And, oh, the things we do for them
Her tiny body rolls into position on the pink and white patterned mattress. She sighs through her perfect lips, and I exhale a breath of relief. She’s asleep. I get to go to work, clean, or play with her brother. So many possibilities.
I tiptoe away like a ninja, keeping my eyes on the sleeping sweetheart. One step. Another. Something catches my eye. A small spot behind her crib.
I turn around for a closer look.
“Please God, don’t let it be a tick,” I pray without sound.
It has four legs on either side of its fat brown body. A spider. I whisper thanks to God but still, my heart beats faster.
No doubt it must be killed.
I can barely get close enough to squash it, let alone carry it outside to freedom. Besides, the little beast would find a way back into the house like a thief in the night. No, it must die.
My husband is at work. My brother, a once great spider murderer, lives hours away. My little boy is only four and is as terrified as I am of bugs.
It has to be me.
The spider jerks, moving up the wall then stops. My skin goes hot. I reach for a baby wipe, rip open the cover -silently- and lunge at the horrifying creature. I squish the popcorn wall but the spider escapes.
I jump back, letting go of the wet paper.
Where did it go? Oh no, is it on me?! For a moment I consider leaving it to live another day, but then my little girl moves in her sleep. I can’t leave her with that monster. It could be some nasty, venomous spider with a killer bite. No, I must protect my child.
Feeling very momma-bear like, I grab the baby wipe and search again. I find it hiding on the edge of the floor by the wall. I attack again, trying not to think about what I’m doing.
A black dot appears beneath the white. It still moves. Chills go up my arm to the entire right side of my body. I stifle a scream, grab a baby lotion bottle and roll it over the spot. It crunches.
The tiny, baby spider is gone. Adrenaline recedes as my heartbeat slows.
I tiptoe past the slumbering princess once more. The toilet flushes the bug to its watery grave.
Children have no idea what we do for them.
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