Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Bug

It's been buggy at the house the past few days. More buggy than usual that is.
First we left the baby's high chair outside all night. That's one of the drawbacks of eating at the picnic table, having to haul everything outside and then back inside. So yesterday morning I'm hauling the highchair back inside and there are a half-dozen earwigs on it. Earwigs. Ants are okay. Spiders, I've made peace with, but earwigs don't get any sympathy. I scooped them up in a napkin and tossed them into my husband's abandoned but only half-finished mug of coffee. Let them drown in caffeine. As I reach over the toss another one into the mug I glance into yet another dirty mug in the sink - yes, we are not particularly tidy. Inside it, no lie, was a beetle, dead, as big as a mouse. It barely fit into the bottom of the mug.
Now I'm no sissy. I've caught toads and caterpillars and dug in the garden looking for worms, but this was a BIG beetle. It was godzilla beetle. Maybe it'd gotten juiced up on caffeine. I backed away and didn't go near the sink again until my husband came back downstairs.
"Wow," he said.
He took the mug outside
"Don't dump in near the driveway! I don't want to see it," I said.
Flash forward to this morning - my older son's downstairs getting ready to eat cereal when he spots a sluggish moth on the front door. He goes over to try and capture it but it flies off in that drunken way moths have of flying during the day. This arouses the interest of the cat, who, having not been fed yet, swats the moth out of the air with one paw and eats it.
My son stands there, taking it in.
"Did kitty eat the moth?"
"Yes, I think so."
He says nothing for a minute and then bursts into tears.
"You, bad, bad cat!" he screams.
"We can find another moth," I suggest.
"No! They don't come out during the day," he yells. (He's got a point.)
"Kitty's not really bad, honey. That's just what kitty's do," I say, unhelpfully.
He finally gets a grip on things and sits back down to eat cereal. When he notices the empty bug hut next to his bowl he starts crying again.
My husband comes down and asks him what's the matter. This makes him cry harder.
"The cat ate a moth he was trying to catch," I say, trying not to laugh.
Later in the morning the three of us were filling up water jugs at "the water store" when he notices a dead moth in the drain.
"Will this moth go down the drain?"
"I don't think so."
So he pokes at it and huzzah, it moves!
"It's not dead!" he says triumphantly, pushing it around the drain with the kind of little-kid force that has probably killed many a moth, caterpillar and daddy long legs.
I step in to rescue the moth from its rescuer.
"We won't let kitty eat this moth," he declares as I sift through the back of the car looking for something to put the moth into.
So I sent him off to afternoon daycare with his half-drowned, half-maimed moth underneath a hosta leaf in the bug hut so he could share it with all the other three-year-old budding entomologists at Becky's house.

song: The Bug • artist: Mary Chapin Carpenter

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Joanne - I love reading your blog entries. My son is also 3 and I'm noticing a lot of similarities between the two of them. My son is fascinated with Bugs - last night we came home and he says "mom there's a bug on the floor" and I look and its a beetle (not quite the size you found) but a good inch and a half. So I put a soup can over it and made my husband take it outside.

I know what you mean about the earwigs, i'd totally forgot about them but the other day when one pinched me, I quickly remembered how much I disliked them.

Keep up the blogging - I love reading it.

Kelly Salter-Braverman