Last night I climbed up onto one of the kitchen chairs to kill a stink bug that was lounging on the ceiling. I was behind the 8-ball with this disgusting creature. My bug fearing son would never know that it crept in to “git him.” He had been fully engaged downstairs on his monkey bars, therefore completely unaware of the deadly predator breaking and entering our home. I was all ready for the fight…..
Those of you with children on the spectrum know that an extraordinarily severe fear of bugs is a probability. So, I am confident you can understand this predicament. Our family will go to great lengths to search and destroy that which is tormenting our son. Let me tell you why.
99.9% of the time my youngest is first to spot a bug in the house. He has an unusually acute awareness to when they ambush our home. His announcement of the emergency is quite pronounced as he exercises his great lung capacity:
“AAAAHHHHH A BUG! A BUUG!!! UUUHHHHHH BUUUUUUUUUUUUUG!!!!!!”
I’m fairly certain neighbors can hear his shrieks. The homes in our neighborhood sit close together. There is no way our next door neighbors’ ears can avoid this fierce audio assault.
Eyes pinched, we wait for our hearing to be restored. Once normalized, my husband and I jump from our trenches in a nano-second and scramble to find a weapon -a magazine or newspaper- and begin our pertinacious hunt. No sooner than preparing our word wielding weapons, we experience further temporary hearing damage with:
“GIT IT MAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHM!! GIT IT!! GIT IT!!!”
His howling fuels our determination. I look at my husband and check for alignment in our purpose. Our efforts will not be in vain. This is our bug hunting script. To the outsider, we are bumbling actors in a sitcom. For my son, this is a horror story. My husband and I find ourselves tripping over each other, frantically swatting the air hoping contact will be made with the tiny predator. No such luck. Flys, those sneaky little charlatans, know just where to hide. Weapons held high, we become statues. In all the years we’ve battled these buggers, I’ve developed strategies to locate them in hiding. I shift my eyes like a ninja while maintaining my static pose.
Suddenly, it appears! My well trained eyes follow its escape path from behind a curtain to the window in front of me.
I advance- WHACK!!
“DID YOU GIT IT MOM???!!!!! DID YOU GIT IT???!!!!!” Anxiety is heightening.
“NOT YET, BUT I WILL!” I try to console him as I watch that stinker fly off to his next hideaway.
“I bet it’s laughing at me, “ I brood.
With every misfire, tension swells. Our son continues to shout so we default to our usual reassurances.
“It’s just a bug, honey, it can’t hurt you,” or, “you are bigger than the bug, it’s probably more afraid of YOU!!”
Each time we present these facts, we hope it will finally relax our panicked off spring. But alas, our efforts are futile: he is convinced he is the main target of this bug, the predator of our Kingdom.
At this point, we are in the most chaotic war zone known to human race. Anarchy! All hands on deck! Our dog is barking frantically , chasing us around the house. Our parakeets are fluttering spastically in their cage- feathers and feed shooting out onto my hardwoods. Our other two sons, true to their battle roles, are shouting out commands.
My oldest shouts with encouragement, “It went into the dining room, Dad!”
“I think it flew upstairs, Mom!!” The other quickly chimes in.
But our bug fearing son shoots out demands like machine guns firing in our heads,
“GIT IT GIT IT GIT GIT GIT IT GIT IT!!!!!!!!”
If the planets are aligned, we win our battle in a few minutes. My husband and I release our weapons and breath a sigh of relief. Safety is restored.
Sometimes, we can’t find it anywhere and try to convince (lie to) our son that it flew out the slightly opened deck door. Typically that approach fails, and he eventually sees the fly emerge from its latest bunker. Our battle resumes.
Worst case scenerio, the crack in the door allows for additional predators to engage in combat and we know we will lose. This is when we saddle up, bolt to the family car and head out to the nearest park.
Last night, much to my chagrin, was a different story. I thought I was smart. I climbed up onto that chair, arched my back (a bit too dramatically) and charged at it that stinker with my trusted bug weapon.
“WHAP!” The stink bug fell to its death leaving behind bits of its corpse and dropped into a small opening that swallowed it into the cavity of the microwave. “AAAAAAHHH! I shout. Not because I killed it, not because it fell into the workings of our cooking appliance. I cried out because I was in pain- I threw out my back.
“Awesome,” I moan.
Today, after taking some Advil, I sit ever so carefully with moist heat on my back and pray that the coffee I just warmed up in the microwave isn’t laced with stink bug guts.
But at least I know I won last nights battle and freed my son from the horror of the ever constant threat to our household.