April 11, 2011

Roly-poly heebie-jeebies

So all's going well on the kids' bike ride (well, "well" as in Jannika's going 0.0001 MPH on her training-wheeled two-wheeler and still white-knuckling the handlebars, and Silas has his handlebars turned all the way to the right no concept of steering, poor little buddy while I'm attempting to push him in a straight line, thus grinding down his wheel and leaving a line of black plastic grit behind us).

And then we hit what has to have been Central Station for the entire roly-poly population.

Jannika, who LOVES these crunchy little buggers, starts swerving like she just downed a 6-pack, not only trying to avoid crushing a single one, but also looking backwards to make sure Silas (who now has cranked his handlebars fully to the left...for no apparent reason) is doing the same. So here I am, trying to push this trike that has its wheels turned 90 degrees in the wrong direction, attempting to avoid the 3245032 roly-polies per square foot that are crawling everywhere.

Ten minutes and two feet later, I call for a break. Jannika immediately gets off her bike and starts scooping up handfuls of roly-polies, offering them to both Silas and me.

Silas, apparently, is on my team - the "please don't make me touch it if it's creepy and crunchy" team. I'm cool with spiders as long as I don't have to kill them. Really, they can hang out in my house until it's time to vacuum. And then they can hang out in my vacuum. It's the crunch and pop factor in the squished toilet paper that sends me over the edge. However, Silas tentatively holds out his hand, and when Jannika drops a roly-poly into his palm, he lets out an involuntary shudder...but holds his hand there like a champ, kind of laughing in a nervous verge-of-freaking-out kind of a way.

And then the roly-poly scrambles up him arm into his shirt.

I was watching it as it made its way halfway up Silas' arm, curious how Silas would react (another social experiment backfiring), and then suddenly...it was gone. And by the way Silas started writhing and screaming and gyrating in my direction, it must have crawled into his shirt. And here's me all trying to help, but still kind of pushing him away in panic lest the stupid roly-poly crawls onto me in the mix of things. And then Jannika starts crying and screaming at me...because I have just stepped on a foot-full of the crunchy buggers in my haste to preserve my own bug-free self.

And I look up to see a good mom watching (with slight disdain) this horrible circus that is my family. And there is nothing to do except give Silas a hasty once-over and some tentative snuggles, wipe roly-poly goo off the bottom of my shoe, answer Jannika's difficult questions about the existence of roly-poly heaven, and feel like the very worst mom ever.

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