My husband and I are thrilled by our children's curiosity and lack of fear of insects. They dig around the ground looking for worms, they climb on trees looking for cicadas, they dig around in the bushes and the garden looking for catepillars, grasshoppers and crickets. When we come across something that looks quite strange (and we have found plenty that are) we will take them to the Nature center near our house and ask the naturalist what it is. Now, I know some people are a little protective of their young ones playing in the dirt or with insects because of germs. But please don't misunderstand me, they are not walking around without their shoes, or with greasy hair or filthy bodies, but playing in the yard, digging up dirt, examining what they have found, there is something so beautiful within that. It captures the essence of childhood innocence.
However, there are lines that can be and will be crossed. Obviously I get nervous when their comfort level extends to handling spiders (daddy long legs are the exception) and other potentially harmful bugs. But there is only one word that can describe what happen one afternoon last summer and that is DISGUSTING!
That evening, my 3 year old son told me that his underwear felt uncomfortable. I glanced over to him and thought maybe he had gotten a wedgie and as soon as I finished with whatever I was doing, I would help him out. Time passed, I forgot to help him and once again he tells me his underwear is bothering him. That the front is really itchy. About the time when he first told me he was uncomfortable, both he and my daughter were outside, under their trampling, looking for bugs. They were not fighting, they were out of my hair, and I actually got a few minutes of peace. Fast forward....Noah complains that he is itchy and Natalie pipes up and says "well that is because you were putting the worms down your underwear, but that's ok Mom, because I took them all out." "WHAT!!! Noah..You did WHAT?" "Noah put worms in his underwear, but Mom, really, it's ok..I got them out."
So I pulled him aside and immediately started to rip open underwear (Pull-ups). OH MY GOD.. YUCK!!! In there was a long, brown earthworm, squirming around his you- know-what...I thought I was going to faint. I grabbed him up, took him outside, ripped off the pants and shook them out. I think there were two more worms in the layers of the pull-up, just squirming all around. Words cannot explain the disgust I just witnessed. Awful images and worst case scenerios kept flashing across my mind. A friend of mine's daughter had ringworms, those white worms that get into your skin and come out when you poop....OMG!!! I had thought if my chiidren ever get lice, I would totally freak out, but I was wrong. Long, brown, wiggly worms in your child's underwear..comes quite close.
So, there is Mom, freaking out and there is my son, Noah, just smiling and giggling and shrugging his shoulders when again and again and again, my neighbors and I ask...WHY Noah WHY?
Is this what they mean when they said "Boys will be Boys."