14 August 2008


For the longest time when she was a toddler, Jenna LOVED spiders. She used to crawl around looking under furniture, calling "py-dee!!" - none ever came to her, strangely.

Until one day, a girl from our street screamed at one in our doorway, and from then on Jenna was deeply terrified any time she saw even the smallest bug. It took months to help her get over it. Mostly by calmly pointing them out any time we saw them, and reacting normally! Children learn a lot by simply watching others, and it seemed to me that supressing my own aversion to moths, for example, might be the only way to restore her sense of confidence with this part of our world.

Now we're back to bug-hunting. Last week, Morgan came to me and spat something out into my hand, and I instinctively screamed and dropped it like an idiot - a little yellow and black stripy caterpillar. My child would NOT survive in the wild... Anyhow, Jenna only laughed at me and although she thought it was "yucky" that Morgan had had it in her mouth, she was not bothered about the bug or my reaction.

Which is just as well, because we have a big spider in the corner of our bathroom. Jenna loves it, and every morning tells me about the progress of the spider. He's moved, he's by the light, oh he's caught a fly today! Mummy, I think this spider might be a girl spider. Isn't she pretty?

Well a couple of days ago we went into the bathroom to get washed and brush our teeth, and Jenna told me off for talking too loudly. "You'll frighten my spider!" That's my girl. :)


  1. urgh. Shudder.
    Maggie also used to like them - and I did a great job of not letting on how much they fill me with horror - until this incident http://www.turquoise.me.uk/2007/10/10/curds-and-whey/. She seemed to still be fine until - big traumas - a few months ago there was One In Her Toybox. Which walked on her. She screamed; I screamed (because she shook it at me).
    I haven't encountered one since, but I guarantee come September the house will fill with enormo spiders again. Fingers crossed she will have forgotten the fear by then.

  2. This rings a bell. I have a real spider phobia wich I try so hard to hide from the boys. I so hate chatting nicely to the huge spiders whilst feeling inwardly sick and lightheaded. Like you I don't want to pass it on. Oh the joys of motherhood!

  3. I think it would be difficult not to scream at seeing a caterpillar emerge from your child's mouth!

    The Broken Man


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