Six-Legged Balls of Fun.

Bugs. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of them. I’ve even been known to run screaming from the sight of a particularly icky Nasty.

Still, I’m determined to keep Tori from being a screechy little girly girl. Which means, of course, that we have to spend time exploring the insect kingdom.

I’ve let her put her hands in spider webs (shudder). Watched as she let ants crawl over her hands (double shudder). Even let her pick up one of our arachnid friends (I deserve some sort of award for that one).

But I’ve never enjoyed doing it. Until today.

This afternoon we were puttering around outside when she pulled me by the hand over to the rock border around our front garden.

“Bugs Home?”

I looked at her blankly—until I remembered the events of the night before. An ant had been ambling across the floor of her room and without thinking twice, I squished it. But not before she saw it. So since I didn’t want to have to admit that I’d killed it,  I told her the bug went home. To his house outside. In the rocks in front of our garden.

She bought it.

So now she wanted to see the bugs at home.

Sighing, I knelt down in the grass and flipped the biggest rock upside down. Sure enough, there was an army of the little suckers milling around under there. As my stomach flipped in protest, she squealed in delight.


Seeing how happy she was, I decided to put my disgust aside and get into the spirit of things. So I took another look. And attached to the slab of limestone were 15 or 20 rolly poly bugs.

Yummy pill bugs

Tori's newest friends.

“Wanna see them do a trick?” I asked Tori.

She nodded.

So I reached out and touched one. He, of course, obligingly rolled up into a little ball. She shrieked with laughter—the excited peals echoing off the nearby houses.

Hearing it made me giggle too, so we did it again and again and again until every single one of the poor little bugs was curled up in a defensive ball. Then I hefted another rock over and we did it all over again.

Eventually I had to tell her that the bugs needed to go night night, or we’d probably still be out there (although I’m sure that won’t be the last time I torture pill bugs this summer).

The moral of the story? Everyone should hang out with a two-year-old every once in a while. The world’s a whole hell of a lot more fun.

11 Comments on Six-Legged Balls of Fun.

  1. Elona
    March 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm (5 years ago)

    You are made of awesome.
    Just needed to say that.

    • Amber
      March 30, 2011 at 9:26 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you. :-)

  2. liz
    March 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm (5 years ago)

    I have many fond kid memories with roly poly bugs, too. Them and ladybugs were “cool” and not-at-all-scary. But spiders? That’s a different story.

    • Amber
      March 30, 2011 at 9:25 am (5 years ago)

      Except daddy long legs. I loved daddy long legs.

  3. Meagan
    March 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm (5 years ago)

    Isopods are awesome & haven’t changed much in about 300 million years. I can deal with insects and worms (Annelida) but spiders (Arachnida, not Insecta) wig me out. I need to remember they are Wil’s friends and teach him to let them go outside rather than squish them.

    The more you learn about them, the more interesting they all are (although I don’t think I’ll ever truly be over my arachnophobia.

    • Amber
      March 30, 2011 at 9:25 am (5 years ago)

      Ah yes. They are fascinating critters…but I’ll leave the admiration of them to the science-y types like you!

  4. Lyndsay
    March 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm (5 years ago)

    I. Love. This. Story.

    Isn’t it great to get down on their level and experience it all over again? My 2yo was in the bathtub and she has a set of Dora binoculars she plays with in there. She was peering through them and I asked her what she saw. She said, “A CRANKY BEAR!”

    I have no idea where she got that, but of ALL the thing she could’ve seen, at least she picked one that made me laugh.

    • Amber
      March 30, 2011 at 9:24 am (5 years ago)

      That’s so cute. The trick is remembering those giggles when they’re frustrating as all heck…

  5. Lady Jennie
    March 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm (5 years ago)

    Oh that is so cute. Fortunately for me my kids are terrified of bugs. That is the end of that.

    • Amber
      April 1, 2011 at 9:22 am (5 years ago)

      That is a very good thing. Mine doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything, unfortunately.

  6. Jessica
    November 11, 2011 at 10:25 am (4 years ago)

    My amazing husband pointed out that pill bugs have way more than six legs. 14 to specific. They are part of the family of woodlice, a terrestrial crustacean group in the order Isopod.


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