animal phobias

Long-time friends will know that I have an irrational fear of reptiles.  Snakes, toads, lizards — all are VERY BAD.  May God have mercy on the soul of the lizard who I discovered in my kitchen last year.  Ugh.  Just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

This fear reared its head unexpectedly today while the girls and I and some friends were visiting Coyote Point.  We were heading to a small ampitheater area to await a “Zookeeper Talk” of some sort, and the small outdoor theater was already quite full.  However, there were some open seats in the back, so I grabbed Curious J in my arms and climbed up the seats to find a place to sit.  Suddenly, I was face to face with a Coyote Point staff member of some sort holding a kingsnake in her hands.

Um, I don’t do well with snakes.  Especially when surprised by one.

I gave a little yelp, and scrambled backward as fast as I could.  The benches are built into a rock, so in my hurry to get away, I slipped and fell a bit, mildly twisting my ankle, but at least not hurting Curious J.  The poor staff worker asked me, “Are you okay?” while still holding the terrifying reptile, and I quickly said, “I’m fine, I’m fine,” as I continued to get away from the snake.

I made a slight bit of a scene, I guess, although that wasn’t my intent.  People were looking at me.  I didn’t scream so much as yelp, and I think I drew more attention to myself with my slight fall than I did with the snake.  But, man alive, I do NOT like snakes.  Not One Bit.

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I have tried hard not to instill my phobia for reptiles on my daughters.  We have multitudinous gray lizards that scamper all over our property.  They are very quick, and as long as they are running away from me, I don’t mind them too much, which is good, because they’re all over outside!  However, I harbor no love for the bigger alligator lizards that can grow up to a foot long.  Luckily, we don’t see those very often.

Lyd has not inherited my fear of reptiles (see the picture at the bottom of this post for proof), but somehow she has developed a fear of spiders.  Quite a big fear.  Meaning, she won’t go into the back porch by herself because there are spiders in the corner of the ceiling.  (Meanwhile, I’m thinking Sweetie, there have been spiders in the corners of the back porch ceiling for as long as we’ve lived here.  It’s just that now you’re noticing them.)  But the spiders ARE THERE, and they must be annihilated for Lyd to have peace.

But she does NOT like spiders, and right now we have plenty of daddy long-legs living in our house.  I probably should be more aggressive about killing them in general, but in my eyes, they’re harmless and they just don’t bother me that much.  However, they definitely bother Lyd, so whenever she notices one, I have to come and make it gone.

I wonder if her fear of spiders will eventually equal my fear of reptiles.  It’s strange; I am SO scared of reptiles, but I knew it was irrational, so I tried very hard not to pass my fear on to her.  Yet I’ve never been scared of spiders, and that’s the fear that Lyd now has.  I suppose I never talked much about I wasn’t scared of spiders; perhaps I should have done that.  Oh, well.  Hindsight is 20/20.

Perhaps Lyd will have to have an agreement in her marriage similar to what JJ and I have.  We agreed from the start that JJ’s job was to remove all dead animals that would ever need to be removed, and he would also remove any reptiels that made it into the house.  He also promised that he would never tease me with any kind of reptile, and he also would never let our children tease me with a reptile or bring a reptile into the house.  My job was to kill and remove all bugs and insects from the house, as JJ hates bugs and spiders, and frankly, I am kept much busier holding up my end of the deal than he is.  But that’s okay.  As long as I don’t have to deal with reptiles, I’m happy.

(Hmm, maybe Lyd gets her fear of spiders from her father?)

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