Goodbye Aunts, Hello Ants Goodbye.

The birthday week is over. We're back in the Lala, hunting character actors in their natural habitat. Extended family have flown home and all of our cars are back and clean of fingerprint dust. It seems the one-year old mark was more than a major numerical milestone.

Archer has grown into a bit of a BOOOOOOOY. Yesterday I caught him smashing ants with his fists. It was like a slow-motion action sequence with the "Noooooooooooooooooo!" and the cheeks doing that funny thing where it looks like they are made of rubber. Archer looked at me like "what?" and whimpering I had to pluck the dead ants off his arm and explain to him that "we don't kill bugs. We wave at them and if they are in the house we gently place them outside."

Archer started waving at the ants (because he's big on the wave right now) before sweetly smashing the rest of them. I nearly fainted. I will go out of my way to save a bee from the pool even if it means getting stung. (Okay, I stopped doing that after about 5 stings, but you get my point.) Spiders are our friends. There is no flushing Daddy Longlegs down the toilet in my house. No siree.

I hated the boys that lived across the street in my old house as a kid because they tortured spiders and salted snails and fried caterpillars with a magnified glass. I still hate them but now I think maybe its a boy thing? Arch is only one year old and he likes to smash ants. It's not like he's fourteen hitting snakes with baseball bats. But I am warning you, Archer. If there is one thing I will not tolerate, it's smashing and killing creatures no matter how microscopic and seemingly insignificant.

And even though you're name more or less means, "hunter", you're not supposed to kill. Nope. You can hunt character actors with me on cement safari because I don't really care about them but the ants? Dude. Not the ants.



Karla | 11:48 AM

Years ago we bought my son a bug collecting kit so that he wouldn't walk around killing them. He collected a jar full of caterpillars and then set the jar UPSIDE down so the air holes were face down and they suffocated. I had a jar full of dead caterpillars. It wasn't pretty. At least your ants had a quick death.

kittenpie | 11:58 AM

oh, good idea above - get one of those screen bug collectors!

My rule is as follows: We have our space, they have theirs. If they come into our house, they are fair game, but outside, it is not fair to kill them. They need to be able to live unmolested somewhere, and we can't claim every inch of territory.

This is really for spiders, which make me crazy, but I think it applies to others as necessary. I think it is at least fair.

Anonymous | 12:15 PM

When I was a little girl my brother would "race" snails. I would step on them because I liked the way their shells crunched. I grew out of it, and moved on to keeping lizzards in my dolls house. Now the thought of crushing anything makes me sad. Most things in our house get a pass, except the big, hairy, man eating spiders that Texas is famous for. Sorry..they might carry my dog off, so they get my husband of course, because I am busy balancing on the couch, or the bed, or wherever else I jump when I see them.

Archer will grow out of this. Most children step on their share of ants and it doesn't mean they are mean or bad. He'll stop eventually.

motherbumper | 2:28 PM

Reading this post made me think of my brother burning anthills with his magnifying glass in the neighbour's driveway when we were really young (5, 6 maybe?). I hadn't thought about that in such a long time and it made me call him which I don't do often enough. So something good came out of this ant killing. I wish I had some advice but boys still confuse me (kidding - sort of).

I wish Archer a happy belated first birthday and your pictorial is fantastic!

Awesome Mom | 3:41 PM

No bug smashing here but my toddler is in love with cars (another "boy" thing). If we go walking he has to stop and watch each and every car as it passes by. It takes us forever to get anywhere.

Christina | 5:32 PM

Bugs outside are left alone, but inside the house they are fair game for us. Luckily, the cats usually take care of any that dare cross into our territory. If I do kill a spider, I try to be quick about it, and not torture it.

But yeah, outside the bugs have every right to be there, and I won't bother them. And I've learned to always leave the bees alone, too - my mom does beekeeping and I appreciate the honey they provide us!


yeah, i get the fair game bit. Still, I kinda feel like no matter what I'm in their space and we can all share the shower. (what's up with spiders always chillin' in the shower?)

mo-wo | 9:06 PM

p-man thinks spiders will one day take over the world and make him King!

when we were first dating and on a hazy return trip from his mom's farm in the camaro I reached for the spider on the dash and toss it out the window. he did a full on jimmy rockford.. hittin' the brakes and skidding cross the gravelly shoulder. he then proceeded to retrive the poor creature I had hucked out that was clinging to the back window trim. proceeding to take the spider in to the mix of long grass, fireweeds and daisies he placed spidey in a nice safe place. I thought, who the hell is this guy?

so I know this will be an issue for us when it comes

Mom101 | 10:42 PM

Oh the bugs! I forgot about bugs. When Nate says he wants to raise a tomboy will this include her smashing bugs? Eek, kinda hope not.

Bea | 8:41 AM

At least he's not afraid of the bugs! According to my mother, I was 15 months old when I started crying whenever I was put outside to play - I would stand there, crying, and pointing down at the ants in terror. Smashing is probably just his way of saying he loves the ants - much in the same way my son smashes his little sister as a gesture of affection...


you'll feed him a meatball but he cant squish an ant? no fun at your house. none. we're the opposite around here. we've got a staunch almost-2-y-o vegan in a household of carnivores.

hey -- what song did the pink panther sing when he stepped on an anteater's friend?

(dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant dead ant, dead aaaaaaaannnnnnnttttttttttt)


Hahaha. I was trying to remember that effing joke. Nice one.

Anonymous | 1:37 PM

"Wave at the ants . . ." hahaha, that is so cute! You're a good egg, GGC.

Anonymous | 8:56 PM

What if he pours beer on the ants to watch them get drunk and crawl in circles?

(They do that. I poured my father's beer on them once.)

I lost whatever sympathy I might have once had for bugs when I saw a roach crawl out of the toilet paper roll first thing in the morning down in lovely Biloxi MS. But we do try to teach the girls that there is no need to be cruel - bugs can be relocated to an appropriate habitat (outside vs. my kitchen).

Unknown | 11:31 AM

My son had a pet worm when he was about 3. He was called wormy. I even took a photo of them together. One hot summer day Tom left him on the garden path and next time we saw him he had cooked in the heat. Tom cried his littel heart out. I guess he isnt a bug crusher?

Tearfree | 10:31 AM

I admit I'm a bug crusher.

This morning I opened the front door and an army of ants came charging through, something that's never happened before. I immediately started screaming and stomping on them.

But then, I'm a very bad person.

Sandra | 11:23 AM

Oh Archer! I remember when my son first started killing bugs (and I am just like you - maybe even more fanatical - I even became vegetarian!). He would tell me ... "but I am not killing them mommy. I am just squishing them." Thankfully he grew out of it .

Andrea | 9:12 AM

Cement safari. I like that.

Hopefully he learns soon not to smash the bugs, before there are too many casualties.

Tearfree | 4:35 AM

Where do you stand on the killing of head lice?

Kristen | 7:10 PM

You know, my three-year-old is completely into smashing bugs right now, but it makes no sense because he loves to study them...and I am starting to suspect that he smashes them out of an intense desire to pick them up and see what they look like. But really, how pitiful is it that he's smashing roly polies? Breaks my heart...


koolaid- headlice have feelings too. poor innocent headlice. They deserve to live a peaceful life in harmony with ones dandruff.