We had a bit of a spider incident this morning. As I stumbled out of bed I was met by the demand, "there's a humungous spider in the bath, can you get it out please." Now I'm not scared of spiders, in fact I like them and so it's not a big deal for me to remove them. It was a pretty big specimen, the sort that you can really feel in the palm of your hand. I picked it up and carried it gently to the garden, as always feeling slightly smug and hopeful my calm demeanor will eventually rub off on my arachnophobe daughters.
Today though was probably not the day for that. As I went to throw it on the grass it shot up my arm, over my shoulder and disappeared. I asked Connie if she could see it but she refused to come anywhere near me so I had to come back into the house to check in the mirror. Meanwhile Lorna and Connie were looking on horrified and calling out useful tips such as "get away from me" and " you're not going anywhere near my room!" Eventually I located it on my back - only for it to run up into my hair. At this point the girls demanded I go back outside, "and don't come back in till it's gone." I made like I was in a mosh pit and shook my head wildly. There was no sign of the spider. I'm hoping it came out when I was head banging, otherwise I have a new pet - living in my hair!
Anyway after the drama and with the children at school I started thinking about phobias. It always surprises me that they are scared of spiders given neither me nor their dad is remotely bothered by our arachnid friends. In fact as a child I would collect any I found around the house, stand on my cabin bed and put them on my ceiling. I do realise this isn't usual behaviour but nevertheless with such a relaxed attitude I do have to confess to finding it frustrating that all three have developed this fear. There is a small part of me itching to tell them to get over it and that spiders won't hurt them, but then I remember I'm not averse to one or two irrational fears/phobias myself. So in ascending order of my wussiness, here are my main fears
4. Small spaces. I know claustrophobia is common but my version is quite particular. I'm fine with lifts and aeroplanes for instance but don't like situations where I have to crawl into a small space and exit backwards. As I'm not a potholer this means what I'm actually afraid of is cleaning under the bunk beds. Every so often I have to sort out the mess that seems to accrue under there - soft toys, odd socks, puzzle pieces, Lego bricks - you know the drill. When this job needs doing I have to psyche myself up to crawl underneath the bed, then I grab as many items as I can in about two minutes before backing out quickly to steady my nerves before taking a deep breath ready to go back under for another go.
3. Dropping things from a height. I don't mind being high, as a child I loved climbing and abseiling on school trips. However, I really don't enjoy looking over say bridges or boats because I'm afraid I might drop something. My family never fail to laugh at me as I go through the routine of checking my rings, watch, camera, bag etc any time I've not been able to avoid a situation where something could conceivably fall away from me. In all honesty I'd probably be happier naked! Similarly I also have to check my rings every time I post a letter.
2. Helicopters. I blame this fear on ER and the fate of Dr Romano. I really dislike looking at helicopters flying and imagine them bursting into flames before my eyes. The thought of ever having to go on a helicopter is more than I care to comprehend. The only time would be if I needed an air ambulance and then I hope I'm unconscious.
1. Maggots. My loathing for these vile little entities can't really be put into words suffice to say their wriggly squirminess is enough to drive me to tears. I used to be a veterinary nurse and in the summer we'd often have rabbits brought in suffering from fly strike where flies would lay eggs in the faeces around the anus of the rabbit which would then hatch into maggots. I confess I used to hide and leave the de-maggoting to others. If I found a maggot in the house I'd have to be outside until it was removed. The thought of anybody in the house taking up fishing is enough to make me leave home!
So perhaps a fear of spiders isn't so bad! What are your odd fears? I'd love to hear them.