When he was 7 he watched the movie Arachnophobia, after he’d been told not to.
Sadly for him, that debacle turned into a case of Mom being right and the boy has not been right around spiders since.
There was an incident up on Eglin Reservation a few years ago that almost did him in and turned his personal fear of spiders into a case of full blown, real arachnophobia.
So, we were at my MIL’s house on Christmas Day and were shocked when we heard the Youngest yell and then realized that one of his presents from my FIL was this
My FIL had no idea that the Youngest had spider issues.
Later, my MIL asked him if he was really scared of spiders. He told her yes but because the Youngest is infamous for being scared of NOTHING she didn’t believe him.
She said “Well you really won’t like this” and she went into a closet, came out with a huge stuffed spider and tossed it at him.
All I saw was a blur as the Youngest flew across the living room and out the front door.
He was running so fast that the scream he let out was still in the air after he was gone.
My MIL, the cousins, my kids, everybody in the room went silent.
My MIL got upset and wanted to know what had just happened so I explained his phobia to her. She’s got issues with cockroaches so as soon as I said “imagine someone throwing a toy roach on you” she felt so bad and wanted to make it right with him.
But he was gone.
Everybody piled outside, calling his name and hunting him but had no luck.
I told them all to go back inside and the Island Girl and I stayed outside. Once everyone was gone we started calling him and after a few minutes he crawled out of a bush at the end of the driveway.
And no, the irony of how many spiders could have been in that bush was not lost on me.
The Island Girl and I were able to explain that his grandmother had no idea he was that afraid of them.
His first question was “What is she afraid of?”
He calmed down and agreed to come back inside.
My MIL apologized, the big spider was put away and the Youngest gave the Tarantula to his cousin.
The day ended well but I’m afraid there is a toy cockroach somewhere in my MIL’s future.