I am completely under-equipped for parenting. I don't understand how I can be performing in what many say is one of the most important jobs around, a job that has no selection criteria, no handbook, no instructions … it's basically just sink or swim.

Some days pass with no reminder of your fraudulent appointment to the role. On others it's thrown in your face.

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I have countless examples of this but my latest involves bugs and spiders. I have made every effort not to pass my irrational fear of creepy crawlies on to my kids.

I have pointed them out, gotten up close and said: "Look, there's a spider. Look at all his legs," when really I wanted to scream.


My daughter, 5, will happily pick up a moth or praying mantis, and she goes up to spiders and says: "Look at it. It's so cute."

Not really… pretty freaking gross actually, and I'm fighting the urge to kill it in front of you.

But at the beach the other night she came running to me, shouting: "Spider! Spider! Spider!"

I could see it on her upper arm long before she got to me. I had time to consider bolting.
Don't bring it to me, for goodness sake! But of course, she thinks I like them. Because I am a liar.

I brushed it off her at pretty much the exact time I realised it was a white tail.

Excuse me but where exactly did I sign up for this? I have removed cockroaches, spiders, a massive weta – all while trying not to make a drama in front of my kids.

And then there's my son, 3, who freaked out completely when we were picking up crabs at the beach a few weeks back. This surprised me hugely.

This kid who isn't scared of anything screamed when I tried to show him a little crab (which I don't have a problem with). His sister was fine with them but he wouldn't have a bar of it.


Maybe I have passed some fear on without being aware of it. Or maybe he has picked up my internal feelings on the matter without me having to say anything. Or maybe he just knows they are revolting creatures with too many legs that are coming to get us as we sleep at night.

Either way, despite my very best efforts during the past five years, I don't think anyone in our house likes spiders anymore.