There I was, babysitting my niece, Sophia. She was happily toddling around (such a happy baby!), playing with her toys, when she suddenly stopped. And pointed. And made her worried sound. I glanced over, unconcernedly.


Yes, sure enough, there was a spider. Not huge. About the size of a quarter.

“Don’t worry,” I spoke confidently and reassuringly to my charge. I found my shoe and whacked that spider into a ball of limp death (too graphic?).

I deposited it into the trash, and came back, arms in the air – surely I am now Sophia’s hero! She smiled a small smile.

No sooner had I taken a seat when she pointed again. And made her worried sound.

Oh goodness.

Not again!

No. This time it was the smallest of small pieces of dark lint. Smaller than Sophia’s pinky fingernail. But it was a dark spot on light carpet, so she was concerned.

I waved these concerns aside airily, and told her there was nothing to be worried about. She continued to point and make her worried sound. I shrugged and said, “So you pick it up.”

She took it between her little first finger and thumb and held it out to me. I held out my hand and she put it in, but then she wanted it back. I opened my hand for her to take it, and said, “How about you put it in the garbage?”

Quickly followed by, “NO DON’T EAT IT!”


A little lint never hurt anyone.


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