My home, my safe haven, my castle came under threat recently. I have never experienced being really, truly afraid in my own home. Until now.
Picture this, its a normal Monday. Husband is at work and I’m at home with nearly 10 month old Jesse. It is early afternoon and he has awoken hungry from his nap. As we are sitting down on his play mat, he in his chair and me feeding him, I hear a rustling noise. A kind of noise that I had heard a few times already today and put down to the cat knocking something over as she sometimes does. But as I look toward the direction of the sound I realise that it is most definitely not the cat.
I look across the room and see a snake slithering along our dining room floor.
Well…cue me losing my shit! Instant panic. I immediately grabbed Jesse out of his chair, gripped him tight and backed away. Now this in itself is usually a pretty fiddly job. Wipe his hands and face while he squirms in protest, remove the tray, take off his bib, undo the harness, pry him from the chair. But on this occasion I whipped him out in seconds, food still all over his face and bib still on.
I noticed my breathing started to get erratic as a million thoughts ran through my head. It’s probably just a tree snake. But it could be brown. Who cares what colour it is, its a frickin’ snake! I need to protect my baby. Where’s my phone. What do I do?
My instinct is to just get the hell out of there but a voice in my head tells me that if I go outside I won’t know where the snake goes. I reach to grab my phone off the kitchen bench and immediately ring Kaine. Now, I know he’s at work and he can’t do anything but he’s my person so I ring him.
I’m basically hyperventilating as I explain to him what is going on. I tell him I don’t know what kind of snake it is and that I just want to get out of the house. Meanwhile the snake is taunting me as it weaves in and out between the vertical blinds on our lounge room window. Each time its head peaks out and stares at me I squeal and that prickly feeling goes through my body as the adrenaline shoots through me.
Despite my logical voice telling me to keep an eye on the snake, my emotional voice and the mum in me won out and we headed swiftly out the front door. It’s hot. Jesse is heavy and started to get a bit freaked out. For his sake I try to calm down.
After a bit of googling Kaine sends me some numbers for snake removers. I kept thinking if only my brother or dad were nearby they would be able to help but they were both at work too.
So I ring the first number and he tells me he can be here in 20 minutes but I have to go back in and watch the snake. Go and stand in the room and block it in he says. Yeah right!
I sneak back in the front door while still on the phone to him. I scan the room. Aggghhhh! I see it, I see it. It’s still in the same place. Oh, its climbing up the wall (which Kaine says later is impossible because snakes don’t have sticky feet!). It slithers along the top of the window. And its big, at least a metre long.
My hero (the slightly rude yet somehow still comforting snake remover) tells me he’s in the car and on his way. Just then the snake falls from his perch (perhaps they don’t have sticky feet). I squeal again. Shit, I’ve lost sight of it. Mr Snake remover will be most unimpressed with me but there’s no way I’m going any closer to investigate his whereabouts.
20 agonising minutes later I hear a knock at the door. I recount the last 20 minutes to him. I haven’t seen it in a while but I’m pretty sure it is still in the lounge area. He proceeds to pull our lounge room apart. Just then I edge into the room a little further.
“I see it! I see it!” I yelled. “It’s in the kitchen.”
“So… it wasn’t in the lounge room” is all he said rather condescendingly. Followed by “yep, just a tree snake, look at this cute fella.”
I didn’t care, he found the snake and was taking it away. That’s all I needed to know.
Immediately seeing it in his hands though it seemed far less of a threat than it had when it was creeping through my home. My castle.
Having had some time to reflect I now feel a bit silly for my OTT reaction, but I couldn’t help it. If it happened to be a venomous snake, I would have had to do everything I could to protect my baby, and myself.
But in the end, even though it was a $95 call out fee, and even though it was only a tree snake, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.