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Insect Love

November 2, 2010

Shane has been fascinated with insects — right now, in his opinion, they rank just below garbage trucks. What we’ve been trying to work on is learning the difference between “friendly” bugs and “no-don’t-touch-they’re-gonna-bite-you!” bugs.

It’s not going well.

During the recently-ended warm snap, both kinds of insects were out in full force. Swarms of gentle ladybugs were ambling all over our apartment and yard, while threatening hornets were relentlessly trying to invade our home.

Shane was enamored with both.

He’d stalk unsuspecting ladybugs as they plodded along, poking at it until the poor thing toppled over onto it’s back, tiny legs flailing in the air. Then carefully, oh so carefully, forming his chubby forefinger and thumb into a pincer, he’d pick it up. “I gotta bug! I got it!” he’d exclaim, holding his treasure aloft. Then he’d open his fingers and discover, to his complete dismay, a flattened ladybug.

We’ve been trying to remember that “good” bugs, such as ladybugs,, needed to be left alone…or at the very least, treated gently. And that, on the other hand, hornets are threatening insects that need to be avoided (or, if you’re Mama, beaten to smithereens with a rolled-up magazine).

Last week, while I was folding laundry on the couch, a sudden smashing and crashing erupted down the hallway where Shane had been playing quietly. I peaked around the corner to see Shane mercilessly banging a plastic container against the floor. I must have asked him what he was doing, because he paused, glanced up at me, and cheerfully announced “I squooshed a bug!” Crumpled on the floor at his feet was a still twitching hornet.

We apparently still need to work on the idea that Shane needs to avoid hornets, and that it’s Mama’s job to smoosh them.

Some of the past week’s insect lessons do seem to be sinking in. After the accidental squashings of countless ladybugs, Shane seems to have finally learned how to use gentle hands. The other day he ran up to me as I was emptying the dishwasher. “Mama! I gotta bug! I be nice! I no squish it!” He was glowing — so obviously proud of himself and his non-squishing fingers. Holding out his hand with a flourish, he offered me a wriggling hornet, held carefully in his fingertips by just it’s wings.

I shrieked, swatted it out of his grasp, and smashed it to smithereens with the measuring cup that I was holding.

Maybe we should just focus on leaving all insects alone.

: : : : : :

I’m linking up this week with True Story Tuesday at Once Upon a Miracle.
Now head on over there yourself to check out other amazingly embarrassing,
side-splittingly funny, or completely unbelievable true stories!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2010 12:25 pm

    How cute!! I was glad for him that he was so proud and thought he was going to have a pet.
    How also scary!!

    No worries here. My three year old runs screaming like a banshee if he even sees a doodle bug.

    • November 3, 2010 8:17 am

      He was so proud of himself…I just wish he had even a touch of fear for stinging, flying insects in him!

  2. November 2, 2010 1:14 pm

    That’s scary! I would have done the same thing. How on earth did he manage to get a hornet by its wings without being stung?

    • November 3, 2010 8:26 am

      I have no idea how he was even able grab onto that hornet without being stung by it, first. maybe he’s some kind of Wasp Whisperer. He definitely keeps me on my toes!

  3. November 2, 2010 3:00 pm

    No, no, no! Do not leave the insects alone! (You knew I’d say that, right?) It’s so wonderful that you’ve allowed him to experiment. These are invaluable lessons, so keep doing what you’re doing. He’s already learned so much! 🙂

    • November 3, 2010 9:01 am

      The funny thing is, when I posted this I immediately thought of you and your post about the spiders your boys found in the yard (which I couldn’t even comment on. I had to click past that as quickly as my computer would allow…spiders give me serious heebie jeebies!) I thought you’d get a kick out of Shane’s love for bugs. Now we just have to learn about the difference between ladybugs and the like that are OK to pick up and look at closely, and scarier (for me!) bugs that need to be observed from a distance. This is going to be quite the work in progress, I can already tell…

  4. November 2, 2010 5:19 pm

    OhMyLord! I would have had a heart attack! I’m not too scared of bees or stinging flighted bugs, but I cannot believe he was holding one by the wings!!! So glad he didn’t get stung!

    Thanks for linking up – great to see your story up!

    • November 3, 2010 8:56 am

      I nearly did have a heart attack! I swear, I’m going to be completely gray before the time he’s in kindergarten…he’s way to adventurous for his poor mama! I’m glad he didn’t get stung, either. He hasn’t been yet (knock wood) and I’m hoping it doesn’t happen for a long time.

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