Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer in the South

Today we had ants invasion in the girls’ room.  The girls were both really excited but also concerned,  Shiloh lay down on the floor to watch them while Kayla screamed,”ma yi! ma yi! (ants)” crazily beside me.  I exercised my lightening-fast fingers muscles right away by squishing them, with Shiloh guiding me by pointing her finger to every one of the ant she could see while yelling,”haiyou! haiyou! (there is still more)”.  True excitement for our mundane morning schedule, but not one I have wished or would wish for.  The other day I killed a fly, a roach, a spider and caught a giant cricket(that gave such a fright to poor Kayla, because she sat right next to it and it jumped!) all within an hour, INSIDE the house.  Welcome to the summer in the South, where all the creeping creatures outdoor do their summer heat escape, in YOUR house.

You would think “What’s the big deal, you grow up in Malaysia, eh?”  True, true,  We do have ants inside the house, flies galore when it’s the season(when I said, season, I actually mean seasons, you will always have flies, only low season or peak season), we have cockroaches of course, and they do fly, one time one flew into my older brother’s mouth when he was sleeping, he coughed and spat and screamed so much it made us laughed so badly; but karma soon made its way back to me when one day I tried to play my recorder, I sucked in a deep breath, and in with the air was this tiny baby cockroach…I coughed and spat and screamed so much that my siblings laughed so badly at me.  I also washed my mouth out million times and always checked before I played my recorder then.  We also have geckos in the house, they are good tiny lizards that crawl on the ceilings that eat insects, but they also poo everywhere and that always annoy my mother.  We got really excited when my mother tried to hit it with a cane but it didn’t kill the gecko but only got its tail,  the tail would fall off, still wiggling on the floor with the gecko alive but gone.  It’s an amazement when you saw the same gecko again next time with a short but new tail.  Sometimes the geckos lay eggs among the clothes in the dresser, we would bring them and bury them in the hot sand.  If the time was ripe you got baby geckos crawled out from the eggs.  We also have millipedes and centipedes, and occasionally mice.

So what’s the big deal about all these crawling creatures inside my house here in US?

The big deal is, my friends, in Malaysia, everything is opened.  The doors are opened, the windows are opened, so to have crawling things inside my house is expected.  Because they can get in and out of the house easily.  But here in US, everything is closed.  My doors and windows are closed most of the time, if I so leave my door opened ajar, just a few millimeters, I would have my husband and my in-laws screaming at me,”Close that door before the bugs get in!!!”  And I always obey.   But what good it does when you obey but you still have troops and troops of crawling creatures decide to invade your house from some unseen cracks and literally creep up on you when it’s least expected? The suspend is further heighten by the fact that there is poisonous spiders in South Carolina.  It helps greatly when you cannot sleep at night and your thought start to stray off to the poisonous spiders that might be lurking in your children's bedroom, or worse, dangling over their cribs while they slumber off in their sweet, innocent dreamland.

Last year within the same day I had a standoff with a green, weird type of gecko (OK, any kind of gecko I can’t identify is weird, and the only type I can identify if of course those good gecko back in Malaysia) and also had to thwart an entire troop of ants’ invasion.  I came upon the bright green gecko while I was heading to my bedroom, and there it was, on its all four in front of my bedroom door, with its back to the back door out to the backyard.  I stopped in my track, it sensed my presence and raised its head and looked at me with its beady eyes.  Usually lizards do not alarm me, outdoor; but this one was in my house.  I also was still breastfeeding, that means I still have lots of crazy motherly hormones coursing inside me.  Maybe it felt my unfriendliness, it started to look around for a way out.  What is worse than to have a lizard in your house?  A frantic lizard.  It decided to make a mad dash to my bedroom!  And what’s worse than to have a frantic lizard?  You guessed it, to have a frantic lizard in your bedroom!  I quickly opened the bedroom door and it froze, I used something to hit the floor near it, it realized it was a bad choice to go that way and quickly ran out of the room.  I jumped over it and opened the back door and used the same sound tactic to scare it, it quickly wiggled itself out.  Relief swarmed over me after I slammed the door shut.  Earlier that day,  I had to eliminate a whole colony of the ants who had decide to claim ownership to the girls’ dresser.  Yes, right among the girls fluffy, soft clothing (that their mother slaved to wash and dry and fold) they made themselves comfortable.  I had to kill them one by one with my fingers, because I could not bear to use any chemicals in the girls’ room, which resulted in more than few bites on my hands.  And while their mama risking her life battling with the whole colony of the ants, the girls decided they should not waste their time waiting around for me, they launched their stealth mode and went to party-with the cat food.  By the time my mother instinct told me they were up to something, they were already splashing in the water puddles from the water bowl, and Shiloh was munching the cat food happily.  The younger one was quick to tears once I discovered them and reprimanded them, but the older one…proceeded to munch more cat food.

When the night dawned and the husband came home, I boasted my heroic rescues to him.  His respond was mild,”Oh!  THAT lizard.  Yeah, I have seen him.”, which prompted the wife to asked,”You have seen HIM??!! In the house?”  ”Yeah, I have seen him in the house…” “WHEN???!”  ”I don’t know, a few days ago…?”  and by this time, he had his monstrous fire-breathing, eyes blazing with green glow wife on him screaming,”YOU HAVE SEEN HIM FEW DAYS AGO AND DID NOT GET HIM OUT???!  YOU LET THE LIZARD STAYED IN MY HOUSE FOR FEW DAYS???!”  To this he finally realized he gave the wrong answer and replied,”Oh, maybe not few days, maybe it was yesterday that I saw him…” The wife was very tempted to let her husband stay in the backyard with the same lizard that night.

This year, the girls have voluntarily signed up for the scouting job and are on board of our swat team.  They scour every corner of the house looking for the creatures.  When found one they flew to their mommy and screamed on top of their lungs for their discoveries.  When their special language is not understood, they make such noise until their mother drops everything she is doing to go investigate.  They yell and yelp and jump and pant and whine and cry while their mother does the job of killing or evicting.  It is good to have little helpers, at least one of them is courageous and sometime tries to take the killing into her own hand; but they have to work on their identify skill, especially the younger one.  Because for now, every black speck on the floor is an ant to her (which she jumps and screams), and everything she can find with her eagle eyes is suspicious.

So, welcome to the summer in the South.  Down here we have all kind of creeping creatures, not only in your backyard but also in your house.  When the husband is home, he comes to the call of rescue; but when he is not around, I stand and do the job of protecting my family by battling and evicting those illegal immigrants in my house.  I do not mind doing the job (with some disgusted exclamation along doing it, of course), but does any of you, my friends, who has a one-time solution?  Or, I guess I can resolve to to a lesser solution –recipes of natural insecticide I can use safely around children, anyone?

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