Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Gift of Curiosity, an SAT Question in Philosophy

Question (relatively innocuous and seemingly random): How does one get ladybugs out of one's car? Like, say, if a three year old opened up a cardboard container of 1,500 live ladybugs in a Honda Accord station wagon, and that Honda Accord station wagon was driving 65mph on the freeway headed due west, how long would it take before 12 ladybugs crawled inside a warm bra? (Bonus points if you can actually feel tiny black bug feet along the thin skin of your armpit right about now.)
Scene of the crime: Yesterday. Why: I don't know. I told her not to open them, that she could hold the cardboard container on her lap because she was begging me so, but only as long as she did not open them. I had also bought her a Venus Fly Trap, but she was slightly afraid of that, so sure was she that the eyelashes of each petiole would prick her like a cactus. Then I had to promise pinky swear look into her eyes that the Venus Fly Trap would not eat the ladybugs, when really, who knows? So perhaps I deserved it, her breaking her promise not to open the container. A lie for a lie, Pandora's box of 1,500 ladybugs looking for a dewy garden in a grey upholstered car with crumbs of what in every crevice.
She screamed, of course, because let's be honest here--a ladybug is really a beetle even if it is polkadotted red. So there she was in my rearview mirror covered in teeming tiny beetle bugs, screaming, and every last one of us was confused, all 1,502 of us in the car. What the fuck, was my first thought, because it's not everyday you see your child covered in ladybugs. It took me a second to figure it out. My second thought was also what the fuck, as was my third.

Later, much later, after I had contorted my body under car seats trying to entice ladybug after ladybug onto the tips of my fingers, we released what was probably no more than 1,200 ladybugs into the garden. It is best to do this at dusk just as the fog rolls in, to sprinkle them onto the base of plants infected with pests. (Pandora's box well ajar, all the world's evils, ills, diseases, burdensome labor and then some scattered into the cool night air.)

A dandelion! After we spread the ladybugs she spotted a dandelion, only she pronounces it dandeeelion and has proudly proclaimed it her very favorite flower even though she does not like the flower itself but the ball of fine-haired seeds. So last night she pulled the dandelion stem, held the ball in front of her mouth and took a breath so deep I feared she might inhale the thistle into her mouth. Then she closed her eyes and made a wish because that's what we do when we do not know the answer.
Because at the very bottom of the box lies hope.

*Top two photos Summer of 08. Last photo Halloween of 07. I'm thinking that if the Native American lore is true and we all have a Spirit Animal, then Zoey's is a ladybug. The ladybug imparts wisdom of past lives, rebirth. It also helps us to get out of our own way. I am also thinking that I am getting a little too crunchy granola paisley hoo-ha and really need to get a job.

14 comments:

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

That is too funny. I agree. The ladybug must ber her spirit animal. For sure. Look on the bright side, at least your car is aphid-free!

arollerskatingjam said...

LOL!
I can only imagine the scene. She'll love this story later in life, your little Mademoiselle Coccinelle.

Simply Mel said...

She is absolutely the cutest ladybug I have ever seen!

And oh how I wish during one of your WTF moments, you would have had a camera to show the 1,500 little friends that were released inside the car!

krista said...

holy crap. i love ladybugs and hate beetles...yes, the hypocrisy. i would lose my mind, i think to see a swarm of such bugs on the body of my small child. dude.

Sarah - La Jeune Marie said...

I agree with Krista, I might of had a melt down. Eww! Bugs! ;)

Brandi at Duel Living said...

I would have crashed! Great writing...so visual. I can feel the legs in my armpit. I used to get swarms of ladybugs in my house. They would live up in the skylights above my bed and then at night when they would die...I would feel tiny thump on my face as their little red polka dotted carcasses fell from the sky. It was loads of fun! I wonder how many I ate?

the girL said...

reminds me of this...

http://www.examiner.com/x-1028-Pet-News-Examiner~y2009m7d12-Ladybugs-swarm-Colorado-town-VIDEO

(check on the video at the bottom of the link)

betty said...

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Maggie May said...

she's so cute that's all i can comment on: CUTE

miss. chief said...

HAHAHA that was a great story!

Up Mama's Wall said...

Yuck. Cute as they are, I felt ladybugs crunching between my teeth as I read that. Zoe as ladybug is too cute. How long do you think she can work that outfit? I hope a while longer.

Michelle in KY said...

OH SUSANNAH...
LOVE this post. I have to tell you...I think the reason I love your blog is...you are REAL. Tomorrow (as it's late here and I'm just now tuning in) will be my first daughter's, FIRST day of pre-school. I am crying! I will miss her! I do not want her to go! I know she wants to go! I am scared for her! She is excited! I will miss her thousand questions! I hope she will miss me! I am not brave today, but hope she will be tomorrow! This is the beginning...of the growing up...and I am sad. Your blog is real, your writing exquisite, the feelings gooey in between the layers and more than anything REAL. I get it! All of it!Tonight, I do not like REAL and tomorrow, I will embrace it!

ZDub said...

Oh, I kind of want to go buy a carton of ladybugs just to let them go in the car!

I could never pull it off. My husband would be all "Why are you in the backseat?"

Anonymous said...

cutest kid ever.