Sunday, October 31, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

I hate spiders

Grady is very, very afraid of ants. He flips out whenever he sees one. And he's always talking about how beetles are bad guys and bite people. And oh, how he panics when he finds a fly in the house (a behavior for which i completely blame my father). And don't even get him started on bees!!! After being stung twice himself and seeing his little brother get stung he. does. not. like. bees. at. all.

But he doesn't seem to mind spiders (a behavior for which i completely blame my mother). Nope, for some reason he isn't bothered by those horrid creatures with eight legs that creep around looking for helpless victims to annihilate and little people to bite.

So, for the sake of keeping our child happy, and because we're homeschooling so we have to do this kind of stuff, and because my cousin who hates spiders as much as I do invited us, we went up Mt. Diablo the other night for a tarantula hunt.

Grady was the first to spot one, and let me tell you, the shriek out of his mouth was priceless! I guess he wasn't expecting something so large!

(a male)

October is peak tarantula mating season, so these guys are crawling around all over the place.

We were even lucky (?) enough to find a female, which are very hard to find since they mostly just hide in their little holes all the time. Did you know that female tarantulas can live up to 20 years? 20 years!!!! That's just crazy.
(a female)

Tarantulas don't really bite, but rather inject poison via fangs and then dismember their victims. So I guess this means that they're totally safe to let crawl all over you. At least that's what the guides were saying. Being the responsible parents that we are, we took their word for it and allowed our children to touch and play with these arachnids to their hearts' content.

(this image is hard to see but it's a tarantula climbing up grady's pant leg).

We saw 5 or 6 tarantulas on our hike and I'm pretty sure that Emma loved them so much that she wanted to bring one home with her. Seriously, her and Elijah were fighting over who got to hold them the most. The other kids (and adults) on the hunt couldn't even get near the tarantulas until we told those two to step back.

I was certain that when we got home and the kids settled down and went to bed that they would have nightmares about being attacked by giant spiders. I was fully prepared to be awoken in the night by their terrified screams, in which case I would go into their room and comfort them by telling them to not worry because mommy won't let tarantulas into the house. I was NOT fully prepared to be awoken in the night by my husband jumping up and violently ripping off all of the covers and throwing them to the floor to get away from "the spiders, the spiders!" Unfortunately for him, I didn't have compassion on him as I would have had with my children. I just started yelling at him to go back to bed because I'm freezing. Poor Dylan.