One evening Mindy screamed so loud, I about jumped out of bed. She thundered up the stairs with a look of pure terror in her eyes. I was really frightened by the ghastly look on her face.
"It was horrible, Mom, just horrible!" Pant pant pant. "There's a spider right by the toilet." I pulled her close to me for a hug, and heard Rick guffawing from the other room. I was trying very hard not to laugh. Mindy suddenly pulled away from me.
"You're laughing, aren't you?" she glared. I could not keep it in any longer. I laughed and laughed. When I heard her scream, I thought she'd been hurt in some way. But a spider by the toilet, and her screaming up the stairs like a crazy woman? You have to admit that it is kind of funny.
Mindy explained that she had tried to kill it, but whenever she moved, it just disappeared. We settled her down and Mindy finally went to bed. Rick and I replayed the whole scene with great amusement, but had the decency to keep quiet.
The very next night she came screaming up the stairs again. This time I didn't even try to hide a smile. "Again?" I asked incredulously.
"Yes!" she yelled. "Make Dad go down and kill it. I can't sleep in the basement knowing it is down there." Rick, who thinks spiders are fascinating creatures, told Mindy to go to bed and let the spider have some peace. Mindy went to bed, but she was very angry. And frightened.
It happened every night that week about the same time. The more Mindy saw that spider, the more upset she got. The more she screamed like a banshee, the more annoyed we got. "For goodness sake, Mindy, just kill it." I said. Mindy looked at me like I was the most stupid person on earth.
"I can't, Mom. Every time I make one single movement, it disappears before I can get it." Since Mindy was so upset, I suggested she take a camera down and get a picture of it. Brooke went with her, and together they slipped down to the bathroom. Much to my surprise, Mindy actually got a picture of it. We were thoroughly impressed at the size of the spider.
Rick finally went downstairs to see the spider, and sure enough, it was still there. As Rick tried to kill it, it zipped out of view. He looked all over for it, but it was gone. He came back upstairs to report to two terrifed girls that he didn't kill it. Then Rick said the weirdest thing. "I can't kill it." Rick paused to gauge our reaction. "That spider is too cool to kill. He's huge, and it takes skill to disappear like that. I think we should name him Edward Scissorhands."
I have learned to choose my battles. Realizing that Rick had become attached to Edward, I bought Mindy some spider spray and told her to spray at it until it died. She came upstairs triumphantly the next night. "Edward's dead."
Rick was shocked. He mourned over his beloved Edward Scissorhands. It kind of reminded me of Michael Jackson and his rat friend, Ben. I was just happy that Mindy and Brooke weren't terrified to use the restroom. Now Mindy has a nightly ritual, she sprays the bathroom religiously. She also sprays the hall and her bedroom.
I feel kind of bad about what I did after all the drama died down. It really was a mean thing to do. While I was shopping after Halloween, I found a black rubber tarantaula, with fuzzy legs and a bright orange circle around the top. The orange circle glowed in the dark, so if one were to find it in one's bedroom, they would see the shadows of a ferocious spider. I got it for the bargain price of $1.00, and sent Brooke down to Mindy's room to hide it under her covers.
I forgot all about it until I heard feet pounding up the stairs. "Brooke! You are EVIL!" Mindy screamed. I knew that I better intervene before she tackled poor Brooke, and yelled out that it was me. I knew exactly why she was screaming. She ran into my room with a look of complete disbelief. She could not get any words out for a minute. Then she hissed "I can't believe you would do that to me. I was SO scared, I had no sound to scream."
When Mindy caught her breath, she admitted that it was a pretty good prank. And if anyone deserves a prank, it is Mindy. She is always coming up from behind to scare me. She throws cold water in the tub when I am taking a bath. Mindy is the queen of mischief. She even hides behind bedding shelves in Target and jumps out at shoppers, scaring them half to death. Mindy knew she deserved it, and she was a great sport about the whole thing. In fact, she was such a great support about it, now I'm scared. She is sure to get even with me.