I’m fully aware that many moms let their children get a jar to collect an insect. And the child often feeds the insect and gets to study it.
Since I am a bug-phobe I’ve always said they could observe outside but only outside. The kids complain often.
“But Mom it’s just a praying mantis.” “But Mom this beetle is for school!” “But Mom it’s just a caterpillar!” “But Mom you can never find these trapdoor spiders!”
My response is always the same. “My name is not ButMom. And, I’m very sorry, but if I make an exception for one insect/bug/arachnid then I’d have to make exceptions for all of them and the exterminator would not be very happy with me.”
I say this very calmly and act like it’s the exterminator who won’t let me bend the rules, but my inner voice is saying, “Ew! Gross! Get that THING away from me!!!” But of course if you say that your kids will think it’s hilarious and you can guarantee bugs or fake bugs will be flung at you.
I take great precautions to keep our bug invasion at a minimum. In fact we went out and bought some caulking in preparation for this invasion happening right now. I’m not going to lie. It gives me nightmares.
So, the latest request is having an ant farm. I gave my standard reply. Besides, they know that if it’s not poisonous they can observe insects outside.
So I wasn’t worried when Anabelle came in and said, “I made my very own ant farm!”
“That’s nice,” I said, still making dinner.
“I snuck a Dorito out of the pantry and took it out to them and crumbled it up and made a path for them to follow.” Anabelle was beaming. “They loved it!”
I smiled and kept making dinner when a thought hit me. “Wait. Where did you make this path?”
“From the grass right up to the back door!”
A store-bought, contained ant farm isn’t sounding too bad right now. Oh, excuse me. I have to let the exterminator in – Anabelle has her angry glare ready for him.