Thursday, June 14, 2012


I feel I should finish the story from the other night-- the night of the Prehistoric Possibly Vampiric Giant Dinosaur Roach Attack of 2012-- just so you can see how far my deranged mind had fallen by 1:00 in the morning.  I will be the first to admit I was an irrational mess of a person- a person filled with the type of absurd emotional behavior I have always secretly and not-so-secretly mocked in others.  It's just, it was late.  I was tired.  I don't have much against bugs outside the house; indeed, if I'd seen that same Mesozoic vampiric cockroach on a path outside I would have walked by it with nothing more than an "ew".  But this was in my house.  My home, my castle.  Also, it was late and I was tired and I just wanted to wash my face without squaring off in a death match with a carnivorous winged and probably fanged roach.  But no, the giant 12" vampire roach had to be at eye-level skulking along my wall, thinking evil thoughts of hostile takeovers and attacking my face.  You know it was.

After I completed my 15-step plastic bag and Clorox-involved process to dispose of the very squished and poisoned but still fighting dinosaur roach, I tried to calm down in bed.  I wrote the blog post, I took deep breaths, and I was  thisclose to returning to a rational mental state when Claire screamed.  Screamed!  Out of nowhere, at 1:15 a.m.  Obviously, she was being attacked by the undead dinosaur roach and all his friends.  I am deeply ashamed to admit it, but even knowing my baby girl was being swarmed by roaches, it still took me a good 45 seconds to react, so paralyzed was I by the visual tormenting my brain.  Finally I leaped out of bed (literally, I was afraid there was a roach next to my bed, but I could see the spot a few feet away and it looked clear), and RACED to her room, flipping on every single light switch along the way.    Halfway there I realized I'd forgotten my spray bottle of poison, but this is probably for the best, as I likely would have sprayed it on Claire before my frazzled mind realized the room was bug free.  And it was bug free.  And Claire was sleeping sweetly in her crib, having simply cried out in the middle of a dream.

I shuffled back to my room, turning off lights as I went, and tried to stretch out in bed- yelping when my foot brushed a piece of folded over sheet, CERTAIN that the sheet was a roach (because they feel so similar), and finally tucking my exhausted mentally broken body into a tiny ball where I remained all night.  I woke up at 6 a.m. to the lights on, the Raid by the bed, and cramps all over my body from sleeping in such a fiercely tight position.

My story has made the rounds at work- at the last retelling the roach was 12" long and I donned a hazmat suit in the middle of battle, so now I'm famous for two things: dinosaur roach cage matches and eating more at lunch than anyone in the office.  I might also be good at enforcing securities laws, but no one cares to think of that.

In other, somewhat related news, JP comes home later tonight!  After 5 nights away, everyone is very ready for his return.  But especially me.  It took me an hour to work up the nerve to go in our bedroom and bathroom last night, just in case the dinosaur cockroach had told his friends to come over from beyond the grave.  (He had not.  Not yet.)  It's hard having JP away- I miss him, as my parenting partner, snuggle bunny, and resident bug killer.  And I forgot how hard it was to get both kids out the door in the morning when you have to close up the house on the way out.  I take the kids to school pretty much every day, but JP works from home, so I can leave lights on and dishes on the counter and Tex roaming about.  Luckily, the kids have been so, so good that they really do make it as easy it can be- the don't know it yet, but they're getting frozen yogurt tomorrow night to celebrate their nearly perfect behavior.  And mama's getting a sangria swirl margarita or three to celebrate her victory over the dinosaur roach and to aid her ongoing therapy for almost being eaten by him.  I think it's going to take several Fridays of margaritas to recover, but I'm a survivor, and together with JP never traveling again, the bug man who is coming back on Saturday, the Raid, borax, and vinegar I bought today, and the projects we're doing this weekend to clear brush away from the house (and your kind and humorous comments), I'm sure I'll make it through.


  1. Love your blog!

  2. Hi LL, i've been a long time reader and am finally de-lurking, absolutely love your blog, you crack me up! Was wondering if that freak hail storm in Dallas was anywhere near you??

  3. HAHAHAHA - I love that you have the kind of relationship with your colleagues where you can joke about these things. Also, you are braver than I am. I'm fairly certain I would have attempted to sleep with the lights on!

  4. My husband was out of town, I was pregnant and woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I made my way over to the sink and saw a huge spider on the floor. I freaked out, did the icky spider dance, got a shoe and smashed it. As I smashed it I saw these little things moving. It was a wolf spider and they carry their babies on their back. OMG. EW. So then I had to get the vacuum and thoroughly vaccuum the entire area...then empty the vacuum outside. Then sleep on the couch because EW. I haven't quite got over it 6 years later:) At work the next day we researched it and learned all about the wolf spider.

  5. Take it from a girl who lived in TX for just 2 years, I know the HORROR of giant roaches!! We bought an 80 year old house and so, little did I know it would come with monster roaches. One LANDED on my shoulder once while I was brushing my teeth before bed and of course, my husband was traveling on business. I think the whole block must have heard me scream! However, I found a few wonderful home remedies. I never saw another roach. Just repeat every 2-3 months.

    1) Roaches hate bay leaves. You know, like what you cook with. So, I would spread them under my bed, under the mattress, anywhere I wanted to be sure they would not come. I've heard that growing live bay plants (inside or out) will repel them as well, but I never got around to trying that because I didn't have to and I kill pretty much all plants I try to grow.

    2) Catnip. You can make little sachets of it from pantyhose & put them behind furniture, in cabinets, etc. Also, I made a "catnip tea" by boiling a bunch of it, then put it in a spray bottle & spray over baseboards, door frames, etc & rub it over them with a cloth. It doesn't smell great while boiling, but you won't smell it by the next day.

    I really liked these solutions since they are safe even for kids to touch. :) My brother now lives in an old building in NYC and says these methods work well for him too. Good luck!

  6. I totally get the feeling of horror and rage that comes over you when some creepy crawly is in YOUR home. That's what I feel ..... How DARE it?!! You should see me when it comes to wasps at our lake house so very near your parents'. I knock down nests and spray so much spray chasing those suckers that Jim used to say he was sure there was a cloud of Raid visible from space over our house. As I said, keep lots of cans of the big guns on hand. :)