Well, my Mom Paranoia is raging again. It last reared it’s ugly little head when Brooks was sleeping in until 10:30 and taking 4-5 hour afternoon naps. (Instead of making good use of that extra time, I spent it on WebMD, searching terms like “Infant Mono” and “Toddler West Nile Virus”.) Anyway, my latest fear…snakes. Actually, I should be more specific, snake bites.
Impressed by my ultra-precise visual, right?!?
It all started a few weeks ago when James casually mentioned that he had been over at our next door neighbor’s helping them humanely relocate kill the Copperhead they stumbled upon in their yard. The conversation went something like, ” My day was normal, blah blah, Seabrook, West Ashley, blah blah, roofing, tiling, blah, ate a hotdog, blah, helped the neighbors kill a Copperhead.” I don’t remember saying much at the time, but ever since, it’s been festering in my mind. Copperheads live in Charleston? Can they crawl through fences with 1/8 inch slat separations? What is the survival rate for snake bitten dogs, toddlers, full grown women? Are tourniquets still recommended or is their use as controversial as recommended number of chest compressions? Does Anti-venom have mercury in it? The festering continued…. I still let Brooks play outside, but I stayed alert. And worried.
Then it happened. Just what my festering mind did not need. We found a snake. ON OUR PORCH!!! Our screened in porch. The porch that my husband PROMISED was all but air tight (’cause that’s impossible, right?). It was a baby snake, but it had designs on it’s back. I grabbed my Ove Glove, thought about how cute it would be as a purse, a very small purse, and stared at it. And stared at it. I was paralyzed. Surely snakes can bite through Ove Gloves. My husband refused to come and see said snake because he was reading. Yeah, reading. By the time he tore himself out of the pages (A Table in The Presence, recommended reading there, folks.) the snake was gone. It’s probably having snake babies right now. On our porch.
So, the festering continued. I’ve remained mum on the topic, only swearing to never enter our backyard a few dozen times, then going out anyway. I’ve kept my cool. Until today at B’s 18 month checkup. I had been coaching myself all day to play the cool mom, the professional, “it’s all under control” mom. No 3 page scribbled list of questions, no “can you just take a quick look at this” malarky. No, I was determined to confidently say, “everything is going really well, I have no questions” in my most professional voice. One small problem. He didn’t ask if I had any questions, he asked if I had any concerns. Instantly, a dozen hissing snakes entered my train of thought. “Well, not really, but maybe one small thing” I said. “It’s just that I’ve been doing a lot of reading on snakes and our neighbor found a copperhead and then we found one on our porch and I’ve heard of them killing 50 pound dogs and Brooks only weights 28 pounds and if he gets bit should I go straight to the hospital and what are his survival chances???????” I sputtered. Word vomit strikes again. So much for cool professional mom with no questions. Maybe next time I should jam a Twix bar in my mouth like they do on those commercials.
As it turns out, my pediatrician is not only well-educated in all things, well, pediatric, he also knows a good deal about snakes. See, I wasn’t totally off course asking him for advice, right??? Apparently, you can treat your yard. He says that Lowe’s sells snake repellent (I’m hoping he’s not just telling me that like parents tell their 5 year olds when they give them a spray bottle of water and tell them it’s “monster repellent”.). Then he says, “But you might want to use the poor man’s treatment.” (Crap, is my SES showing again? Am I barefoot? Wearing my bathrobe? So much for professional mom…) Apparently, if you crush moth balls and scatter them around your perimeter, snakes will stay off your property. Sounds very Practical Magic, right? I’ve always thought I look like Nicole Kidman.
So, tomorrow, after my couponing workshop (it’s a wild life I lead), I’m headed to Wal-Mart. I’m guessing they sell moth balls. Maybe next to their wool cardigans and denture cream. Wish me luck!