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.
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Now head on over there yourself to check out other amazingly embarrassing,
side-splittingly funny, or completely unbelievable true stories!