tumblr_nvkej4BaHk1uybpe6o1_400About two weeks ago, I went downstairs to inspect my oldest son’s bathroom in our basement, terrifying in and of itself, and discovered a giant spider on the wall over the sink.

Ideally, I would have paused to take a photo of the monster to share it on social media so you could really get a sense of the beast’s size. His girth.

But my reaction to dealing with the giant-legged creature was akin to how I’d like to think I’d respond if I encountered someone with a limb trapped in a combine or a leg stuck under a car tire. That is, I’d recognize the urgency of the situation and move swiftly and calmly to address the issue.

I already knew I could keep my wits about me in emergency situations. I mean, I did have four children and nothing screams emergency like getting a baby out of your you-know-what.

But one gives birth is in a controlled environment, in theory anyway.

I have proved that when it’s between me and imminent disaster, I can rise to the occasion and keep tragedy at bay.

When my two oldest children were young – we’re talking about 3 and 4 – we got around town in a bright red minivan. I actually loved that thing; it was one of those Pontiac deals with the pointy front that looked like a Dustbuster, remember?

Anyway, one day we stopped at one of my girlfriend’s house and I ran up to the door just to hand her something. But she had two little ones the same ages as my guys and back then we were probably pretty starved for real grown up conversation, so the mom and I got to talking. And the two of us could talk a lot. Like, suck all the oxygen out of the room.

I’d left the car in her driveway running and the two kids strapped in their car seats when I ran up to the door so I assumed they were contained as we stood on my friend’s front step and chatted. And then, after about ten minutes, I noticed my minivan begin to back out of the driveway.

Apparently, because it did not look as if his mother was ever going to get her ass back in the car, my 4yo son had unbuckled himself from his booster, marched to the front of the vehicle and put it into reverse.

So, here was the even bigger dilemma: apparently somebody at Pontiac thought it would be a great idea to program the doors to lock when the vehicle was put into gear.

I quickly ran to the moving van, which was indeed locked, and saw the looks on the kids’ faces as they slowly backed down the driveway towards the street. They looked surprised for one thing and my son seemed rooted in the space between the two front seats, kinda shocked by what he had literally just put into motion.

This was not the first time I’d encountered the downside of the car’s auto lock function. I’d locked my keys inside enough times that I’d finally gone out and purchased one of those magnetic boxes in which you can hide a spare key in the wheel well.

As the van backed down the driveway, I calmly reached under the well and pulled the box out. I slid the key out and –even though inside my head there were a thousand voices screaming, “HOLY SHIT YOUR 4 YEAR OLD IS DRIVING YOUR MINIVAN!!!” – my hand remained steady as I fit the key into the lock. I gave it a quick turn and pulled open the door, jumped in and put my foot on the brake.

“I’m driving, mom,” my son told me as I pressed my forehead to the steering wheel.

Of course, now it’s one of my favorite bad-mom stories but as the time, I couldn’t believe I kept my shit together to pull the key off the moving car and open the door. But sometimes you do what you gotta do, like eliminate a giant spider from your wall because if you don’t do it, you might find him on the ceiling over your bed next week.

So I calmly ran back upstairs, grabbed the Dyson vacuum out of the hall closet and brought it downstairs. I quickly plugged it in and pulled out the extension-thing you use for stairs and high places. I placed the nozzle on top of the spider and then – PFFFT – he disappeared into the depths of the vacuum’s clear plastic canister.

This is actually not the first time I’ve had to go all SEAL Team 6 on a bug in my house. A few years ago there was a giant-ass cricket spider thing (I call them “spickets”) on the basement stairs, which I sucked up into the same vacuum. The problem was that then I could see him inside the canister and ALIVE. I didn’t vacuum for weeks.

Now I can see by the amount of cat hair in the canister that it really needs to be dumped but I am terrified the spider’s still alive. That I’ll go to dump it into the kitchen trash can and he’ll jump out and attack me. But I can’t bring myself to look. I’m afraid he’s burrowed under all that cat hair biding his time.

I’ll let you know what happens but if you’d like to come over and dump it out for me, I promise I’ll be there for you if you ever need to be ejected from a moving vehicle.

Way less scary than spiders.

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3 thoughts on “That Time I Was a Superhero

  1. you need a pep talk my friend…

    go strap on your star spangled panties, gold emblazoned bustier and all other super hero accoutrement and get your head in the game. that feline furball is no match for you

    come on now!!

  2. Last time I encountered a monster spider skittering across my kitchen floor, I emptied an entire can of Raid onto it (from at least 6 feet away) and begged my son to scoop up its carcass and get rid of it. If I were you, I’d throw out the whole vacuum cleaner. Good luck with that!

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