People, I just had one of the most horrifying experiences of my life. Since my life has thus far (and hopefully will continue to be) short on horrifying experiences, you may not consider what I am about to recount as particularly scary. But this episode is still making me shudder and I fear it will haunt my dreams.
I was on the phone with Peter and I noticed that John had picked something up and was gripping it in his slimy little fist with that baby death grip typical of his age group. I went to see what it was to make sure it was something suitable for infant entertainment.
I grasped his hand and I beheld, wrapped in his sweet, precious, little fingers, a full-grown, live cockroach!
I don't love cockroaches, to be sure, but I'm not normally given over to shrieking fits when I see one. However the site of that nasty bug in my unknowing little baby's hand sent me over the edge. I screamed and ran about searching for something with which to annihilate that vermin. Perhaps I should have just taken it out of John's hand immediately. But I certainly didn't want to touch it and in my brief fit of hysteria all I could think was " find paper towel!" that being my usual tool for crushing and disposing of roaches.
When I came back with a paper towel, he had dropped the roach and was crying, no doubt startled by my histrionics. I moved him out of the way and found the bug incapacitated on the floor with his legs scattered around him. Since the cockroach wasn't moving, I took John to wash his hands. Then, instead of my towel method, I employed the vacuum to suck him and all of his limbs into oblivion.
I don't feel that the vacuum is nearly enough. I want to scrub everything with bleach, especially my eyes and brain. Picturing my sweet boy holding that filthy insect in his cute little fingers causes violent horripilation* from my head to my toes! And the image is seared into my memory! I have decided against breaking out the bleach, however, because I don't know that pouring it in my eyes (and everywhere else) would accomplish my purposes.
As I said, I was on the phone with Peter at the start of the ordeal and I abruptly hung up. Afterward, I called him back and explained what had transpired. He was relieved. Based on my squealing, he was imagining that John was going to end up in the ER with horrible burns. His final assessment of his adorable boy catching a germ-infested varmint in his hand was this: "Wow! That boy has good reflexes!"
*Horripilation was one of my dictionary.com words of the day. I only remember about 1 out of 50 of the definitions. So, I use the few that I remember when I can! It's not often that they fit in everyday conversation but horripilation fit the bill in the story, don't you think?