I have been afraid of spiders for as long as I can remember. Deathly afraid. I am actually getting better as I get older, which only means that I can stand spiders as long as two conditions are met...
- I do not have to kill the spider. If I do, then screaming ensues.
- I do not have to be anywhere near the spider. If I do, then I cannot concentrate, eat, sleep, talk, walk, etc.
I do not wish to pass this paralyzing fear of spiders on to my children. I think I am doing a pretty fine job so far. Case in point.
Recently there has been a normal house spider which has taken up residence in Lily's room. The first night that she noticed it, she asked me to get it (in other words, kill it. I already explained above what would happen if I try to do that.). I would not, and Brandon was asleep on the couch, so I told her that the spider would have to stay on her ceiling for the night. Surprisingly, she did not resist.
The next night, again, she asked for the spider to be removed. I would not, and Brandon was asleep on the couch again. So again, I told her that it would have to wait. She said okay.
Fast forward a few more nights. The spider was still there, in the same spot on the ceiling. We had seen it move, but it always went back to the same spot. So again she asked for the spider to be removed and this time I told her that it was a good idea for the spider to be in her room because it will eat other bugs and mosquitoes that might bite her. (I didn't make this up, someone told me that every room in your house should have a spider. There will be NO spider in MY bedroom, thank you.)
She liked that idea. As I finished tucking her in, she said that it would be her pet spider. I really was shocked that she was actually going for the idea. (Maybe I shouldn't be shocked, she has been asking for a pet of her own for a long time.) As I was leaving her room, she said she was going to name her pet spider. Charlotte. I told her that was a good name. Perfect actually.
She continues to monitor the actions of Charlotte and panics if she can't find her. I remind her that Charlotte is probably just looking for bugs to eat and she gets a calm grin on her face. And sure enough, Charlotte returns to her spot to guard my little "Lil".
Last night, as I was leaving her room, I overheard her talking to Charlotte. Yes, she talks to the spider. Charlotte was scampering across the ceiling and Lily was cheering her on.
"Go, go, go Charlotte.", I chuckled as I left the room. I suppose I am an okay mother after all. At least she won't inherit my fear of spiders.