The year was 1971 and they were working on our road. Tearing up the sidewalk, street, and parking area to put in new
sewer pipes down our street. Seem that we had old rusty sewer pipes and the City needed to replace them.
This year when they started to tear up our roads we were invaded by cockroaches in our home. Everywhere we turned we had thousand of them all over the place. I tried to step on them but they would not die. Seemed like these little buggers had armor plated reinforced shells on the.
We set out traps, but they avoided them. You know the cockroach hotels? They are to invite you in but never let you out. Seems these cockroaches were too smart to be fooled by the one way door policy. They never found their way in so it was not hard to find their way out.
I was afraid to put out too much poison to kill my visitors. I felt that if I poisoned them one of my brood of kids would get in there playing around. I was afraid that they would have this on their hands and try to pick up something and eat it.
The two younger boys and Oh Sid went on cockroach hunts in our home. They had Mason jars and would find the roaches and put them in the jars. It was a competition to see how many they could catch and have in their jars. My youngest son was quite inventive for his tactic of trapping cockroaches. He would get in my masking tape and roll his hand with tape. Each time he saw a cockroach he would slap his hand down on top of it and the roach would stick to the tape on his hand.
My other son loved to catch bug and so one year we bought him a bug kit that had a small net. He would use this net to trap his cockroaches. Each one of them would play this game around the house. Oh Sid she did not care. She would lie on the floor and let the roaches run on her and afterwards would pick them up by their back legs and put them in the jar.
It seemed the City would never finish the laying of pipes this year and everyone in the neighbor would have to live with the cockroaches from this mess. We complained to the City of what had happened in our homes and was told that when they were finished they would see what they could do about this. This did not help me out at all.
I would open up the cupboards in my home and have these nasty creatures jumping out at me. I was afraid to walk around the house at night with the lights off. Seemed like they are night creatures and loved to stock you when you are sleeping. I had dreams of cockroaches climbing in my bed and walking all over me when I slept.
During our invasion of cockroaches Grandma Simpson decided to come from Texas to see us. She wanted to spend the winter months with us. She said not to worry if we feed them they come back. If we starve them they would leave. I never understood this method and to this day how can you stave them. I had 5 children who needed to eat and there was no way we could stop buying food in our home and cooking.
During this time I sided with my second daughter Miss Prissy and tried to protect her so much. She was my tale teller or what the others called her tattle teller. She would find ways to get her older sister and younger brothers in trouble all the time. Oh Sid was angry at this time. It seemed that her sister was telling on her all the time and I was always punishing Oh Sid for one reason or another.
Oh Sid told her sister the next time she told on her that would be the last. I was afraid that Oh Sid would try something really mean to her sister. But was not sure what her plans were. I had long talks with her to calm her down. She said to me “Mom if you believe all that Miss Prissy says to you then I will get her back”. I could not imagine what she would do.
I had Grandma Simpson talk with her and try to reason with her. Grandma Simpson said in her wise voice to me you should see what happens before you punish. You should not take another siblings word for this. I tried hard but during this time the invasion was on my mind all the time. I could not keep these cockroaches out of my head. I would try and close my eyes but all I saw was me covered in cockroaches running all over me.
One day Miss Prissy was really active and telling on her brothers and sister all the time. I was at wits end and could not take much more. I finally sent the three of them to their rooms and refused to let them out. I said they would have to stay in their room until their Father got home that evening and he would deal with them.
This evening at the dinner table the three were angry. They started to call Miss Prissy names and tease her something fierce. I am lucky that my husband was home from work and Grandma Simpson was there to calm them down. When we were cooking dinner I opened one of the cupboards to get out some rice and had 8 cockroaches jumping down and running at me. I was at nerves end with these cockroaches.
The children went to bed this evening and we were sitting in the living room trying to decide the best method to get rid of all the roaches in our home. Mind you we were not the only one that had this invasion. Grand Simpson said that she would retire for the evening as she put it and see us in the morning.
She passed by the girls room and see Oh Sid was not sleeping but standing next to her sister’s bed. She sees her standing there watching her sister sleep. Before she could reach Oh Sid she pulled out her Mason jar of cockroaches and starts dumping the entire jar of these nasty creatures on top of her sister when she slept.
Grandma Simpson goes running in the room and grabs Oh Sid but it was too late. She had finished emptying her jar of cockroaches on top of her sister when she was sleeping. She had a smile on her face when Grandma reached her. Grandma grabber her arm and tried to figure out what in the world would make her do such a thing to her sister.
Oh Sid looked at her Grandma and saw the fire in her eyes. She quietly said to her “She deserves this for all her tattle telling. She gets her prissy ways with Mom all the time and never has to do anything around here. She is the little Princess here in this house. I told her the next time she got me in trouble she would regret it. I know how she hates cockroaches so now she can sleep with them in her bed.”
Grandma was in shock at what Oh Sid had done this time. In her wildest dreams she never imagined that Oh Sid was this angry and would dump a jar of cockroaches on top of her sister when she slept. After she calmed down she started to laugh. I came running into the girls’ room to see what happened.
I almost died of shock when I saw my younger daughter bed covered in cockroaches and she slept through the entire event. I had to wake her up and take both girls out of the room that night. I put Oh Sid with Grandma to sleep and took Miss Prissy in our room to sleep. The next day Oh Sid had to clean up this mess and find all the roaches in their room. This is one time I wished I could have wrung her neck for what she did. All my nightmares of seeing roaches running on top of me came true when I saw my youngest daughter covered in them.