Last night I was getting Annie ready for bed when she spotted a spider on the wall. “Spider!” she screamed like a miniature Heather, then ran into the family room, jumped on the couch, and pulled a blanket over her.

“Cut it out, Annie. It’s time to go to bed.”

“No!” she yelled through the blanket. “The spider!”

Normally I’d say Annie was overreacting over one little spider, but the fact is she had a right to be a little freaked out because we’ve found five or six larger-than-usual spiders in our house over the last two days. There’s a reason for this. We had the bug guy out again to get rid of the spiders in our backyard, and – just like the last time – he warned us that we might find a few spiders in the house because “the spray forces them inside.”

I know, I know. We should have burned down the house.

But according to the bug guy the “spiders in the house” thing was only temporary and we’d be seeing a LOT less spiders in just a few days. Of course, telling Annie the spiders would soon be gone wasn’t much help when I was trying to get her to bed right then. I wasn’t sure what to do until I remembered Annie’s latest obsession: no-no signs. What’s a no-no sign, you ask?

Yup. That is a no-no sign.

Annie first saw one of these signs on a Ghostbusters’ poster, and has been obsessed with them ever since. No-no signs are everywhere, of course, and whenever Annie sees one she begs me to tell her what it says is a no-no. When I told her, for example, that one said “No parking,” her eyes got real big and she replied, “No one can park there. No one!” Annie believes very strongly in the power of the no-no sign.

“I think I know how to get rid of the spider,” I told Annie. “We need to make a no-no sign.”

Annie threw the covers off her head. “A no-no sign?”

I nodded and Annie hopped off the couch, beaming. We quickly got to work:

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This was serious business.

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At one point Annie looked over at my sign and ordered me to write “No Spiders Allowed!” on the top, so I did. I think our signs turned out pretty good:

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Check out Annie’s sign. For a three-year-old she killed it!

We then put the signs on the wall so the spider – and any other spiders – knew they were NOT allowed.

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Annie willingly went to bed not long after this, and was asleep in minutes. Even better? I haven’t seen a spider since then. I think the signs might actually work.