Friday, October 25, 2013

The Great Pumpkin Patch

Someone should have told me both times they handed me a tiny newborn baby boy in the labour/delivery room there would be battles I would one day lose.

It’s all part of being a minority in my house of three men, I guess.

Halloween has seemed to be a good measure of my two boys’ growing years. First there were the early years where I could dress them up in whatever cutesy Halloween costume my heart desired. Then came their own costume choices often influenced by trends, friends or TV. Then as the teenage years rolled around and they had one foot in their childhood and the other inching its way towards adulthood, trick ‘or treating became something for ‘babies.’

It seemed like there would never be Halloween at my house again.

But as each year goes by, each boy making ‘alternate’ Halloween plans that have me biting my finger nails in angst every year, I am determined to keep the novelty alive. I hand out treats at the door – in full, scary costume – and I carve pumpkins and ensure the outside is fully decorated.

But never in a million years did I expect to have a Halloween ‘decoration’ such as our new addition to our family.

As well as watching Halloween costumes change with their ages over the years, my young men’s desires for certain pets have changed with each year, as well....

A cat has always been a staple in our house. Even though the boys never chose to have a cat as we had cats before we had kids, I felt it only fair to the cat to include her in the historic list of family pets.

Then there have been fish of all shapes, sizes, breeds and life spans. Presently, we have 15 tiny fish of what breed I have no idea, some ‘Kuhli loaches’ who look like tiny eels, and a baby snail called Bob Dole (don’t ask me why).

There have been caterpillars kept in an aquarium, safe from the annual tree spraying.

Then there were ants – however unwelcomed and ever-growing in our garage, we considered them one of the family. How could we not?

Then came the scorpions. Despite my protests, it was a battle I lost, and it served as a reminder of my minority status in the house. At least the clawed predators have fostered communication between mother and son, something many mothers worry of losing - “Mom, can you stop at the pet store for some crickets on your way home from work.....? I’ll pay you back....” So the two scorpions live on, well fed by unsuspecting crickets.

And now we have a new ‘special’ addition to our family (and here I was worried I would have no ‘Halloween’ in my house!)

Behold the Pumpkin Patch Tarantula.

Yes, the little darling, or ‘sling’ as baby tarantulas are often deemed, is just a wee lad. Orange and black-spotted, this little guy from Columbia who is barely bigger than my finger nail right now, will grow at warp speed and soon outgrow the take-out condiment container he is currently residing in. He’s a ‘dwarf’ version, so whether he grows to have a leg-span of three to four inches typical for the species, I don’t know.

I’m looking forward to finding out.

Presently, non-poisonous ‘Sling,’ as he (or she – I have yet to check) has been named, resides in his/her condiment container in my son’s bedroom beside the fish tank.

I don’t think the cat has figured out what’s in the container, the same container that has me realizing I will never look at take-out tartar sauce the same way, again.

So as Halloween gets closer and I longingly look at all the kids’ Halloween costumes on the racks in stores while hoping I can drag my teens out to the pumpkin patch just one more year, I can actually be happy......

I have my own in-house ‘pumpkin patch.’

And who knows, trick-or-treaters might find a cricket in their goody bags!

Thanks for reading!



  1. Tarantulas AND scorpions?? You are brave, very brave...

    1. Hi Ros - I wouldn't say 'brave' - I'm just losing a battle.....:) Thanks for stopping by! Lisa