A few months ago while my husband was at work a cockroach skittered across the living room floor. I knew this just would not do. Little bubby is crawling now, I have been mindful about keeping our environment clean enough for little hands to experience it safely.
I followed Mr. Roach talking calmly to him, letting him know my intention was not to hurt him, just to contain him until my husband gets home at which time he will be released to nature. I placed a cup on top of him and we went about our day, making sure not to disturb his cup.
When my husband came home I made him aware of the captive under the cup and asked him to take him out back. He did, just not in the way I intended.
I was in the bathroom changing little bubby’s diaper when I heard the too familiar crunch that comes just before the life of an insect is ended. I was devastated.
Why did you do that?! You could have just slipped a piece of paper under him and released him!
I told my husband how I had promised the cockroach he wouldn’t be hurt and that he had made a liar out of me.
My husband made the point that he was not present when promises were being made and that I did not have the right to speak for him. If I wanted him to remove the cockroach he got to decide how he wanted to do that.
I knew he was right. It did not make me feel better. I lamented all night about the psychological anguish I caused this poor bug during his last hours of life. Trapped all day long just to be smashed hours later. It still makes me emotionally sick to recall. I hate that I essentially tortured this animal.
Fast forward to last week.
On Tuesday I was loading little bubby into the car when I noticed a cockroach on his back in the garage near my foot.
Let’s be clear, I am afraid of cockroaches. Maybe not as afraid as some people are; I do not go running and screaming. They do creep me out though. AND I believe they have as much right to walk this earth as I do and I would never deliberately harm one.
So.. I see Mr. Roach on his back, legs kicking, near my foot. I am creeped out AND I know he is a living being who has a right to be here. I make a deal with him; I am not going to hurt you and I am not going to help you. You have to save yourself. Good luck little buddy.
The next day when little bubby and I ran an errand, there was Mr. Roach still on his back, legs kicking. Again, I am not going to hurt you and I am not going to help you. I hope you are able to figure this out. Good luck.
Then Thursday we were leaving for the Science Center. I am not going to hurt you and I am not going to help you. You have to figure this out.
I was amazed he was still alive. It had been multiple days of him on his back kicking. No food, no water. I mean I don’t know how all of that works for cockroaches but most living creatures need nourishment of some sort to sustain..
It got to the point that I was spending sometime thinking about him. I was starting to really root for him. C’mon dude, don’t give up, find that last ounce of strength and flip yourself over!
On Friday my husband was home. We went into the garage to leave for the grocery. My husband was loading little bubby into the car when I heard it, CRUNCH.
Noooooo! Why did you do that!?
Why did you kill the cockroach? He wasn’t hurting anything. We are outside, he has a right to be here.
He ran over my foot, he had to go.
I was struck. I don’t blame my husband on this one, if an insect ran over my foot that might elicit a knee-jerk reaction in me as well out of fear. I was feeling so much at once; happy for the cockroach that he finally rolled himself over after working at it all week long, and then deep sorrow that all that effort was for nothing.
That day I learned 2 things;
- If I want a roach to be free I have to do the freeing because that is not my husband’s preferred method of removal.
2. I have to stop making deals with cockroaches.