Monday, June 23, 2008

Thanks, Mom

Last week one day, Little Miss inexplicably broke out into hysterics while we were driving down the road on the way home.

This is a girl who I call my “Teflon Baby” because she does something that would cause any other child to melt into a slobbering pile of cry simply bounces up and keeps going. I actually worry that she’s going to seriously injure herself one day and that we’ll have no idea because she doesn’t acknowledge or realize that she’s hurt.

Needless to say, hysterics are pretty foreign to her. I pulled to the side of the road to try to figure out what had hurt her and why she was screaming that way with the tears streaming down her face for no apparent reason. I finally got the word “BUG!” out of her after a minute or so.

Yep, apparently someone (my mom) had managed to convince Little Miss that bugs are very scary, and even though this was just a harmless random flying bug on the outside of my car as we were driving down the road, histrionics worthy of any Hollywood starlet are the logical result.

This is not going to last long. I can’t have the wee ones petrified of perfectly harmless bugs. It’s bad enough that my husband squeals like a little girl when he sees a bee, but I can ensure my wee ones act normally around insects.

I have spent the last several days explaining to both the wee ones that bugs are not scary, that they generally just want to come fly or crawl near you to see what’s going on, and that they won’t hurt you if you leave them alone.

(As a side note, my d├ętente with bugs does not extend to the interior of my home, nor to my the enclosed spaces of my car to which the lovely spider that first appeared on my leg tonight and later (and finally) on the ceiling can attest.)

Apparently, it’s starting to sink in.

Little Miss: Mommy, there’s a bug on the window.
Me: Is there now?
Little Miss: It’s a good bug, a friendly bug. Hello, cute bug!
Me: Is he coming to say hello?
Little Miss: Yes, he’s a nice bug who helps the flowers grow big and beautiful.
Me: You’re right. Bugs who help flowers are very nice, aren’t they?
Little Miss: (flapping her hand wildly at the bug in an effort to gain its attention) I love you, bug! Kisses, kisses! (And yes, kissing noises commenced)
Mister Man: If you want, I can teach you how to squash bugs.
Little Miss: NO! He’s a nice bug. He’s my friend!
Mister Man: When you squash them, you kill them and then they’re dead.
Little Miss: MY bug. He’s my friend; I love my bug!

There’s a happy medium somewhere, isn’t there? Mister Man requesting over and over for the past few days a list of the nice things that bugs do has sunk in. For Little Miss, at least. And in general, I’m ok with him squishing bugs – so long as he isn’t the kid out there with the magnifying glass trying to fry the suckers. That’s when I sit down and have a totally different conversation with him.


morninglight mama June 23, 2008 at 9:09 PM  

You know, my two year old was beginning to get all freaked out by bugs in the spring (like ants that were crawling on the sidewalk... c'mon!) One thing that we did, that I think has helped quell her fears, was to order ladybug larva and watch them turn into ladybugs in their special little house. (Yes, they are technically bugs IN your house, but they don't escape.) Then we released them into the garden, and she even got brave enough to touch them. Since that was a success, we now have caterpillars that we ordered as well! As a preschool teacher, I always tried to show my kids that bugs are actually quite interesting, and taking an observational standpoint helped kids to be able to figure out their own comfort level.

Just my 2 cents. :)

Angie June 23, 2008 at 9:32 PM  

I have been trying so hard not to pass on my fear of all things insect to my girls. I knew I had succeeded when my oldest invited me to play dollhouse with her and I opened the play toilet to find a collection of about 10 little black ants...all dead. She informed me that she had put them there for safekeeping because she wanted to play with them later.

-Bridget June 23, 2008 at 9:48 PM  

My two year old is fascinated with bugs. They make me quite queasy but I make an effort to hide that from her so she won't be afraid of them. I draw the line at her bringing one to me though.

Michelle June 23, 2008 at 10:34 PM  

Morninglightmama - Ok, that was probably the more logical way to get them to like bugs. I do have a soft spot for ladybugs though. Still not sure they could stay in my house. Actually, their daycare and Mister Man's preschool did the catepillars into butterflies this year. I'll have to keep that in the back of my mind.

Angie - I really REALLY want to know what game she was going to play with the ants later.

Bridget - Welcome! My wee ones aren't quite to the point of bringing me bugs or touching them, really. I don't think I'd be a big fan of having them crawl all over me, but I don't know that I'm quite to that point with them anyway!

Kellan June 23, 2008 at 11:59 PM  

What a cute post!!! I loved, loved, loved this paragraph, "This is not going to last long. I can’t have the wee ones petrified of perfectly harmless bugs. It’s bad enough that my husband squeals like a little girl when he sees a bee, but I can ensure my wee ones act normally around insects.' - hysterical!!!

See you later - Kellan

Mabunny June 24, 2008 at 9:04 AM  

LOL, how cute! Although I have to say I'm with your husband on squealing like a girl when he sees a bee. I squeal too ( but I AM a girl, lol).
Also don't like big spiders...
or any kind of flying stingy thingy.

Got a fun game going on todays post on my blog. Come play!

Karen June 24, 2008 at 8:58 PM  

Ah, the difference between boys and girls. It starts so very early.

Michelle June 24, 2008 at 10:40 PM  

Kellan - So glad you enjoyed today's post. It's always good to know I've made someone giggle or guffaw!

MaBunny - Girls are allowed to squal, although I prefer that mine don't simply for the sanity of my eardrums. You get a pass.

Karen - Oh there are so many differences! Granted, he was also petrified of bugs thanks to my mom, but he didn't do the drama queen hysterics at least. I can't WAIT to learn about more of the differences as they get older.

Cookie June 28, 2008 at 11:48 AM  

ROFL! Next thing you know, you'll have a bug collection in your house ;)

Michelle June 29, 2008 at 3:43 PM  

Cookie - There are NO bugs coming into my house. And no, I'm not taking care of your ant farm either.

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