My daughter loves insects and I think it’s great. Without her around I would’ve never known which ones actually bite or taste the best.
Her fondness of the winged buzzing types and the creepy crawling ones has been taken to a new level this year. She actually looks for them on her own or with her little bug-hunting posse and she’s definitely NOT afraid to pick them up and let them crawl on her (this isn’t new, see Ladybug Crawl).
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been relaxing in the back yard pretending to be paying attention to the wee ones when my daughter’s standing before me with a huge grin and asks, “Want to see some cool bugs?” Who could resist an offer like that? I know I couldn’t, because even if I’m dead-tired her enthusiasm is like a jolt of adrenaline pumping through my veins.
I follow the leader of the bug hunters to the various “homes” of our arthropod friends. These are under strategically placed cinderblocks and logs around our expansive backyard. The best spot is right behind our pool deck. There’s a leftover log from the October Storm (see No More Power… for a long while (part one)) which houses a lot of cool bugs, like beetles, earthworms, potato bugs, milipedes, ants and one of my daughter’s new favorites, slugs.
“Can I touch them, Daddy?” She asks politely.
“Of course, young lady, just don’t hurt them.”
To her credit, I haven’t seen her sqash one yet… at least not recently.
When she doesn’t have an adult next to her on one of these expeditions she takes it upon herself that it’s okay to pick up her somewhat little tickly friends. My wife had the pleasure of seeing this first-hand.
“Mommy, I found a spider.”
“That’s great, dear.”
“Wanna see it?”
Before she could answer our little angel opened her hand to show off her find. My darling wife wanted to bolt when she saw the somewhat large spider in her daughter’s hand but fought hard against it. She said that on the inside she was terrified and somehow kept her outside demeanor in check as to not guide our daughter into the world of being afraid of insects. Yes, most of those fears are inherited through action, not genes.
“Look, it’s tickling me,” she said as the spider crawled on her arm.
Just so you know, no insects were harmed in the writing of this post and neither was my daughter.
Over-indulgence seems to be a recurring theme in my holiday scripts. It’s Wednesday already and I still feel like I’m going to explode. The feast on Easter Sunday was a brunch at my parents’ house that could’ve fed a thousand, luckily only nine hundred of us showed up; well maybe the count was more like eleven. There were different choices of egg dishes and different choices of potato dishes and different choices of cookies and cakes and different choices of bugs. I actually didn’t see any bugs, but I saw a bug catcher, so I just made an assumption based on circumstantial evidence.
Contrary to popular belief, a bug catcher is not like a dogcatcher. It’s not a profession at all; it’s a little plastic container that came with a tiny net and a pair of plastic tweezers. It was there because my sister, Aunt HockeyMom, gave it to my daughter because she loves bugs… my daughter that is. My sister’s actually terrified of many of the little creatures that she wants my little explorer to hunt down. Maybe the bug catcher can be “accidentally” opened at Aunt HockeyMom’s house some time in the summer just for laughs.
My daughter stopped eating chocolate for a minute because she was thrilled with the unusual, but appreciated, Easter gift and so was I for different reasons; the children didn’t need any more candy for
me them to eat over the next few days. She wanted to use it immediately, but we hadn’t brought her snowsuit and winter boots with us so she’d have to wait until it warms up… in June. My little angel examined every part of the contraption and its accessories with delight while I ate a sixteenth breakfast sausage. She shook the empty container, she pulled on the little net and she pinched the tweezers together numerous times. That’s when she looked at my wife and me and asked, “Is this for hurting bugs?”
After answering her with a straight face I waddled backwards out of the room and my bulging stomach soon followed. Fortunately none of our relatives who would have encouraged her negatively were there because it was just a legitimate question from an inquisitive child and not a sign of any kind that she wants to maim or torture living creatures. That’s what I keep telling myself and pretty soon I’ll believe it… I hope.