The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Scorpions and Babies, Together In One Post

Houses Shown: 7

Murderous Creatures Spotted: 2

Babies Being Born Today (Or Soon. Hopefully.): 1 (That I’m Related To)

I have no good food story for today. I actually had no desire whatsoever to cook last night and we ended up getting takeout (ssshhhh! Don’t say mean things about my parenting skills. I can hear you over the internet and it makes me cry).

Plus I’m a wee bit distracted today because it’s ELIZABETH NEWLIN BECOMES AN AUNT DAY. Or did you already know that because it was on the E! channel? (It’s possible it was on there. At least three people who aren’t related to me read this website.) My only sister is set to be induced with her first baby (and my very first nephew or niece [it’s going to be a nephew, we already know, I also don’t have any nieces! It’s my first aunt-making relative child baby!]) today. I can’t wait to meet the little ankle-biter (though his father is 6’4” and his mother is 6’, so it’s possible he’s going to be born a knee-biter). I’m convinced he’s going to be the absolute spitting image of his dad. I think he’s going to be born with a crewcut graying at the temples, square black glasses and a five o’clock shadow, ask for a beer and then serve up a delicious and beautiful homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting; is all I’m saying.

Thus, due to my lack of food-related inspiration, I’m going to tell you a quick real estate story from last weekend. It’s really less of a story and more of a warning to all people who prefer to live scorpion-free lives.

Saturday morning, after an early round of soccer games I showed seven houses in Ahwatukee (yes, to the police-officer and his wife again; no vehicular shenanigans took place this time). There were some nice houses and some ‘meh’ houses, but luckily, there weren’t any smelly houses this time (I hate smelly houses).

We did; however, see one empty house with not one, but TWO largish unwanted visitors. And I’m not talking about squatters (that has only happened to me once). No, two grody, live scorpions were waiting for us in two separate rooms. The first was on the baseboard in the dining room. When I spied it and confirmed my suspicion that the tanish splotch near the bottom of the wall was not a dead leaf, but in fact a living murderous creature, I was put on edge for the rest of the house. When I noticed the second one a mere 12 inches from my calf clinging to the doorframe of the master bedroom, it took all my strength to not tell my clients I was going to wait outside and make a mad dash for the GOV and lock myself inside.

I know a scorpion is likely not going to jump off the wall to attack me, but seeing as how my husband has actually been stung while we were sleeping in our bed (it woke him from a dead sleep and he slapped it dead on his side while I ran to turn the light on, to find him holding a handful of crushed scorpion), it’s an understatement to say ‘they creep me out a little bit.’ I actually have nightmares when I’m particularly stressed out where I open my eyes and scorpions are swarming the ceiling and then start to drop down one by one around me.

All of this terror of the creatures comes from the personal experience of living in a scorpion house. I am an Arizona native, but I went the first 24 years of my life never actually seeing a scorpion that wasn’t on TV or in one of those little resin bubbles that people buy as paperweights in southwest novelty shops.

That all changed when my husband and I bought a house where the little box on the Seller Property Disclosure Statement (or SPDS, pronounced ‘spuds’ if you’re in the know. Or maybe I’m just making up acronyms again so that when you talk to your real estate agent you use them and look silly) that asked if the owner has ever seen a scorpion in the house was marked ‘yes’. The seller went on to explain that they had just seen occasional scorpions. So, of course, being first time home buyers and not really knowing anything we assumed this was normal and that we live in Arizona and thus, scorpions being seen (even though I never had) was to be expected. This was where we were absolutely wrong. Day 3 after we received keys (the very first night we were attempting to sleep in the house) we found a scorpion on the curtain in the master bedroom. From then on, it was like that. We saw 1 or 2 (or up to 5) scorpions a month the entire time we lived there.

So this is what I’ve learned: it’s either a scorpion house, or it’s not. You either will find them regularly inside and out, or you never will. Suffice it to say, the house I showed on Saturday? Was a scorpion house. With a capital S and H. No, it was a SCORPION HOUSE. My clients (at least the wife, the husband wasn’t quite as concerned) ultimately agreed and we vacated. I still have the shivers. Remind me to tell you the story sometime about how Jason found a Giant Hairy Desert Scorpion (swear to Beelzebub that is its scientific name. My 10 year old got out his desert creatures science book and proved it to us) under our trash can at the new house. It was five inches long. I think they’re following me. (Never mind, don’t ask; that was the whole story.)

He looks small because I'm standing up on top of an 8 foot wall to take the picture so that he couldn't jump on me and eat me.

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