My God, I can’t stand bugs—never could. I mean, I grew up in Long Island, in a house with a grand, green, immaculately-maintained backyard, and I think I might have gone out there all of, like, three times. By force. There were spiders and mosquitoes and bees and stuff out there. Denene didn’t play that. So I stayed inside with my dolls and my books and far, far away from the creepy crawlies. Those unfortunate buggers that actually made it to the inside? Well, all it took was a full-on, high-pitched “Daddy!” and my father would regulate. We were a team, Daddy and I. I’d scream. He’d kill for me.
I’m not sure how I made it through my single and independent years without my personal bug slayer. It’s all a frenetic, heart-stopping blur. I do know that my Nick took up the Official Bug Killer mantle when we moved in together. For this, I was grateful. But I made a pinky-swear pact with him that when we became parents, I wouldn’t transfer my fear and disgust of my most despised critters—and there are many!—to our kids, especially if they were girls.
Fast-forward to me frantically sprinting through my house, to a corner far away from something with what’s easily 1,000 legs crawling across my kitchen floor—my baby crawling after me, giggling and wondering just what in the hell is wrong with mommy. Centipede. Tarantula. Snake. Gnat. Didn’t matter. I saw. I screamed. I ran.
Trying not to transfer extreme fear of bugs to girl child = epic fail.
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