Monday, June 10, 2013

Bugging out!

Yesterday the wee man got stung on the back of his hand by a red wasp. He took the whole thing like an absolute champ. Seriously ~ even with his hand on fire, the little noble guy did not want to disrupt Mommy's social activity. Daddy quotes "I want mommy but I don't want to ruin the party." Talk about knocking the wind out of me! Is he kidding?! I live to love them. That's MY job wee dude! Don't make me obsolete just yet baby.

But, boy, do I feel proud of the wee man. And, yes, he really is a little man. How can the kid be so very mature and considerate at the ripe old age of three!

I carried him out to the front of the restaurant where a young waitress was more than happy to tend to my sweet boy's 'boo boo'. She blotted his hand with Clorox (it's alright - I Googled it first) and gave him a plaster (that's a band-aid). Meanwhile I let him crunch one of the red and white spearmint sweets sitting beside the tip jar.

I think that made the whole ordeal worth while.

As a consequence of the red-wasp incident, today I've been a mite bit leery of all the flying bugs that are starting to nest on my kid-friendly deck. It turns out a colony of the nasties (red-wasps) have already built a hive up in the rafters. You can see their red roachy bodies tucked into the combs.

Ugh. It makes me shudder thinking about it.

Then a rafter or two along there's a colony of mud-daubers. I'm not sure they're stingers but they definitely look predatory enough ~ particularly when they're flying low around the kids.

Daddy just went out to murder them all with chemicals. He's my hero. Apparently one hive contained yellow-jackets ~ total devil spawn ~ and much like our dealings with scorpions, we should feel no remorse!

It won't be the end of it though. These mud-daubers (or whatever the Hell they are) are tenacious critters! Earlier on today, before Daddy left for work, he helped me Dyson (if it's not a verb it should be) four dauber nests from the insides of baby Dagny's horse bouncing toy. And what we found in there was creepy as all Hell!

First it was just dried grass and bits of mud. Then came small red pupae. Then there was a bunch of baby grasshoppers. They were light green and relatively tiny for Texan grasshoppers. I know they're only insects - but they're BABIES. Nature can be so cruel.

Thankfully, though - no big ass live angry mud-daubers came flying out of there ready to defend their unborn babies.


A little later on in the day, I was attempting to rock Baby D to sleep in the hammock when along came a mud-dauber carrying a piece of straw. He angrily circled the swinging hammock a few times before finding what he was looking for on the underside of the material.

I watched him suspiciously for a few minutes, surmising that he was a good three feet away from an almost sleeping Baby D, so probably not a worthy enough hazard to wake her up.

But still... what was he doing under there? He couldn't be building a nest on the underside of the hammock, could he? He was - inside a material crease! What the..? Every time he disappeared I tried to pick out a few strands of straw. But after a while he wasn't best pleased with my nest sabotage and he started to fly around a little maniacally, which eventually lead me to snatch my baby and flee from the crime scene.

By the time Daddy got home from his afternoon class, the mud-dauber had made a valiant attempt to rebuild his nest underneath the hammock. In a last ditch attempt to beat the mud-dauber I unhooked one side of the hammock and let it fall to the deck.

I headed over to the hammock (by this time there was no sign of the mud-dauber) and examined the nest ruins. It was the same deal as before; dry grass, mud, no pupae as of yet, and some dead... no... LIVE baby grasshoppers.

The babies were alive. They'd been snatched from their Mommies in their nests (do grasshoppers even have nests?) to be eaten alive by mud-dauber offspring. It doesn't even bare thinking about. But there my two and three year old were, absolutely fascinated, staring with their noses less than an inch from the barely moving baby insects repeating Mommy's words, "Baby grasshoppers!" Their delighted intonation carried none of my horror. I swallowed all my revulsion as Baby D crawled happily over to the almost dead mud-dauber 'food'.

It makes me chuckle how wary I once was of introducing the concept of 'death' to the kids. I guess the fly swatter put an end to all that!


  1. What a brave little man he was!

    I have to sing praises to the dauber for capturing grasshopper kids to feed their emerging young. Those buggers (grasshoppers) reek all kinds of havoc in the garden!

    The daubers are not usually aggressive. I've never been stung and I've been stung by everything around here at least once! (Thankfully not a black widow sting ever, but brown recluse - yes).