Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Looking For An Eight-Legged Lifesaver: Why I'm Ready To Become An Arachnomaniac

I'm thinking of buying a tarantula. It's not so much that I'm a fan of arachnids, I just think that having one could help me out right now. My 8 year old has slept on my bedroom floor for the last month. This isn't a non-sequiturial paragraph. Those two ideas really are related.

My 8 year old daughter has, one way or another, found her way into my bedroom and onto my floor for at least the last month. There were a few nights in there that she wasn't on my floor. Twice, she slept in her big sister's room (that would be December 23rd and Christmas Eve) and once she had taken a dose of Benadryl (for itching--a whole 'nother post) and passed out in an antihistamine-induced haze. And once in there we were at my folks' house, so she was camped out in a room with her siblings.

Her explanations about why she winds up in my room are varied. She told me she was 'uncomfortable' in her room. She told me her room didn't have enough room in it. She told me she walked through the kitchen when her older brother was watching "The Walking Dead" and caught a glimpse of something that 'freaked her out'. She told me she was afraid of ghosts. She told me her stomach hurt. She was itchy. She was just scared. She didn't know why, she just was.

At first I was understanding. We've always had a policy that if you have a bad dream and "flipping your pillow over to the good dream side" doesn't work (something that worked for all of her siblings when they were her age), you are welcome to quietly come into our room and sleeping bag it on the floor. So when she first showed up at my bedside waking me up telling me that she was scared, I whispered for her to get her things and find a place on the floor. When she showed up again in the wee hours, I explained that she need not wake me (mama likes needs her sleep) but she could just get her things and quietly come in if it happened again.

It happened again. A lot. I would wake in the night to go to the bathroom and find Mary curled up in her blankets next to the Dumb Dog. Some nights I would wake to the glare of the bathroom light and as I walked by her, a little voice would startle me by saying "I turned the light in your bathroom on because your room in the dark freaks me out." In my head, I said, "then why don't you go sleep in your room where the lights are ALWAYS ON," but at 2:47 in the morning, I lack the verbal capability and fine motor coordination to string together a sentence, so what usually comes out is "bleerrrggh".

The last few nights, I've reached my limit. Girl child has kept herself awake (not a hard task, she has always been my worst sleeper) until I come to bed and then just as I'm ready to go to sleep, she has come in and asked to sleep in my room. I've said no. She has wheedled. I've said no. She has whined. I've said no. She has cried. I've said no. She has blustered. I've said no. She has refused to sleep. I've said no. She has stood in the hallway just outside my door silently staring at me. (I admit to freaking out a little at this. She totally looks like one of those "bad seed" children from a horror movie, plotting the grisly ways she will torture me and make me die.) I've ignored her. And you know what happened? She waited until she heard me sleeping (I'm NOT admitting that I snore. I am a delicate flower, you know.) and then she has come into my room with her many blankets and pillows and camped out next to the dog. I find her sleeping there in the morning.

And then, after all of these late night shenanigans, guess who's a bit of a grouch pouch in the morning? (Well of course I am, you big silly, I already explained that mama needs her sleep. But guess who ELSE.) If you guessed Princess Mary, then you guessed correctly. In the mornings I am met with a whole litany of reasons why she can't get up. And my response is always the same: If you would go to sleep at your bedtime and stay in your room all night, you would be well rested in the morning and ready to face the day, much like your bright and happy morning person mother. Well, yeah, I say that but leave out the whole part about me.

I am at the end of my rope, thus embracing arachnids. You see, my sweet 8 year old is a dyed-in-the-wool arachnophobe. Not kidding. If there's a spider anywhere near, she will holler and give that area wide berth for days, even after um, "removal", of the offending spider. I'm thinking that if I get a couple of tarantulas and keep them in my room, the problem of a certain 8 year old crashing on my floor like a party girl after a frat bash will resolve itself.

Anyone have a spider they are looking to get rid of?