Toddler Arachnophobia: Vivi is Petrified of Spiders

Toddler ArachnophobiaI’ve been afraid of spiders for as long as I can remember. The creepy little things always hung out in the window wells of my bedroom when I was a kid. Big ones, little ones, black ones, brown ones. Spiders were everywhere in my window wells and I had to go to sleep each night knowing that they were just above my head in the window.

We also had a plethora of cat face spiders. Ever seen one of those ugly things? Yeah, they’re the creepiest type of spider I’ve ever laid eyes on. We went one whole summer with a cat face spider living above our sliding glass door. We used to watch it dangle from its web as it raised itself and lowered itself right above where we had to walk to go out to the back yard.

My mom wouldn’t let us kill the cat face spider because she said it killed the flies that tried to get into the house. So I didn’t use that back door very much that summer.

One summer I found two huge black widow spiders hanging out on the bottom steps of our deck in the back yard. I had no idea they were poisonous, but they were the biggest spiders I had ever seen. They weren’t normal sized black widows; it was like they had taken injections of steroids during their down time.

My fear of spiders hasn’t gone away. I get creeped out when I think a spider is near me and I run as fast as I can when I see one crawling my way. Just looking at pictures of spiders makes my skin crawl. Casey is responsible for killing all the spiders in our house and in exchange I take care of all the potato eyes that grow in our crisper. It’s a fair trade.

I’ve been worried about passing my fear of spiders onto my kids. Their lives will be so much better if they grow up without the paralyzing fear of spiders that I have. I’ve been careful to not talk too much about my fear or to do anything that would cause their fear to increase. With Addie, I think I’ve done okay. The kid is afraid of spiders, but she’s not overly afraid of them like I am. Vivi on the other hand is petrified of the things and I have no idea where she got it from.

Vivi is so afraid of spiders that she runs and squirmishes in fear whenever she comes across a hair tuft from the cat. When she sees the tuft of hair she’ll scream “spee-eye-dor.” (Yeah, she pronounces “spider” like Mega Mind.) Our family bean bag, a Puffle, has red hair on one  of its sides and it sheds the hair onto the floor and those little Puffle hairs roll up into little Puffle hair balls. Vivi is petrified of those too. She’s so afraid of them that she will run over to me screaming in fear demanding that I get a single strand of Puffle hair off her arm. The kid is legitimately terrified of anything that remotely resembles a spee-eye-dor.

Vivi has been so terrified of these stupid little fuzz balls that she thinks are spiders that I’m starting to wonder if she has some kind of phobia like toddler arachnophobia or if this is natural. Her fear of spiders far exceeds my fear of spiders. At what point should I be worried that my kid has an unhealthy phobia of spiders?

Photo Credit: Flickr

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