped into my arms.
“What is it?” I said. She was shaking all over.
“Look!” she proclaimed and pointed at the wall behind me. There was the BIGGEST, MEANEST looking centipede ever. All its little legs and antennae were waving at us. It was crawling up the wall toward the ceiling. We would have to pass this bad boy to get downstairs to breakfast.
It made a quick lurch across the wall and we both shuddered and screamed.
Our complete panic awoke brother who came stumbling out of his bedroom putting on his glasses.
“What’s going on?” he asked and yawned.
“Look!” my daughter and I screech at the same time. At this point it turned the corner and was out of sight.
“Don’t let it get away,” my daughter yells and runs into her room and shuts the door.
I glance at the clock. Brilliant. We have to be out the door in 20 minutes. Both kids are in their underwear and I haven’t made breakfast or packed lunches.
Both children are now barricaded in their rooms and they will not budge until I proclaim the evil centipede dead.
Did I mention it was HUGE? And that I HATE killing things?
So I inch down the stairs keeping my eyes peeled. When I get to the bottom step I see it. It’s too high to kill, but I bend down and grab one of my husband’s shoes in anticipation of its quick movement. When I look back it’s GONE.
“You get it mom?” the kids yell from behind their closed doors.
“It went into the air conditioning vent,” I completely lie. “It will be killed when the air comes on.”
“Turn on the air,” my boy yells.
I head back up and force them both to get dressed. We now have to be out the door in 10 minutes. Neither child will walk down the stairs, so I agree to carry them down one at a time. They are 6 and 8, so carrying them together is too hard now. (Yes, I used to carry them both at the same time. Don’t ask.)
I take my daughter first. We get to the bottom and I set her on the last step. Just then, YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS, the STUPID centipede comes running at us across the carpet. Misses my foot by a centimeter.
You can bet I screamed. My girl dashed back upstairs and slammed her door all the while screaming, “you lied, you lied!!”
My boy also retreats back into his room screeching.
Sigh. I have to kill it and produce a dead body if I want my children to ever leave their rooms. I could freak them out and explain that centipedes hide everywhere and one might be IN their rooms. But, come on. I’m not cruel. Or stupid. And I’d love to sleep again.
So I arm myself with my husband’s enormous shoe and look for it. I figure it’s hiding under the shoe basket. I attempt to call my boy for help, but it’s not happening.
I kick the basket with one foot and prepare to pounce. The creepy thing scurries out and WHACK I get him.
“He’s dead,” I yell. But I’m not 100 percent sure. It’s dark in the hall and maybe he scuttled away. Please let there be a dead bug on the floor. Please.
“You sure,” they both yell opening their doors a bit.
“I think so,” I say not wanting to lie again. “Not positive. Let me turn on the other light and look.”
I’ve never been so happy to see something dead. Curled up it was quite small.
“I’m sure. Come and see.”
Nope. I still had to carry them down. One by one I show them proof of its death. Still refusing to set foot on the floor, I also carry them TO the kitchen table. They both sit with their feet off the floor.
Only 5 minutes to go. As they down bowls of cereal, I quickly pack their lunches and realize I have NO time to make coffee. Did you catch that? NO COFFEE.
I bring their shoes to the table, triple check them for bugs and then carry them out the front door. Because, obviously, they are NOT walking on the carpet ever again.
We make it to school on time and a friend buys me Starbucks. Not bad.
Now let’s just hope they will walk on the carpet after school.
Then again, my arms are getting flabby…