Holy Crap (Children and Crickets Mentioned)
I was in between giving the twins a bath tonight when I looked up (how did I not notice this until twenty minutes into bath time–I have no idea) and saw a cricket on the ceiling. And you’re going to say that I’m exaggerating, but this thing was larger than a human child. With feelers slithering in every direction. I was going to die. DIE.
And I’ve been trying hard not to pass along my dire fear of crickets to my children. I mean, truthfully, I’ve been trying to raise them to BE my cricket killers. They are of no help to me if they are as paralyzed by fear as I am. Holy crap. And did I mention that this cricket was the size of a small automobile? Clinging to my ceiling.
I have to suck it up and pretend to be brave in front of them, so I run downstairs for a chair and fly swatter, chirping along as if I’m just skipping off to refill a martini glass at an open bar (chirp? Why did I write chirp? It’s as if I have communed with the crickets). And I try to smack it several times, each time smiling down at the kids and saying things like, “I’m just being silly, aren’t I? Just smacking the wall like a lunatic. Ha ha ha. Nothing to see here. Just me being silly.” And whatever you do, don’t come in this bathroom. There is a cricket, the size of two monster trucks that has wedged itself into the corner. And I don’t want you to see what I’m hitting and ask about corporal punishment or any other uncomfortable subject.
Since I don’t want to spray chemicals near the kids, I decide that the sustainable living solution to cricket removal would be to spray water. Oh…and then beat the crap out of it when it moved into a better space (and while I’m fairly certain that cricket murder is not part of the general sustainable living ahimsa motto, I was not going to be able to live in a house with a cricket. A cricket the size of four football fields.
I spray it and instead of crawling a few inches to the left or right, it jumps. At me. In slow motion. And I dive off the chair into the bathtub. The full bathtub. Sending a tidal wave of water onto the bathroom floor. And screaming the entire way down. My cargo pants have absorbed water up to the thighs. I am wearing a pair of heavy, grey socks. I am still batting at the air with my fly swatter, trying to locate it. My daughter steps into the bathroom and examines the situation. “Mommy in the bathtub. With clothes on.”
At this point, I must explain somewhat that I’m searching for my friend, a cricket. Could you help me find my friend? And I feel like the bad guys in Pete’s Dragon who try to coax the little boy out of the swamp by promising him cake and ice cream. Oh, cricket, come out, come out. I’ll give you…whatever crickets love. I stood in the water for about ten minutes, trying to prod the bath towels on the floor with the tip of my fly swatter, absolutely certain that it was going to jump out at me.
But it was nowhere to be seen. And I finally needed to step out of the tub, peel off my socks and pants, and bring them into my bathroom to throw into the bathtub until I could deal with them later. My kids followed, chirping (that word!) on about how mommy was in the bathtub. And no clothes in the bathtub. And mommy’s socks are wet. And this is all fine and good, but how about finding that goddamn cricket for me? What good are you? What good are you? There is a cricket, about the size of Pluto, somewhere in this house. IN THIS HOUSE! IN MY HAIR! THERE IS A CRICKET IN MY HAIR!
And I know this because it jumped out of my hair and landed on the door. My thick, dark, curly, cricket-hiding hair. And I screamed. And screamed. And the kids sobbed because I was screaming. And like a lunatic, I raced over to the other bathroom, grabbed my fly swatter and barreled back through my bedroom screaming, “get out of my way!” before I smacked it with all my might against the door.
And that’s how I killed my first cricket.
And as we all stood motionless after the toilet flushed the cricket away, breathing heavily while I still batted at my hair, my son signed and said at the same time, “all done. Please. All done.”
Yes, all done. I am done. I am fried. Go to bed so I can go downstairs and have a stoli and soda. No, on second thought, if it’s okay with you, I’m just going to chill in your room for the next half hour trying to calm down. You’ll protect me, right? Now that you know what to do? Please let me pass along great cricket hunting skills instead of my cricket fears. You really weren’t supposed to witness that.