Just when I recovered from the initial Snakes on a Plain incident....
The snake struck again, with an accomplice.
I just don't think I'm cut out for this country life I'm living. Cue the music, that sounds like a song.
Just so we're clear on the level of my distaste for snakes, let's review. I HATE snakes. I believe my deep and primal fear of them stems from 4th grade, being chased around a field by a boy named Brad Black as he was holding a dead or maybe it was alive, it's all a blur really, and at one point HE THREW THE SNAKE ON ME AND IT TOUCHED ME! IT TOUCHED ME! Please note my use of exclamation points and capital letters in this situation does not mean the same as it did when I overused them to tell you about the Kenny/Billy concert. No this time it means DISGUST! HORROR! TERROR! I didn't love snakes before that but after that day I was never the same. I was scarred for life. My phobia only worsened the older I got and when people would learn that I did not appreciate nor like snakes, bugs or spiders they would do everything in their power to torture me. For example, 8th grade watching the movie "Arachnophobia" with my church youth group and some people thinking it was quite hilarious to throw little bits of paper at me throughout the movie so I thought there were spiders on me. A CHURCH youth group! No wonder I rebelled. Or the time in 11th grade when the Williams' boys held me down and PUT BUGS ON ME. Or fast forward to more recently, when my own offspring whom I love, cherish and nurture, chases me around the yard with a snake, possum, mouse, spider, bug, insert any and all other creepy, crawly creatures here. It's a tortured existence I lead. So in short (or maybe not so short), I hate snakes and other gross creatures.
My family knows this about me. After all, I am the one who sits outside and waits on a bench in the shade while they go into the reptile house at the zoo, and I was the one who took off in a sprint when we were at the Science Center recently and a worker took a snake out of his case so the KIDS COULD PET IT, and I am the one who involuntarily shudders if I see a picture of a snake. Just like I respect that they need to the bathroom light on at bedtime you would think they would respect that mama doesn't ever EVER EVER want to see, or be near a snake...EVER.
But NO, that's not how they roll...
I was minding my own business in the kitchen a few weeks ago, preparing a nutritious and delicious meal for my family with Ryder talking my ear off next to me, when Dakota breathlessly entered the room. I had my back to her as I was getting my Rachael Ray on and chopping up vegetables or something at the counter.
I turned around without hesitation because I strive to be the mom who pays attention to her kids. I do not strive to be that mom anymore.
And I SCREAMED. A bloodcurdling, break the windows, Ryder covering his ears, scream.
Because my beautiful daughter was standing IN MY KITCHEN, on the other side of the island from me, WITH A SNAKE WRAPPED AROUND HER ARM.
And then I fainted.
And then I immediately posted an ad on Craig's List offering her "free to good home". And then I packed her bags and sent her to live with her new family. Hope she's happy there.
Eventually, I was able to put some words together and yell at her in between puffs into the paper bag, "GET THAT THING OUT OF MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW!" Oh and I meant it too. When she went out the front door with the snake, I followed behind her, at a safe distance of course, and LOCKED THE DOOR.
Where did I go wrong as a mother? What would possess my daughter, my flesh and blood, heart of my hearts, to BRING A SNAKE IN THE KITCHEN TO SHOW HER "SCARED-TO-DEATH-OF-SNAKES" MOM?
I've failed. And so did my heart. It still has not resumed normal rhythms. I still get shaky and clammy when I think of it.
As for Dakota, she spent the next hour and a half of her evening, playing with that dumb snake down by the pond. When she finally came in for the night sans snake, I made her wash her hands with bleach and borax and then told her if she EVER DID THAT TO ME AGAIN she'd find herself calling some stranger mommy and I guaranteed that her new mommy would not be as awesome as me. Call me harsh if you must but desperate times call for desperate measures. She remained strangely unaffected.
As for Ryder, he just got fitted for a new hearing aid, because to quote him, "Mommy, you screamed so loud I think you broke my eardrum!!"
As for Blade, he thought the whole thing was flippin' hilarious.
And so did his dad.
And that's why I'm packing up my flat iron, my cow, and moving to a highrise (you know so the snakes can't reach) in the city without them. They can come visit me there, after I've had someone inspect their bags and pockets for "contraband".
Living in Fear,