• bugs •

Okay, okay, okay.  I knew having 3 boys and 1 girl was going to mean lots of things.  Like stinkiness, dirty clothes, sports, etc, etc.  I think I also knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, that it might involve bugs.  But folks, we have reached a whole new level this week.

So we have had the ant farm for a few weeks now and that’s fine.  We have our beta fish from a few years ago – also fine.  We have Eli who is our puppy – super duper fine!  And now we have this:

Not so fine.  Okay, so I was thrilled when Conner showed me the praying mantis outside on our porch.  You see we have a grasshopper invasion in our yard, and if there is one thing I HATE (yes HATE) it is grasshoppers, and I happen to know that praying mantis’ eat grasshoppers.  I wanted that guy roaming yard chomping away!  I was less thrilled when Conner and a friend decided to capture this praying mantis and put it inside his uninhabited (and infamous) frog habitat . . . . and bring it INSIDE!!  I do not remember agreeing to that, but due to some miscommunication everyone (including Dave) was under the impression I was cool with it.  What’s a mom to do?  I let him bring it inside.  The weekend was spent with the boys scouring the internet for information on praying mantis’.  It was like a real live science lesson happening in my house.  They fed it and figured out it was a boy and just loved, loved having it.  I was starting to get more comfortable with the idea of this thing living in our house . . . . . .

Until Monday, when this appeared:

Apparently all the information the boys had gathered on praying mantis’ did not include what a nest looks like.  Took me 2 seconds to realize what was going on. Our newest little pet was not a boy, but a pregnant girl and she had gone ahead and laid her nest of 200 eggs inside my house!!!  Once again, I knew we were done with this little experiment.  A mom of boys can only take so much and 200 itty-bitty praying mantis’ being hatched in my house is too much.
(The best part of the story is that Conner & friend thought it was throw-up.  They didn’t make a big deal out of it and just went on their merry way.  Hello boys!! That’s an awful lot of throw-up for such a small creature)

More research online showed us that the eggs can actually be hatched in a paper bag outside.  You see, I’m fine to have these critters roaming my yard eating bugs.  So I support 200 of them being born in my yard, just not in my house.  And I guess when that happens, our pet to people population will be greatly outnumbered :-).  In the meantime we are the hit of the neighborhood!


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