Wednesday, October 29, 2008

All The Little Ants Are Marching...

So, my sister thought it might be a good idea to get an ant farm for my oldest daughter on her birthday.

Yeah. I know what you are thinking.
HOW could I not have known? What the hell was I thinking? I mean, really... my kids can make a weapon out of a marshmallow, and could sustain head injuries in a rubber room.

But me being the educational toy favoring, biology geek, love-of-learning fostering (*cough*delusional*cough*) parent that I am, I thought this to be a tremendous idea. Score one for sis!

Well... that was until I found out that you have to mail off for the ants. And that they will only ship said ants between approximately 60 and 68 degrees... temperatures we have roughly 2-3 weeks out of the year. So we waited. Then we waited some more. Ho hum.

Finally! 2 months later our ants arrive.

2 hours later, several are dead. Whether this was due to travel shock and upheaval or toddler shaking, we may never know.

We had fun for a few days watching the ants systematically move their (ever increasing) dead into one corner of the farm. Good times! (Especially when said older daughter asks repeatedly "Mommy, what's wrong with those ants?" "Mommy, how come that ant doesn't have a head?")

Then the real fun happened....

A few fateful days later I was minding my own business, cooking a healthful, nutritious meal (all right, all right, shut up) for my lovely family when I was treated to two tandem blood-curdling screams. It seems my younger daughter had the ant farm in her possession... not only that, but she had somehow managed to free the ants from their green-gel prison.

And how did the ants react to their freedom? How did they repay their liberator, you might wonder? Well, they bit her, that's how. Ungrateful little bastards.

Upon discovering this lovely scene, instinct kicked in. That's right - I started stomping on the black buggers.
Hey - it's just what you do. It's practically Pavlovian... see ants = stomp. Personally, I felt that my plan was a pretty good one at the moment. That is, until my husband rushes in with a pair of tweezers shouting "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? STOP! I CAN SAVE THEM!"

True to his word, he managed to get half of them back into captivity, along with what turned out to be a rogue ant.

After all that drama, the rogue ant killed the rest of the colony. Today he still lives, like a big black king among the dead and the ruins of what was (for a few days) a bustling ant city.

The moral of the story?
Save your $14.99. Go kick an anthill - you'll get the same results.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Apple Got a Running Start

I grew up socially awkward.

I know, I know... you can't believe it, right?! The chick hiding behind the blog was socially awkward once upon a time - what a concept!

Given that, obviously my big fear was that I would spawn a couple of tiny anti-social creatures. That upon greeting the world, my children would scream blue murder, kick the doctor, and promptly attempt to return to the womb where nobody could bother them.

Luckily, my nightmare was not realized. The girls cared only about three things: eating, sleeping, and pooping. Life was good.

Then came preschool.

The anxiety, the worry, the twist in my gut. Terrified that somehow both my girls were destined to be socially awkward, and star in a tiny fruit-snack fueled version of "Mean Girls"....

I'm not saying that I'm not still heart-stoppingly terrified of this, but man did yesterday relieve some of my anxiety! I observed my oldest in the mall play area rounding up kids for a game of chase, taking control, greeting new kids, and holding her own with (aka, pinning down) the boys.

There's hope yet!
Apparently my kid is confident, as well as strong. (woo!) I wonder if I could track down my old bullies? I'll sic my kid on their asses.

Apparently every once in a while apples DO fall far from the tree. On this end I hope they've both fallen into a completely different orchard. Hell, maybe they can teach me to come out of my cave more. :D