Attack of the Bog Beast

A is on spring break this week. Poor kid has a wicked cold. This used to happen to me, without fail, when I would come home from college for anything longer than a weekend. I could finally relax, and bingo! a cold. At least it was predictable.

So with A home, and sick at that, we’re going slightly bonkers. He and I get along a lot better when we’re not bouncing off each other all day every day. Surprisingly, it’s been going better than I anticipated knockwoodmylipstoGod’sear. Knocking him out with Benadryl helps. Heh.

How did we celebrate the halfway point of spring break today? Well, kiddos, like this:

Yes, I am holding a tarantula. Voluntarily. You can’t tell from the picture, but I am also not screaming, am not being restrained, and am completely sober. A took this picture. Not bad for an almost-6-year-old. Neither boy would hold Rosie (the tarantula)…wusses. The things I do to show my boys it’s ok. But A had some great questions for the tarantula wrangler, so it’s all good.

This was at the Butterfly Pavilion, a wonderful insect museum nearby. I’ve taken A twice before, and twice before he completely and totally wigged out on me and we had to leave. Yesterday he said he wanted to go and that he had grown up and wouldn’t freak out. O-kay. I had a BOGO coupon, so we could go cheaply, and off we went. Seriously, no high hopes here. I figured we’d be there for 30 minutes, max, including not petting the starfish, not holding Rosie, and a bathroom break or two. I’m delighted to report I was veddy veddy wrong. Not only did we go into the delightfully hot and humid butterfly room, A wanted a butterfly identification map and proceeded to identify butterflies for me.

Isn’t that a beautiful butterfly? I love my camera, I love the macro function. In the butterfly room, butterflies just fly around free, sometimes landing on you. They’re all over the place.

There are even “butterflies in progress:” This place is so cool. The butterfly room is delightful in the winter, when it’s cold and dry outside. My cracked and bleeding hands thought they were on vacation this morning. The humidity was delicious.
But not everything at the Butterfly Pavilion is beautiful:

Honeybees, anyone? The hive is connected to a tube that goes outside. The bees go out nectar-hunting (there’s a nearby garden with flowers), and come home to make honey in front of the kids. Busy little bees!

But, by far, the one that gets me:
Hissing cockroaches. Big, juicy, ugly as hell cockroaches. Never fails to make my throat close up and set up the “flight or fight” response. Gah.
But my very favorite part of the day was when we went to lunch at Noodles and Co. (and if you don’t have one of these near you, pray you get one). The boys and I were sitting there, at the height of lunchtime, when a man stopped by the table and complemented me on how well the boys were behaving. Huh? I could only thank him profusely. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine something like this happening. The boys were behaving well, very very well. But given the last 6 years of being on the edge, seriously waiting for the next shoe to fall with A, this was an amazing complement. Who knew the patron saint of weary mothers was a large, middle-aged man with a bulbous nose?
A very good day. Only a few more before spring break is over.
Oh, and kudos to you if you know where I got the title from.
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