Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rolly Pollie


My sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Leonard, always got peeved if we called them "potato bugs." We could call them sow bugs, woodlice, pill bugs, terrestrial isopods, or rolly pollies. But if we so much as sneezed the word “potato bug” Mrs. L. would start twitching and write our name on the board.

My education on potato bugs began long before my sixth grade Crustacean unit, however. I researched them at age three—collecting them by the dozen, coaxing them into balls, flicking them across the room like marbles. I even remember holding one while it gave birth—little gray pellets being deposited onto my hand as the mother strolled nonchalantly across my palm (if only human labor were that simple).

At five, I took my research to a whole new level. I remember my dad laughing/vomiting in his mouth as he tweezed a squished potato bug from the upper cavity of my nostril. Getting the potato bug “stuck” was (thus far) the most romantic thing that had ever happened in my life.

Douglas is now learning the joys of potato bugs himself. He gets so riled–up when ever he sees a “tay-toe bug” stroll across our patio. He lays on his stomach and examines the isopod up close. He engages the bug in conversation.

“Hi Mr. Tay-toe Bug, I’m Doug. Guess what! Mom gave me fruit snackies today. Yeah, they were pretty good… except for the purple ones. Mom always eats my purple fruit snackies before I get to them. I don’t even know what the purple ones taste like.

“Yeah, I’m talking about YOU, Mom. Whatcha gonna do about it?

“Oops! I din't mean to scare you Little Tay-toe (pat pat). So what’s your favorite color of fruit snackie? I bet you like orange. Or blue. You could be the blue-sort.

“Well, its been great talking with you, Mr. Tay-toe bug. Now you must DIE.”


Squish.

11 comments:

Evan & Rebecca Jones said...

So you like to eat your son's fruit snacks too huh? :) I prefer the red ones myself... And ps - that picture of Doug wrapped in his blanket had me laughing out loud. Colton is obsessed with his blankie as well. I break out into a full on sweat at the thought of losing it.

birdbabies said...

I'm so glad i'm not the only one that calls them rolly pollies. I don't think i'd ever heard th term potato bug until i moved up to Utah. That's really funny. i'm likin' the woodlice nickname,that's a great one :) When did you say you were coming back up this way?

Audrey said...

That was quite the reel in--cute little boy exploring life and then BAM! Death. Sounds like a horror movie.

Melanie said...

Just make sure he doesn't inhale too hard when he's down talking to them or you might have that tweezing experience as well!

Alesa Shelby said...

I loved this post! One of my cherished childhood memories was the pregnant potato bug. How many people have had that experience?!

Rachel Evans said...

He is so cute! Love that he talks to his bugs! Did you know that Ryan and I used to put potato bugs down Josh's pants? It's a pretty funny story. You should get Wyan to tell you!

Bart said...

Those are dang cute pictures, B.

I can't remember my thought processes at the time, but when I was quite young I'd encourage potato bugs to roll up, and then I'd swallow them whole. I rarely do it anymore . . .

Chris and Tara Mason said...

Daniel likes to kill them also - what is up with little boys destroying things?
And, I love that you eat all of the purple fruit snacks. I always try to hide the grape flavored fruit leather, so that I can eat it rather than the boys. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who eats their kid's food!

Heather & Trevor said...

Hmmmmm I wonder if they do like fruit snacks? So funny! :)

Kristy said...

Oh, how I love my nephew!

Dirk -- Laura -- Hayden said...

Bethany- I'm stalking your blog- hope you don't mind! Doug is soooo cute! I love the tay-toe bug story. very cute. :)