Saturday, May 09, 2009

Who knew that a ladybug would be source of my undoing?

When it comes to allowing my children to explore the world around them, I am a champion of that. When it comes to my children bringing bugs into the house...not so much. Unless it is a ladybug, because those are relatively harmless. As long as they stay in the ladybug container/makeshift house, that is... But you know I have an over active imagination that tends to jump off of the cliff of "worst case scenario." So when Gracie decided to bring a ladybug "pet" into the house, within a few days, I had to put an end to that...

It was a Thursday evening when I suggested that Gracie consider letting her ladybug go.

"But mom, I love Roseycheeks. She is the best pet ever! And I promise that I will feed her and take care of her foreverrrrrr."

"There is no doubt that you are a great pet owner, Gracie. But don't you think that Roseycheeks will miss...flying? That box is kind of small, after all." Then I went in with the hard sell, "And she might miss her family."

"Well, I could go catch some more ladybugs. Then she won't be lonely."

DRATS! "Um, no, don't do that, Gracie. I'm concerned, though, that you are too attached to this ladybug. You've named her, and really she is a wild animal. You wouldn't bring, say, a fox, into the house and name it, would you?"

"I could find a fox around here?!"

"That's not the point, Gracie. Put the fox out of your mind. A ladybug needs to have space to fly around. She is used to being in the wild. And she has a mom and dad and maybe children out there that she could be flying around with outside."

"But I LOVE Roseycheeks, Mom!"

"I understand that you love her, honey. If you really love her, though, you would do what is best for her."

Gracie sullenly took the box outside, and then returned in a few minutes with her face contorted and on the verge of tears.

"What happened, honey?"

"I opened the box, and Roseycheeks crawled away without even saying goodbyyyyyyyyye!" And then Gracie dropped to the floor in a heap; the total meltdown began.

I cradled Gracie into my arms, wiped away her tears, and tried to explain that Roseycheeks was a wild animal. Maybe if Gracie went outside tomorrow, I suggested, she would see Roseycheeks again.

Between sobs, Gracie managed to squeak out, "How will I know it's her, Mom?"

"You could call her name?"

"How will she understand me, Mom? I dooon't speaaaaak ladybuuuuuuuuug!"

It's sad to say that until that moment I had not realized what I had done. It was just a dumb ladybug, for goodness sakes, and the kid clearly was attached to it. Even thought we all know that I'm only doing the best I can, I had to make this right - quickly. Gracie had to get to bed!

"I have an idea. Why don't you and I make a new, more secure ladybug house tomorrow and see if we can't find Roseycheeks and a friend to keep her company?"

"Really, Mom?"

"Really. But you have to promise me not to get too attached this time because ladybugs are meant to live outside. If the ladybug escapes, you have to be okay with that."

"I promise!"

It was almost ten o'clock before the entire ladybug saga played out and I was able to get Gracie to go to bed.

The next day, as promised, we made a new ladybug house and easily found two residents. The house sat on the kitchen counter for a few days.

After that, Gracie didn't pay too much attention to the ladybugs. The next week, though, her sister made a terrarium for ladybugs. While the colony receives little attention from the kiddos, it is prominently displayed in our living room. Just knowing it is there is enough for them, perhaps. And what do I care if they all escape and leave staining ladybug scat all over the house? We are only renting, after all.


Catvibe said...

Wonderful! I love it! We have ladybug infestations here. Gracie would have had a ball in my house in the fall. :-)

bluesugarpoet said...

Oh, my. She would think that your ladybug infested house was heaven!:)

Aniquez de los mil luces said...

I wonder why would someone name a HARMLESS bug a LADYbug. :D :D :D

And your daughter is true angel. Wonder where she gets that from??? :P

I am sure she is now on the lookout to tame a fox if she finds one. lol

I used to chase fireflies as a kid.

A very lovely post to read. :)

Karen said...

I really got a kick out of this! First, Gracie is coming through loud and clear -- and I think she must me a hoot! Next, you crack me up calling the ladybugs "wild animals."

Like Cat, we have the ladybug infestations in the fall. You wouldn't believe. I USED to love them.

bluesugarpoet said...

@ aniquezzzzzz - oh, they got the name right. Looks beautifully harmless, but is secretly plotting to take over your house... Poetroad says that gracie gets her angelic-ness from him. lolz Yes, I will be on the lookout for foxes too - and shoo them away. Never seen one around here yet, but now I probably will!

@karen - glad to give you a chuckle! :) Gracie is truly one of a kind. You should see her break dance...she won the "crazy dancer" award at school.

Julie said...

This is so sweet and makes me think of my daughter when she was little. I love it!

bluesugarpoet said...

glad you connected with that one too, julie - they grow up too fast!