For Science

May 23, 2019 @ 7:44 am | Filed under:

She may be thirteen now, but the puppydog eyes retain all their power

Yesterday I got on a housecleaning jag and without really meaning to, I found myself going full-throttle A Bowl Full of Lemons on the basement and laundry room. Except: as I told Scott later, during the laundry-room deep-clean I faced my most difficult parenting challenge yet. In nearly 24 years as a mother, I’ve never been put to the test quite like this.

Our laundry room is in the (finished) basement and has one small high-up window. When we moved in, the house had been professionally cleaned and was immaculate except for a spiderweb in that particular window—a large web, quite old, thickened with lint and age into a heavy cobweb the size of a saucer. No sign of a spider—the original webspinner was probably long gone—but we left the web just in case. Nearly two years and seven million loads of laundry later, the cobweb is the size of a cloth napkin. There’s no spider. There never was, not in our time.

But when Rilla saw me on a stool, vacuum hose in hand, she begged me to spare the cobweb.

I’d just finished hoovering up every speck of dust and lint from the rest of the room and I was all set to decobwebify that window. And wash it, even!

But Rilla implored. “For science!” Heh, she knows my weak spots.

So I gritted my teeth and left it. For now, I said ominously. She grinned, unfazed by my direful tone.

When Scott came home later, I told him the story.

“So you left it there?” he asked. “WHEW. That thing is cool.”

“That thing is the size of a wedding veil.”

“Like I said. Cool.”

Well, he does all the laundry, so I guess if he wants a year-round Halloween theme, he can have it.

(For the record, if I believed that old circus tent was still the home of a spider, I wouldn’t have needed any persuasion to leave it alone. No Aunt Sponge or Aunt Spiker here.)


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