The other day a friend of mine was talking about how he and his wife entertained their 2-year-old over the weekend. They came across a great idea that would be both entertaining and educationalan exhibit where you could walk through a butterfly habitat.
It sounded great. They got there and their little girl was so excitedas any 2-year-old would be. Just as they were about to enter the habitat, someone representing the facility informed everyone that the butterflies inside were very rare and visitors needed to be careful not to injure them.
That warning was appropriate FOR ADULTS! But what about the bouncy, flouncy, fun, fun, fun kids? You and I both know that they will do their best to jump around and try to catch anything flying by their heads. Kind of like smacking bubbles as they float by. Come on! The event was marketed to families even!
The story reminded me of a time many years ago. My wife and I were in the same boat. We were trying to find entertaining things for our little ones to do. A great distraction was the pet store. We could spend hours there looking at the fish, hamsters, reptiles and, if we were lucky, the dogs and cats. (Just for the record, I avoided the bird aisles.)
One rainy Sunday afternoon we took Colin (who was about 3 at the time) to the store. Colin was always very energetic and since the store was pretty much empty, we let him try to get it out of his system.
Everything went well until he rounded the corner and saw that the stores supply of live crickets had been knocked over (no, he did not do it). We hadnt caught up to him yet but we could hear him. Oh boy, could we hear him!
What we eventually saw was Colin standing in the middle of a bunch of crickets on the floor. He was saying, Ooooh, a bug! and proceeded to stomp on as many of them as he could.
Knowing these bugs were actually more appropriately categorized as inventory, I ran and grabbed him as fast as I could.
He was hanging over my shoulder and proudly telling my wife, But Mommy, look at the bugs!
We quickly herded our little bug killer out of that store as fast as we could.
The experience must have paid off. To this day, he is the chief bug killer in our household. So I guess everyone wonexcept for those crickets.