Roaches, and Spiders, and Trash – OH MY!



                (Yawn) I haven’t been sleeping well this week. I get up early (due to hungry little ones) and come night, I watch the clock until about 2-3am. I try to shut every distraction off by midnight but even then I find myself tossing and turning in bed like a fish out of water. And no – this time it’s not the worries or anxiety of deployment keeping me awake, but my fear of a creepy-crawly insect taking a stroll on my body.

                You see, earlier this week I was laying in my bed surfing the television channels before going to sleep and then all of a sudden from the corner of my eye I see a little figure zip by. At first I assumed it was nothing but a moth as it flew towards the light (I can deal with those) but when I took a closer look I realized it was a cockroach – a flying one! I WILL REPEAT –a FLYING COCKROACH!! I haven’t seen those since my travels to Central America and the Caribbean – I didn’t even think they survived in this kind of weather!

                I, of course, bolted out of my bed and was drowning in fear. The only reason I didn’t scream to the top of my lungs like I wanted to, was because my toddler was sleeping in the same room and my oldest daughter was next door. I had chills running through my body and every hair on my arms were standing tall as I stared at the cockroach still on the wall. Once I thought I saw its antenna’s move (yuck!) – I ran downstairs. Yes, I left my children behind – but only because I was thinking of what to do! Well, to make this story short (as I can’t bear to speak of it anymore) the cockroach has moved on to insect heaven and the accomplice – my broom – was placed with the garbage outside.

                I can remember the first spider I had to exterminate solo when my husband was away. It was like a milestone in my life! Now, I’m not talking about a little spider either – it was one almost the size of the palm of my hand. After moments of pacing back and forth nervously and with the encouragement of my sister via telephone I grabbed the weapons of my choice – a broom and a can of hairspray. I managed to decimate the bug that night, but the next few nights were disturbed with phobia just as they are now.

                In addition to the bugs – the trash, or more like the diaper genie, was another highpoint of my life on deployment. A couple of days after my husband was gone I noticed a disgusting odor in the upstairs of my home. At first I had no idea where it was coming from until I went to drop a dirty diaper into the diaper genie (usually it’s my oldest daughter’s duty to take them). I almost fainted from the horrid stench. It never even crossed my mind to empty it! This was my husband’s job! I changed the diapers and he emptied the trash. So here I found myself, for the first time (mind you, I’m on my second child in diapers) emptying out the diaper genie. I took a deep breath, braced myself, and opened the diaper genie – only to realize I had absolutely NO IDEA how to change the bag! After a quick examination of the contraption I finally did figure it out. In addition to my contractual obligation of changing the diapers I now have to empty the trash as well. I still haven’t fully accustomed myself to doing this though, because I usually don’t get it done until I notice a fly or two swarming around it – but hey, it gets done.

                Besides adapting to everyday life while on deployment – I didn’t get much warning on these little things we take for granted. Until military separation I never had to worry about exterminating insects, putting out mousetraps, and/or taking out the trash. It’s amazing how we easily fall into our roles in marriage. These ‘roles’ we play are easily overlooked until one of us is absent. The bugs, the trash, the lawn, the loose screws, the oil changes, the car washes, the bbq’s, the light bulb changes, the bill paying – I could go on and on! And every time I replace my husband in these roles I punch myself right in the “I miss my hubby” button.

                My husband right now is playing a bigger ‘role’ not only for my family but for our country as well. I don’t resent the fact that I have to do all these new tasks that are normally not on my to-do list. Actually, after those nervous breakdowns and/or gag provoking moments, I find myself proud that I survived it all solo. But don’t get me wrong, these roles will be waiting for my husband when he returns. I especially have no desire in continuing to be the household bug exterminator. Until then I will resume full responsibility of the stomach-churning – repulsive duties that belong to my husband. And with each spider, cockroach, and trash I handle these days – I smile in the end because I know miles and miles away (knowing my husband) he is either laughing at the thought of me handling a bug or wondering if I have remembered to take out the diaper trash out this week. Oh, the joys of deployment (smile).


…..and it is now past midnight – hopefully I can get some sleep tonight – if not, I may have to invest in a bed net!