I’m not sure how Miss G’s fascination with ants started or even when but since it’s started we have had to learn to leave enough time before we go somewhere so she can to stop and watch the ants scurry around in their little world on the sidewalk in front of the house. She also needs time to talk to them and have a little conversation.
Maybe it all started when we watched Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and the kids befriended that ant while they were miniaturized. Shortly after we watched it she was on all fours on the sidewalk, talking to the tiny insects about her plans for the day and asking them how they were.
One day I dropped a piece of chicken on the ground while trying to carry the groceries in and by the time I went back out to get the rest of the groceries ants were beginning to swarm the meat, break it down and carry pieces off to their home.
Miss G had already noticed them but I pointed out how they were moving the food and how strong they were , despite their size and she began watching and talking to them. We broke the chicken into smaller pieces and she tossed pieces down saying “here, ants… food!”, trying to take care of them, much like she does our cats and did our sweet Copper. Of course in true toddler style she sort of forced her hospitality on the animals by following them around with their food dish and demanding “eat, kitty! Eat!”
Her interest has now expanded from ants to other insects, including a caterpillar we found one day on our walk after school. It took a lot of convincing for her to finally leave the caterpillar outside. She had decided he was coming inside to be her pet. We even carried him to our front sidewalk but then I told her he needed to stay outside so he could find his family.
This story backfired on me about a week later when we went to the spare room at my parents to lay down for a nap and found a odd looking insect. Out of panic I tossed a book on top of it which prompted Miss G to say “don’t hurt him! He has to go back to his family!”
I can just see my future – being like my dad and scooping creepy insects up with a piece of paper and a cup and putting them outside instead of squishing them under my shoe.
So far she’s decided she doesn’t like spiders, probably because I make it clear I am not a fan of them. At least I don’t have to spare the lives of spiders I find in our house. I’ll do almost anything for this little girl but I’m not sure I can bring myself to scoop up one of those in a cup.