Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rob: Dealing with Fear

I'm a big, burly guy with a beard and unkempt hair. As a result, I don't worry much about walking down the street at night. I don't fear heights, spiders, snakes or bugs. I have even allowed a tarantula to walk across my stomach and bungy jumped into a pool filled with crocodiles in my youth.


While I am the resident spider removal technician in our house and generally consider myself a person who tries to face things head-on, I would be lying if I said I didn't have fears. Believe it or not, for me, it's mice. Actually, it's rodents and vermin of any kind as well as pigeons, cause really, they're just rats with wings. Apologies to the pigeon lovers of the world, but they just plain give me the willies.

Lately we have been dealing with a minor mouse issue in our house. I recently removed a shed in our backyard and the mice, who had maintained a more or less permanent residence there, decided to check out the accommodations in our humble abode. Thus far, it's only been two of the little buggers and granted, they are tiny, relatively harmless field mice, but when I saw one the other day, it was like I was in my own personal episode of Fear Factor.

It was just the dog, the baby and I at home. I was working in our basement on a renovation project (The Challenge of Renovating With Kids) when I had a face to face encounter with my the little grey rodent. I was literally paralyzed with fear until I realized I couldn't just leave a mouse to run free while the little one played in the basement with minimal supervision. Besides the obvious problems, she loves animals and visions of her trying to catch it, followed by the inevitable case of the Black Plague, flashed through my head.




So after what felt like a 3 hour stare down (but was probably more like a 10 seconds), I mustered up the courage and performed a delicate extraction using a bowl, an empty pizza box and a shovel. 

All was going well until I realized that I was trapped behind the baby gate on my way to the back yard while maintaining my grip on the bowl with the mouse trapped inside. Envision an old Benny Hill sketch (worth a look up for those unfamiliar) where I'm balancing the bowl with its make-shift pizza box cover on one knee while the little one desperately tries to get the "surprise" inside as the dog does circles, barking hysterically.

All the while, I'm desperately trying to hold down this gripping, irrational fear that the mouse is going to escape, crawl into my shirt and finally end up on my head. Hilarious and terrifying all at once.

One gate and a sliding patio door later, I was able to safely remove the unwanted guest, only to have to spend the next 20 minutes convincing a 20 month old to "unlock" the back door so that I could get back into the house.

I think we all have fears and some, like mine with mice, can be faced and conquered. But there are other kinds of fears, less tangible ones, like keeping my kids safe from harm, of being a good enough parent and having enough savings to put the kids through school that seem tougher to face.

I'm a big, burly guy but size and strength aren't likely going to help me defeat these kinds of fears. Instead, I think the best I can do is plan and prepare to mitigate as many of these as possible, knowing that if the time comes, I'll face these like I faced my mouse: Terrified but putting on my big boy pants to get the job done. 

What are the things that set your heart racing, make your skin go pale and hair stand on end? Do you have less tangible fears, however rational or irrational that keep you up at night?




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25 comments:

  1. Spiders spiders all the way! One fell out of the sheet I was folding up yesterday and I had to try and reign myself in from having a heart attack in front of the little one (although I inwardly did!!!). #momsterslink

    http://www.motherhoodtherealdeal.com/

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    1. My wife Laura does not like spiders either. It's funny the things that really get you scared when they are so small like spiders and mice.

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  2. I don't think I'd go so far as to say they "scare" me, but there seems to be a ton of snakes around my house this summer that seem to enjoy popping up out of nowhere and seeing how high I can jump

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    1. I say that snakes don't bother me but I certainly don't think I want one as a pet.

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  3. You are braver than me I would have run a mile! Our cats use to bring in mice all the time (still alive). It was horrible. That's why we no longer have cats #PoCoLo

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    1. So funny. We had a cat when I was a kid who used to leave mice "presents" for us too. Thanks for reading.

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  4. You are braver than me I would have run a mile! Our cats use to bring in mice all the time (still alive). It was horrible. That's why we no longer have cats #PoCoLo

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  5. I am scared of worm. I am not scared of mouse. I am the resident remover of them in our old house. The cats kills them and I remove them as my mother & sister cant handle them dead of alive. But worms... goodness ... #pocolo

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    1. You are brave. My girls don't seem to have an issue with worms and I'm used to them from fishing as a kids but it's funny the things that scare us.

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  6. I love birds but birds in the house freak me out. It is daft because I can deal with spiders, mice and not bat an eyelid but if it flies and is inside!! Great post. Thank you. Keep the job title spider removal technician. Its great. #momsterlink

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    1. Thanks for reading. I'm good with birds other than pigeons but I certainly think I would lose my mind if one flew in the house.

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  7. Oh bless you, that made me giggle! I'd have no problem picking the mouse up and would want to keep it as a pet but that picture of you with a spider on your stomach is horrible!!!!! I don't mind teeny ones and will save any spider stuck in the bath but if one ran towards me I would run like a baby! #momsterslink

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    1. I think I can handle mice if they aren't in my house but it's the mice poop that drives me nuts and gives me the creeps. I must admit I wasn't super comfortable with the spider but it actually just kind of tickled.

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  8. Everyone is scared of something - even if they won't admit it! For me it's water deeper than I am tall (that's not very deep I'm only 5ft4). This post really tickled me - the Benny Hill part and the bit were you had to try and convince the baby to let you back in :)
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie
    www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Debbie. I really like the AnythingGoes linky and may actually link another up today. I thought folks might appreciate the Benny Hill reference.

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  9. Thanks for the smile ;o) I don't like anything that scurries quickly. I also don't like seeing a dead mouse on a mouse trap. My husband totally has to deal with that. I didn't do well with scorpions in the house last year either. I totally get where you are coming from. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink.

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    1. I'm totally the same. It's the quick moving and beady eyes that gives me the heebygeebies. Scorpions in the house would definitely freak me out.

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  10. HAHA! I love this story. Mouse stories are the best!! My sister and mom were home alone one time and they trapped a mouse under a shoebox. They stacked magazines on top. They worried he would chew it way out of the box, so they put towels around the box. Still worried this wasn't enough...magazines, books and more surrounded all 4 sides. By the time my dad got home the next day, the mouse was dead. They literally suffocated the poor thing!

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    1. Ha. Too funny and I can totally imagine their mindset. I was thinking exactly the same thoughts as I had the mouse trapped under the bowl. Thank you for reading.

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  11. I cannot stand little rodents! they freak me out! I enjoyed your post. thanks for sharing.Nice to discover your blog!

    Angela from daysinbed.com

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    1. Thank you for reading and I'm really glad you enjoyed the post(s).

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  12. Spiders are what evil looks like. I scrolled past your picture very quickly! Rodents I'm not bothered about

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    1. lol. It's crazy how some things don't bother some people and yet completely freak others out. Thanks for reading.

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  13. This made me chuckle! I'm ok with mice and small spiders but not tarantulas which give me the creeps! Snakes are ok, and I held a python for the first time the other week. Enjoyed connecting with your blog via the #AnythingGoes linky

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    1. Thanks Luke. I'm the same with snakes. We had the kids out at my mom's the other day and I had to remove a snake from the hedges. They don't really bother me but if it had been a mouse or worse, a rat, I would have said call someone else.

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