Ants have taken down another member of our family

Our Sunday outing was cut short yesterday, due to none other than an ant hill.

We went to a park, new for us; it’s a beautiful wooded landscape that is wide open, far from roads and of course, very much in the shade. This may become our new summer park. We brought the T-ball set, bubbles, football (soccer ball) and net, and scores of other outside toys. We had intended to spend our afternap there.

We arrived, parked and Squishy lead us through a very unbeaten path in the hopes of seeing horses (this is not totally random, there is an equestrian school in the park). I’m not terribly sure why she felt horses would be hidden behind shrubs and trees on a path that was overgrown and not quite what I would call pleasant, but she was determined. Perhaps she felt all the horse poop on the path was a good sign we would find horse. In the end, we didn’t, so we stopped to play all the games that Hubby and I had carried with us on this trek.

Crazy was having ups and downs with T-Ball, but generally having a good time. I think I was putting the ball back on the tee, when I heard Squishy start freaking out. It wasn’t a scream, or a shout, but a sound that was much worse, a sound that Hubby and I recognized as total and complete panic. My heart skipped a beat, I looked up at her, she was standing on an ant hill and her legs were covered in ants. Hubby got to her first and started wiping the ants off, while she remained standing on the anthill (sort of reminded me of shoveling in a snowstorm, but I digress).

I stepped over, moved her off the ant hill and brushed her legs clean. Removed her shoes and de-anted them as well. She was so distraught we needed to leave the park. Her fear of these ants was close the Crazy’s fear of chihuahuas, total and complete meltdown, inability to move or speak. I hate seeing my kids like that.

As we walked back to the car-during which time I was getting a mother of a cuddle from Squishy-Hubby told me how proud he was of me. I think I reassured him as a parent; I demonstrated that my children’s needs, when it really matters, will come before my own. What Hubby knows, that very few know is that I too have a pathologically, irrational fear of ants.

I would like to say it is an inexplicable fear, but as an adult I now know why. I had hoped in knowing that I would get over it, but no luck. I spent years and years having recurring nightmares of ants who consume an entire person. I no longer have the nightmare, thank goodness (though of course tonight I will…naturally), but I never knew why. The dream was always the same and exceptionally vivid, it was more like a memory than a dream, but I assure you, I have never seen a human consumed by ants, or so I thought.

Turns out, it was a memory. Shortly after Hubby and I moved in together, we started watching Stargate SG1 (yes we are geeks, and I don’t care, I love that show), and after watching MacGyver at work in other worlds and space and stuff, we decided we wanted to watch the real MacGyver all over again. So we…hmm, bought the DVDs…and started from season 1. We got to episode 3 (or maybe 4…I don’t remember) and my dream was on the screen in front of me.

It turns out I was (ok fine, am) a little sensitive and I need to be careful about what I watch on T. V.

So in summary, MacGyver ruined my life and gave me a phobia so ridiculous that I don’t usually talk about it. I mean really, who is afraid of tiny insects that don’t really do anything except eat picnic food. Well, it turns out, I am that ridiculous and after the stupid ant hill yesterday, I suspect Squishy will be joining my support group. Stupid ants.¬†

PS. Writing this post made me itch all over and I double checked my feet about 12 times for ants.

PPS. For any of the jackasses out there, I’m not afraid of 1 ant, so trying to get me to freak out for your own pleasure by showing me an ant won’t work.


Another one for the win column

Crazy was cursed with bad genes, to be totally accurate, my bad genes. Without going into great detail, I am the carrier of a genetic condition I didn’t know existed until my son was two years old.

Being the terribly attentive parent that I am, it didn’t occur to me for a solid 2.5 years, or 30 months, or roughly 900 days give or take the crappy math I am doing in my head of knowing my son to realise he didn’t sweat. And even then, it was Hubby who pointed it out.

Regardless of how we came to know about it, it’s a challenge to keep him cool, especially as we live on the French Riviera.

Last summer, my family generously bought us cooling vests for him, two brands, two styles, two different concepts. He hated both of them. Hubby and I did our shopping around, and found yet another model that came highly recommended by others in his situation. Surprise, he hated it too.

I tried to make it cool and sewed a superman patch on it. That fooled him for roughly one afternoon. I understand where he is coming from, it sucks being different. It sucks being the only kid in shorts in March, and it sucks not being allowed to wear cool running shoes like his friends while he is stuck with lamo sandles. And for him, it super sucks to have to wear this weird looking vest that make all his friends ask questions. Unfortunately, the nice vests, the ones with some kind of style, the ones that look almost like normal clothing, yeah those ones are in adult sizes only.

He complains, refuses, pouts and generally does whatever he can to not wear his vest. Until today.

I arrived to pick him up from pre-school and found him lying on the tiled floor. This may seem odd to other parents, but to me it is the first and foremost sign that he is hot and desperately trying to cool himself down.

I will avoid expressing the thoughts I was having towards his slightly incompetent care givers, but let’s just say I was less than impressed.

When I got to him and told him it was time to go home I went against every motherly instinct I have and didn’t hug him because I didn’t want to add more heat to his system. He smiled with all the energy he had left and asked if he could wear his vest.

It broke my heart into all sorts of little pieces, but made me so grateful that he is starting to accept the little hurdles life is throwing at him. I gave him his vest and by the time we got to the car, he was his normal, happy, crazy self again. So superman and I went and played in the park.

Hilarious stories to embarrass your kids

I absolutely hate when my parents bring up the embarrassingly stupid things I did as a child, or worse, the stupid things done at an age when I should have known better. I mean seriously, I was jet lagged and tired and sadly at least 15 years old when I read the sign (stupidly doing so out loud), “A giant among trees”. Sure this seems harmless on the surface, but my dad still reminds me that I actually read it, “A giant a-mong tree”.

Was it stupid? Sure. Did I figure out my mistake on my own? Not by a long shot. Is it necessary to keep bringing it up? Hell no. But, now at least I see why my parents love it so much. Because that stuff is hilarious (those things are hilarii?).

I promised Crazy not to tell anyone the story I am about to tell but, I believe the statute of limitations on the hilarious crap kids do is like a week, so we are all good.

Crazy’s best friend lives right below us, they see each other pretty much every day even though they aren’t in the same school (luckily his mom is awesome too or this much contact could be challenging). Last weekend, I was opening all the windows to air out our place. I was in the bedroom, and I saw Crazy’s friend playing outside just below our balcony. Crazy was standing next to me, and I told him he could go out to the balcony to say hi.

He was super excited and ran out of the room as fast as his little legs could take him. I listened to his pitter patter until I heard a sudden THUD. I paused and listened, I could hear poor little Crazy whimpering. I went to the living room to find Crazy sitting on the floor in front of the closed glass door that leads to the balcony. He was in no way hurt, beyond his pint sized ego*.

So yes, I now understand why my parents do it, because it’s funny. Also, I don’t intend to remind my son of this incident over and over again, I think I will just save it for his wedding speech.

* To cheer him up, I lifted him up to show him the forehead smudge I put on the window the day we moved in. Yes it’s been four years, and no I haven’t washed my windows, at least not the inside.