Saturday, January 08, 2011

A Nightmare on Ness Street

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 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?


Jill said...

Leslie, this is absolutely, unbelievably horrifying indeed! Like he worst nightmare ever. Praise the Lord you got to him before he partook orally of its nastiness!!!

Anonymous said...

I know that is really icky, Leslie, but I agree with Peter!! How in the world did he catch that creepy creature. Behold!! The next outfielder, catcher or best ball player in the world!! Our baby JOHN...taduh!!!

Abby Fields said...

I'm still shuddering from when you told me at church! eeeeww!!! Oh, and I loved your usage of horripilation. :-D

Dawn said...

Ah Leslie, this is one of the many unpleasant things you will find your adorable baby John picking up. At least the creature wasn't hanging out of his mouth....bugs are good protein! and he will probably ingest a couple during his life time....wait till he gets into dirt!

Peter and Leslie said...


I didn't think of it that way but you're probably right. I have this picture of my dad sitting in a mud puddle. Which makes me think: Of course he's going to eat bugs! How can little boys not ingest a few bugs when they're splashing around in mud puddles and digging in the dirt?!

But still... I shudder over the cockroach

Robin and Don said...

I have cockroach nightmares from time to time because I had one apartment in Salt Lake when I was single and lived alone that was infested with them. I had to move because I seriously could not sleep. That was my first introduction to those nasty things. We have found two here in FL within two days of each other. I was ready to pack up. I really HATE THEM. So to find your baby with one, by all means, scream. You were much calmer than I would have been, I'm sure. And yes, I wondered how he ever grabbed one as well. Sign that kid up for any sport.

Peter and Leslie said...

Robin, please ask your delightful husband to call Peter. They have urgent matters to discuss.