Saturday, June 06, 2009

A spoonful of roaches

Sleep was elusive our first night at Ain Sokhna. Andrew discovered a relatively large cockroach in the bathroom, which made me rather nervous. I really don’t like cockroaches.


Before we went to bed, I went in to check on Rachel. I peeked around her door; she was sleeping soundly. I stood there for a minute, looking at her sweet face highlighted by the moonlight, wondering how she ever got to be so big and independent and about ready to have a pregnancy-induced emotional breakdown when I saw it: a many-legged creature waving its long antenne.

I just about died.

“Andrew!” I hissed, “There is something by Rachel’s head!”

He got a flashlight and went to investigate things for himself. A cockroach had also been admiring Rachel’s beautiful moonlit face. I insisted that he go in to get it. I wouldn’t be able to sleep thinking an army of cockroaches was going to carry my baby girl off into the night.

“I’ll wake her up,” Andrew warned me.

I didn’t care. She could go back to sleep. He went in and started the hunt. He hit the cockroach off the bed using his shoe. Then he shook it out of the sheets and chased it around under Rachel’s cot. As he had guessed, Rachel woke up.

“Daddy?” she asked.

“It’s okay,” he lied, “Daddy…dropped something. I just have to find it. Go back to sleep.”

“Okay, Daddy,” she complied easily and drifted back to sleep.

He found the cockroach, killed it, and disposed of it. And found some more cockroaches of competing size running around the shower. He started hunting around for their port of entry and closed it off the best he could, once he had found it. This took a lot of banging around, which woke Rachel up.

She stumbled out of her room, dragging her blankey behind her.

“Mommy. Stairwy.” she sniffed.

“Are you scared?” I asked.

We went and lied down together on the big bed in the master bedroom and waited for Andrew to finish with his scary noises, but even after he was done Rachel didn’t want to go back to bed. She slept with us.

Anyone who has had a toddler sleep with them in bed knows that this means that Andrew was almost falling off one side of the bed while I was almost falling off the other side of the bed. Rachel, on the other hand, was comfortably sprawled out horizontally, with her head in my back and her feet in Andrew’s.

We vowed to not repeat that the next night and thought that we wouldn’t have to since Andrew had plugged up the hole they were coming through. We had also invested in some roach killer since ant killer just wasn’t working any magic for us.

Unfortunately Andrew had only found one entrance. There were others. If I could start any two public service campaigns in Egypt, the first would be this:

Plug up your drains so that cockroaches don’t infest your house.

(The second would be:

Contrary to popular belief, smoking actually is bad for your health.)

The floor drain, instead of being solid, was a grate and the cockroaches were squeezing their way through by the dozens. All of them were plump and juicy.

Andrew wrapped the grate with tinfoil and replaced it on the hole, then he sprayed it with roach killer and hunted down the ones that had already come through.

After spraying so much bug spray, he thought he’d be considerate and open the bathroom window to let it slowly dissipate out of the house. He closed the bathroom door so that the spray wouldn’t come into the rest of the house, but when he did so, a big cockroach fell right on him.

He wigged out and accidentally threw the can of roach spray. The nozzle fell off and the can started dancing around the floor. Luckily it stopped spraying bug spray after the initial impact and was just releasing the pressurized air.

I ran out of the room and opened a window and Andrew threw the can outside where it finished its course.

Then we opened up all the windows and doors to air out the house and stayed outside for a while to avoid inhaling too much bug killer. Rachel’s door, fortunately, was closed and we didn’t smell anything in there, so we just let her keep sleeping.

But the tinfoil-plated drain cover and roach killer seemed to do the trick. We didn’t see any more cockroaches and were able to sleep soundly, or at least as soundly as you can after collecting a plateful of cockroaches…because a spoonful of roaches doesn’t really help anyone sleep.

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  1. NO NO NO! These pictures are NOT ok! Ugh! Nancy! I am going to personally fly out to Egypt and slap your arm (smacking your face seems to violent for you right now). While I'm there we will tour and get to know each other. Or maybe not cause I don't like cockroaches at all! Ok I am going to go try to get rid of the thoughts in my mind. YUCKY BUGS! How do you live there?!?!?!?

  2. Oh, come on, Brittany! I know how much you love a good cockroach story! ;)

    We got rid of our roach problem a long time covering up our drains. Hopefully the roach problem at the condo is over as well!

  3. Y'know, I've never actually seen a cockroach. And this posts reminds me that I'm really OK with that.

  4. *Shudder* I would not have handled that well! Ryan (grew up in Albuquerque) thinks roaches are just an occasional normal occurrence in a home. I have the New Jersey view that they are vile and disgusting and to see one in your home is a very, very bad thing.

  5. the poor bugs. They look so innocent and helpless in their demise...