Gah! Why you shouldn't let your kids know your fears.

How would you react if this was waiting for you on a door handle?

It was the biggest f*cking thing I have ever seen.

Hairy. Eight long legs. Silent. Still.

Waiting. For. Me.

I don’t know what kind it was. I don’t really care. It was so big I could see its eyes.

I don’t use the word ‘hate’ much, but I hate spiders.

Especially ones that are waiting for me on the door handle.

From afar it would have looked like I had been electrocuted. I jumped back a mile. A girly scream may or may not have accompanied it.

I picked up what was left of my self-respect and called my boys. They needed to be aware of the dangers. This was to be a teaching experience.

They came running. The mixture of a loud thud, a high pitched cry from their dad followed by a very deep gravelly call out to come to me as I returned my voice to the manly pitch it should have been had their interest piqued.

I grabbed the nearest long implement from the laundry for protection.

“Stand back,” I said as I held out a shielding arm with one hand. A feather duster in the other.

“This thing could be dangerous.”

“Oh my god,” said Zak. “It’s huge!”

Max started moving towards it to get a closer look. I sprung forward, half tackling him away from the beast.

“Stay back! Stay back! Are you mad?” I exclaimed while pointing my feather duster menacingly at the poised arachnid.

He starts to laugh.

“There is nothing funny about this situation,” I state.

“Look how big this motherfu-” I stop myself in time. ”… this creature is. You must never touch something like this. Always call your mum – I mean an adult.”

“It’s not real”

Rob Harris is not a fan of spiders in any form. Not even spiderman.

“Eh. What?”

“It’s not real. I got it at a party”. Max grinned. “Pranked you!”

I wasn’t sure whether to believe him. It would not have been the first time my boys have tried to prank me.

As far as I was concerned this thing was real. Until the police arrived to give the all clear no-one was going near it.

My 7-year-old was pushing hard against me to get to the spider.

“Okay. Okay, hang on, I will double check. I’m going in.” I said

I shuffled slowly towards the door handle. The hairy brown huntsman eyeballing me. Feather duster at the ready I got within touching distance.

Then Max screamed a blood curdling scream. For no reason.

I may have soiled myself a little.

I turn around and the two of them are pissing themselves laughing at me.

I continue my quest even less composed than I was. I nudge the spider off the handle and it falls to the ground with a dull plastic thud and bounces onto its back. Motionless and still in the same position I nudge it with my toes. Nothing. I move in for the touch. It is hairy. These things are so real these days. But it is fake. A novelty item.

I look at the two of them as Zak picks it up and puts it in his pocket, and I promise them that revenge will be sweet.

Every few days I find that bloody spider on my chair, under my book, on the toilet seat.

So I’m off to the shops to buy a snake that will just tickle their toes as they jump into bed.

But I know they will find it and without saying a word leave it for me under my pillow.

Sometimes I bring these things on myself.

Rob Harris is a father of 2 young boys. With only 17 months separating Max from Zak, Rob is equally inspired by the love and admiration they have for each other and their seemingly endless appetite for beating the crap out of each other. Rob writes a blog called Dads Not Mums which is an outlet, an avenue of escape and a way for Rob to connect with others who are bringing up kids, living life and having fun.

Do you have a phobia? Spiders? Snakes? Worse?