I think it started with ants.
For some reason we had a load of them come in the house a few weeks back, and it didn’t go down too well with The Boy (or, indeed, me. Thank you Raid).
Since then he’s screeched at the mere sight of one in the garden, freaked out every time we’ve heard a ‘buzzy bee’ in the park, and woken up with nightmares about spiders in his bedroom. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not exactly a fan of creepy crawlies. But when it comes to sleep I’ll try pretty much anything to get a good night.
So, we’ve dug out his book – 1000 Animals – and started looking at the insects together to learn some of the names. I also spotted a magnifying glass in Sainsbury’s that’s proved to be £4 well spent. To be fair, he seems more interested in close-ups of sticks and stones than bugs, but I’m hoping if I can show him just how tiny ants really are, he might find them less scary. Either that or he’ll be totally freaked out and I’ll get even less sleep. I’ll let you know how that goes.
At home we’ve got a small, mostly concrete, courtyard garden (with artificial grass – more on that another time), so it’s not exactly a haven for wildlife. That said, he loves filling up the bird feeders and watching them swoop down to eat (once he’s stopped shouting, of course). And he seems really interested in butterflies, which could have something to do with The Very Hungry Caterpillar being a big favourite at the moment.
Speaking of which, I’d love to take him to the new Butterfly House at Whipsnade Zoo, which opens on May 23rd. Whipsnade is just down the road from us, but I’ve been putting off a trip until he’s old enough to properly appreciate it. Stingy, maybe. But £64.58 for a family ticket is a lot of money if he decides to have a Stroppy Toddler Day.
Then again, there’s a decent night’s sleep at stake here. Maybe I’ll book those tickets after all…