posted by Momo Fali on September 6, 2011

What is your natural instinct when something scares you? Do you cover your eyes? Scream? Run? Fight?

I hate being scared and my knee-jerk reactions prove it. Last year at the Boy Scouts’ haunted forest when the boys jumped out from behind the trees, I grabbed my daughter and used her as a human shield.

But, that wasn’t when she first learned about my impulsiveness. The poor girl once made the mistake of standing behind my bedroom door, underneath a white sheet and when I least expected it, she jumped out at me and screamed. I screamed too. I also hit her in the face.

Last week, my husband had just climbed the steps when I entered the dark hallway right in front of him. He said…something…who knows what it was…and it scared me because I expected the dark hallway to be empty. I hit him so hard in the chest that I thought, for a second, he was going to fall down the stairs.

Fair warning, if I hear something go bump in the night, I’m going to shoot it. Just sayin’. I can’t help the way I react.

This has never been more evident than a few weeks ago on a trip to Lake Erie. My family and I were taking a tour of a one-room cave. I was shoved up against the back wall with a large crowd between me and the only exit. My head was about six inches from the ceiling.

I looked down at my son who was staring at something above me when he said, very nonchalantly, “Mom, there’s a bat.”

I was sure I misunderstood.

“What, buddy?”

Again, he looked just past my head and calmly said, “There’s a bat.”

I turned around to see a mouse-like, winged creature within inches of my face.

I can only describe what happened next as half slow-motion, half George Constanza. I nearly trampled my own kids so I could get out of there.

What can I say? My motherly instincts are pretty awesome.

But, as I was getting ready to throw people to the side, the tour guide said, “It’s okay! It’s fake!”

The picture is so blurry because I was still shaking. You know, because of a Beanie Baby.

But, on the upside, I didn’t knock anyone out.


  • BEAN

    Totally ‘lots of loved’ at the Beanie Baby line!

  • meleah rebeccah

    Okay, I am HYSTERICAL laughing!

    PS: I am a screamer, not a puncher, like you.

  • lceel

    Gee. Mom. You must instill a lot of confidence in your kids. you know. Like, “No worries. Mom will protect us.”

    Uh – huh.

  • Heather

    I would have done the SAME THING. Bats fascinate me, but also scare the CRAP out of me. YIKES!

  • tracey - justanothermommy

    I promise not to act on my first impulse which is to pack a bag full of rubber bats for BlogHer12… I PROMISE.

    But it’s gonna be hard.

  • Amie

    I’m a screamer AND a puncher. And I make a pretty good human shield–just ask Duffy.

  • Tessica

    I’m a shrieker and a jumper…
    And I have a seven year old that has infinite amount of patience when it comes to scaring me…and an amazing ability to squeeze under or behind thigns when necessary…
    btw I would have screamed like holy hell too!

  • MidLyfeMama

    I am laughing so hard right now. That is awesome.

  • Tara R.

    A fake bat in a close, dark cave is grounds for smacking the tour guide… I think it’s a law.

  • BusyDad

    At least it wasn’t a clown, right?

    • Amie

      Oh God, not a clown…

  • Jared

    My wife is the same way! LOL! I learned my lesson about scaring her after getting smacked in the face and almost pushed through the wall as she was getting out of there.

  • maggiemoo

    Oh my Lord! The cave itself would’ve been enough to freak me!

  • maggiemoo

    I live in Lucas County right on the lake. The kids and I have kept ourselves so amused with everything there is to do around here! I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in Ohio…Anyway, my husband and I finally got to Put In Bay this summer and even after buying a ticket to go through Perry’s cave, I just couldn’t do it! I ditched my husband for the gift shop. I’m only 5’1″ and those cielings were still too low! I’m glad you had a good tiem up here!:)

  • Julie

    I’m the one who doesn’t do any of that. Shoot. SO BORING, I know. You have all the fun, Diane!(And I have lots of clinging bodies around me, seeking the calm, the unreactive — Hmmmm. Maybe popularity ain’t such a bad thing!)

  • AlisonH

    Ah my. See My Book: the woman at Carlsbad Caverns in the late ’60s when I was a kid, who had this stylish big beehive hairdo. And the baby bat who found a nice soft cushy nest of a spot when he just couldn’t fly one inch further.

    As for the mom thing? When we had our 7.1 earthquake, a young mother at Costco (you know, Costco, where they have palettes stacked a bajillion feet high starting about 15 feet above your head on top of those aisles crowded with cans etc) and she totally lost it and ran for the wide open door over thataway–leaving her two small children in those aisles, she very quickly realized.

    And no that was NOT me!

  • UP

    Although, as I’ve said many times before, your kid is just about the coolest, funniest kid alive, I’m glad he’s yours.

    I’d have gone completely “batshit” on him!!


  • Amanda

    OMG I do the same thing. The pic at the end had me laughing so hard I was shaking the desk. Thank you for making me feel just a little bit normal in my over the top reactions. Happy bat hunting 😉

  • MaryD

    Just knock all the children & elderly out of the way…self is beautiful :-).

  • Ali T

    This is THE funniest thing I have read in ages. I had to show my sons this so they could know that it’s not just their mum who behaves this way. I once trampled on youngest son trying to escape from a fake spider that my husband had planted for me!!

  • Cari S.

    I just discovered you through PW and have been looking through your past blogs. This one was exactly what I needed. I laughed so hard I cried and my stomach hurts.

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