The big finish.

There was a tragedy last night. A heartbreak. The ultimate betrayal.

Let me start off with this: our 2YO is a natural born bug whisperer. He can still a praying mantis from swaying. He can quiet a grasshopper into sitting on his finger for 15 minutes (no lie; we timed it). He can even hypnotize a housefly into being calm and still and to just simply hang out on his arm. In patio seating at a restaurant, he once sprawled out on his belly to whisper a new path to the ants scuttling feverishly around in ISO crumbs. Once, at a t-ball game of his big brother’s, he put a fire ant in his pocket, then fished it back out to crawl up and down his arms, under his shirt, around his neck, all without a single bite or sting or whatever it is that a fire ant does, for about 35 minutes. There were witnesses that can confirm these things, truly. I’m not making them up.

But last night?

The bee he rescued from the fountain stung him so badly that it got stuck in his thumb. Hank had to flick it off and then pull the stinger out. Oh boy, did our little man cry sad, heartbroken, sobs of ultimate betrayal. I really never could quite could figure out if he was crying from pain or hurt feelings. Hank iced his thumb, put a paste of baking soda and water on it to draw out its heat, and then pulled out all of the stops with an awesome bubble bath and still, sad, sad whimpers when our littlest boy remembered what that bee did. And then, he ended his evening with the most unbearable wail of a proclamation I’ve heard from him yet…

I don’t yike bugs anymowa.

Oh it crushed us.

I had a quick prayer meeting with big brother and together, we came up with a necessary prescription: a trip to The Butterfly Pavilion to rekindle that love and patch up those bruised feelings. So after a bit of a lie-in on this last, not-lazy summer vacation day, I roused them up and we headed of for a coffee shop breakfast of greek yogurt and honey and cherries, a slice of banana bread, and a couple of cups of steamed milk.

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I knew that Mr. Bedhead there was good and awake when I saw this.

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I am now The Mom Who Saved The Coffee Shop. I scooped them up and off we went.

This picture cracks me up. It’s overexposed and awfully bright and super funny.

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Big brother looks t.h.r.i.l.l.e.d. to be in it.

In it to win it, baby.

After some milling about with these BLECH things a while…

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I sucked it up and actually let one crawl on me BLECH. It was heavier and more deliberate with its stepping on me than I expected. But also kind of cool. In a BLECH way.

Heebie. Jeebies.

But not near as heebie jeebie as the cockroach container – BLECH BLECH BLECH BLECH BLECH BLECH BLECH – that grossness did not even warrant a picture grossola. Ugh the sacrifices we make for our children!!!!!

The little guy was in HEAVEN. He perked right up and I did NOT make my own creeped out feelings known one bit, because gosh darnit if he loves bugs, he loves them and I will support him all the way through his double major of zoology and invertebrates.

With the Lord’s help I will, I swear it.

And maybe a lot of mojitos.

Big brother was very supportive, too. He always is. Man I just love the person he is.

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There were butterflies everywhere today. Evidently, on a bright sunny day, they go nuts in there.

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Do you know that scene in Harry Potter, The Chamber of Secrets, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are going through the obstacle rooms to get to the chamber, and they find themselves in the key room? That’s what the butterflies were like. Ev.ery.where.

Lord, please save me from my own geekiness.

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Had to put this one in here twice. I love that you can see this butterfly’s tongue.

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And now for the little man’s tongue. Complete with neon-colored sour apple gum.

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He loves bugs again. Slam dunk, baby.

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These two tried to escape the butterfly room with us, but the guard-I-mean-volunteer swooped them up in a net in the ante-chamber-I-mean-foyer-room-part-thing-that-I-don’t-know-what-it’s-called.

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Check out the flowers there. Almost daydreamed myself right into Hawai’i.

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Next stop was the kids’ interactive play area. I’m not quite sure why this display was there, but it sure caught my attention. Can you guess why?

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Here’s another look.

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Focus, people.

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Figure it out, yet?

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Yep. You’re smart that way. That’s why I keep you guys around.

The boys were way interested in other stuff. Who knew they had a zip line there?


The big one there did the most awesome backwards flop thing after nailing the zip line stopping part (my technical terms are AWESOME), partly due to a forceful push by someone-I-mean-me, and I laughed inappropriately loud.

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But then, so did he. I think we both even snorted. After we caught our breath and knew we wouldn’t pee our pants if we actually moved, we looked around so we could get back in line and, well, the other parents were sort of looking at me in horror.

So we did it again.

And again and again and again.

I handed out my I Specialize In Child Photography card and I’m sure to be getting some phone calls soon.


We then ran through the maze until we found the beanbag toss/throw contraption. We patiently waited our turn and then came up with a great game.


He was unsuspecting.

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And then we played toss-the-beanbags-at-the-little-guy. This is always a fun game.

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Look at his eyes. He keeps doing the slight face grimace and half-lidded thing. We even recruited some cute, giggly, little girls to help us.

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Ohmyword it was funny.

Lord, thank you so much for these boys. They fit just right.

When I finally came across the older one, I stalked him, knowing his wheels were turning. You can almost see them going in this picture.

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Ha! I KNEW it!

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Huge leap of faith.

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And touchdown. Blurry girl is startled, but unscathed.

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We celebrated with just a few victory items. Butterfly-shaped suckers…

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Pete. Repeat.

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And a new critter case. Or as the little guy calls it, his “stink bug bathket.”

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Someone else got a bag of magic rocks for being such a good wingman.

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And this is kind of how I felt, too.

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What a great finish.

Bring it ON, first grade.