It was a typical midweek afternoon. I had picked up all the kids from school and we were home waiting for dad to arrive before we ate dinner. Full disclaimer: I still can’t cook a lick so we were waiting for my husband to come home so there would be dinner to eat. My two boys and daughter were outside playing with their neighborhood friends and I was cleaning up the kitchen while talking to my dad on the phone.
All of a sudden, from the corner of my eye, I see our 12-year-old pug suddenly jerk her head up from the steps leading downstairs. Not accustomed to seeing her move so swiftly, I had to see what caught her attention. In the corner of the step, there appeared to be a small pile of leaves.
Once I got a closer look, I realized it wasn’t leaves, but rather an ugly plastic scorpion toy. My stomach flipped. It looked so lifelike with its pinchers and sprawling legs. While describing to my dad how the boys brought home a disgusting-looking toy, I reached down to grab it.
Then, the unthinkable happened. The little Satan’s spawn beat me to the punch and reached out to grab me… pinchers flailing.
“OH MY GOD. IT’S ALIVE!” I screamed into the phone. “IT’S A SCORPION, DAD! HOW ON EARTH DID IT GET IN HERE?”
My dad offered to drive the 25-minute trip to my house to take care of the critter and peel me off the ceiling. I yanked my pug for fear the stinger would strike her dead. After all, aren’t the stingers poisonous? My poor dog was about to sacrifice her life for me.
I screamed outside for the kids to get our neighbor who’s 6-foot-8 and not afraid of scorpions. (Well, technically, we’ve never had that conversation but I was sure he could protect us). My 8-year-old, Austin, heard me in total terror and ran into the house to see what all the commotion was about.
Once he laid eyes on the culprit, he started bawling. In an attempt to calm him (read: me) down, I said “What’s wrong? Everything is fine!”
And he replied, “You’re going to spank him!”
“Spank who?! What are you talking about? WHAT IS GOING ON?”
Austin started spilling the crime like an accomplice under a hot police spotlight: “Owen! Dad signed a permission slip last week for Owen to bring a crayfish home and then it escaped. We couldn’t find it and then we went outside and it must have crawled across the house and started heading downstairs. And, then you screamed. And, now, you’re going to spank him!”
I took a deep breath and called off all back-up. I told my dad to stop laughing and that I would call him back after I had a talk with his 10-year-old grandson.
Owen casually walked in, assessed the situation, reached down and plucked the evil monster right up.
“Oh, there you are,” he said.
Needless to say, we released the crayfish that night into the creek that flows behind our house. I’m still not sure if the assignment was to bring him back to school after summer vacation. All I knew was two things for sure:
1. The evil monster had overstayed his welcome.
2. Both my oldest son and my husband who signed the permission slip needed a protection order against me for 48 hours.