The kids were out in the front yard this morning, riding bikes and playing. Stephen was kicking back in the bouncy chair on the front porch next to me, while I was sitting next to him with my laptop, putting the finishing touches on this year's lesson plans.
All was well, until Miriam screamed "There's a scorpion!!"
Now, she has thought before that specks of dust were scorpions. In almost seven years of living here, we never saw a single scorpion anywhere on our property for the first six years. In the last year, we have found at least a half dozen, if not more. I HATE IT!!
I love walking barefoot. I don't want to have to make sure that all kids have socks and shoes on, all day. I hate walking to the bathroom at night, in too much of a brainfog to slip on shoes, but keenly aware of the possible presence of these horrible creatures. I hate checking the house with a black light at night before going to bed, and knowing that even if I don't see anything, they might be lurking somewhere.
So when a barefoot Miriam ran towards me screaming, I knew not to wait. Anna was standing right where Miriam had been, but she was wearing shoes, as were all the other kids.
Sure enough, right under the little rocking chair where Miriam had sat rocking her doll, was the scorpion. It was impossible to miss, because it was huge.
My metal water bottle was the best weapon within reach. I used it to first nip the scorpion's tail off. Then, I squished the back of its body - enough to kill it, but not enough to completely dismember it and ruin the photos for the blog. I want you all to see and know what I am dealing with here!!!
How would you like to get stung by this?
Wearing shoes is only part of the problem. The kids LOVE to sit on the floor playing. The older boys would rather play even a board game on the floor than at the table. Not to mention Legos, Playmobil, and the like. I have babies, sometimes crawlers. Solomon has sat on the floor assembling a huge K'nex kit, only to find a scorpion running across the floor right in front of him. I don't have a way to keep all of us suspended in mid-air!!!
Like most people in Arizona, we get regular, monthly pest control treatment. But get this: it doesn't do anything for scorpions or spiders. Those are killed only on direct contact, not by spraying poison around the property. Well, I can kill on direct contact, too, thanks to my handy water bottle - the problem is that these critters hide and don't just wait around in plain sight until I come get them!!!
And yes, we have spiders, too. Last month, Solomon discovered a couple of HUGE black widows. Yesterday, a brown recluse spider came down the wall at church next to where I was sitting. It was only inches from my face when I saw it out of the corner of my eye, and then swiftly killed it without waking (or dropping) a sleeping Stephen in my arms.
Gah! Sometimes I really hate living here!!!