The Princess and the Ant
October 19, 2015
My belly button is swollen from ant bites. Apparently a lone ranger got lost in that sucker and bit me 5 times. Five. In my belly button.
(Just a fun fact in case, you know, you were feeling like an awkward human being today or something. You aren’t.)
Let me back up.
On Saturday, Beckett and I went to a princess-themed birthday party for a set of twin girls. We met these friends at reading time at our local library when Beck was maybe 5 months old. (5 months old, because you’re much more active in fostering your child’s intellectual development when there’s only one of them. My second child doesn’t even know what a library is. Just kidding!!! …not really.)
The invitation to the birthday had my favorite party words of all time: wear your favorite costume. So wear his favorite costume he did. And when Superman emerged from the side of my car carrying two pink gift bags with his big stuffed muscles, I just had to take a picture.
“Hey, Superman – hop up on the grass and let me take your picture. You sure are strong to be able to carry those bags!”
“Yeah…I knoooowwwww I ammmm.” (This is a cool phase were in. Like, maybe stop being 16 years old.)
I mean, come on. That’s a sweet moment right there.
A moment that – 4 seconds later – came to a screeching halt when Beckett started…screeching. (See what I did there?! hah..ha..h..someone take this blog away from me.)
I started into some version of a momalogue, saying things like, “Buddy – what in the world?” and “It’s just a picture, chill out.” and stuff before I realized that he was screaming because he was covered – COVERED – in ants.
Turns out Superman has a few kryptonites, fire ants being one.
As my firstborn began being eaten alive before my very eyes, I didn’t think, I just reacted.
I went into mom-mode and began stripping him in the middle of the street in the middle of a beautiful neighborhood with great lawns.
Did I mention we were not actually parked in front of our friends’ house? Nope. We were a few houses down, far enough removed from the party that a tiny superperson was noteworthy.
Tissue paper, socks, capes…it all went flying as I frantically wiped his body free of ants. Like the world’s saddest DIY-Raid project.
The thing about being a parent is that your kid comes first. Always. (Well, nearly always. Because if the situation involves chocolate, that’s when you perfect your most convincing “mommy needs to go potty, remember how we’ve been talking about privacy?” so you can eat that sacred goodness alone in silence. But we can work on that tutorial another time.)
Your kid definitely comes first in the case of fire ants. Which means that when you enter the birthday party with a half-dressed, barefoot kid, you hold your head high as you say, “We had a run-in with some wildlife. He’s fine, but might I use your restroom? There are some, uh, ants in my pants. Wonderful decorations, by the way.”
In my pants, in my belly button, on my arms…ants for days.
The good news is that – despite the bottom half of his legs nearly being eaten off AND never having seen so much satin and tulle in his life – he found the princess party to be quite delightful.
As did my inner 10 year old, but that’s neither here nor there.
Short story long, if you’re short on gift ideas in the future, take our lead on the “scavenger ant farm”. It’s like a regular ant farm, but the kid gets to locate all of the ants first. (The ants that fell out of your pants and onto their living room rug.)
Not only is it creative and cost effective, it’s a great way to guarantee never being invited anywhere again.