This morning we had what I am calling the Great Spider Trauma of 2008. Those that know me well know that I am a long-time member of the spider loathing community. No joke, I hate the things. This loathing probably stems from my own, personal Spider Trauma Event of 1991. However, that's another long story, so I'll save it for another time.
Back to this morning. I took the kids on an errand, and on the way home we decided to swing by my parents house to pick up a movie. Both of my parents work, so I just ran in the house, grabbed the movie, and ran back out to the van and kids (please nobody call DHR, really). Once I jumped in the van and start backing out of the driveway, I hear Melody say in a very calm voice, "Mommy, don't freak out, but there is a spider next to your head." I respond in a very calm voice (which is an amazing feat considering my Trauma of 1991), "there's a spider on my seat next to my head?" Melody once again calmly confirms this fact. Gannon is also quiet and calm in his seat directly behind my seat. So, I finish backing out of the driveway and somewhat calmly pull over in front of the house. I grab a tissue from the Kleenex box, because that's what Jamie does when he's going after small spiders. I get out of the car to open the side door (Gannon's door). I'm still fairly calm at this point, because I'm thinking if Melody isn't freaking out then 1)it must not be a very big spider, and 2)I can't be silly and freak out because I'm supposed to be the brave adult. I'm looking around the headrest of my seat trying to find it and finally I see a very BIG spider crawl around to the front of the headrest. I look at my puny tissue and think, "yeah, right." Well, that was a dumb move because when I looked back up, the Big Spider has disappeared as only spiders can. Now, I've conditioned myself to control my freak-out tendencies when it's a small spider. I've had to learn this because of my children and I don't want to frighten them. But, I know a Big Spider when I see one. Well, now Mr. Big Spider has gone *poof* and I feel the tugs of panic fluttering in my heart. Oh dear. So I continue searching around and can't find him even in the tiny cracks of the seat. Suddenly, Gannon begins to SCREAM. I don't mean a shout or an exclamation of surprise, I mean an all-out-the-fear-is-in-me SCREAM. We tend to have a domino effect in our family when it comes to bugs, so Melody starts to scream, too. Mr. Big Spider has relocated himself to Gannon's seat, more specifically to Gannon's little body. Unfortunately, it took me a few seconds to get a good look at where the spider was because of everybody screaming, but I finally got the spider off of Gannon and onto his seat so I could whack him with a Backyardigans coloring book. Melody was already out of her seatbelt and mostly out of the door by this time and both kids continued the screaming. I tried my best to calm them down, but I have to admit that I was thoroughly freaked out too. It's no good to see Mr. Big Spider crawling on your child. No way.
So, I tell the kids that we'll go by the car wash place to vacuum the van so we can get rid of the yucky spider. This seems to help them some, so off we go. I'm reluctant to rest my head on the headrest (I hate having the willies!) so I just set off at a rather speedy pace to the car wash that's just down the road. All is quiet and peaceful once again when suddenly Gannon starts to scream again. He's screaming that there's a spider on him. Melody tells me that she doesn't see a spider anywhere, so I try to convince poor Gannon that he's just remembering the spider being on him and it's just the willies. He's not convinced, so he cries the rest of the way to the car wash. By the time I get there, Melody has begun crying again, too. I park at a spot to vacuum, and Melody leaps out of the van. Luckily, there were no other cars nearby or else I really would have lost it altogether. Somehow I vacuum the van (and the nasty spider) and everyone is calm once again.
I have a sneaky suspicion that Mr. Big Spider might haunt us for a while..