So this past weekend we went on vacation. This summer our vacation was a camping trip 25 minutes away. This summer we needed close (think 6 month old baby and daddy on call), cheap (mommy's daycare wasn't much this year), and fun (of course camping with four children five and under is fun, who would ever think otherwise???).
But this isn't only about fun. It's about functional. And educational. Which apparently I'm not. While packing up today mommy found a really neat caterpillar. She even opened her big mouth to daddy and said "aren't the kids lucky they have a mom who will find a caterpillar and then let them take it home so they can watch it form a chrysalis? I could just scream and flick it away" Yeah. Lucky them. Insert visions of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, journal writing, online research, etc. etc.
We had a friend from church give us a really neat butterfly kit and three live caterpillars. Mommy had instant plans (see above) on how to have the boys do some (fun) learning this summer. Without her knowing it, Daddy put the kit and live caterpillars into the van before service on a day it was over 80 degrees in the shade. Bye bye caterpillars. Mommy saw finding the caterpillar today as a redemptive step towards the caterpillar to butterfly experience. Or not.
When mommy had two seconds to breathe after all the children were in bed she looked the distinctive caterpillar up online. Guess what gem she'd found? One of the worst species ever. It is a Tomato Hornworm. It gets up to four inches long. One caterpillar can decimate an entire tomato plant in like two days. And they poop. Enough to be super noticeable. And we don't even say the word poop here without getting our mouths washed out with soap (unless you are in the middle of potty training, and then I see no way around it. Also note that liquid soap is akin to poison in a child's mouth, use organic or handmade soap bars). I just don't think it is a nice word, or something to be talking about. But really, what else would two boys notice about this caterpillar in a screen house, I mean, they're boys.
So mommy didn't find The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She found the very nasty garden-eating-giant-pooping-scary-horn-sporting-caterpillar (who, by the way, turns into a SUPER ugly moth). How do you kill them? Put them into a bowl of hot soapy water. Guess someone's getting a bath. Score one for mommy.