As many of you know our Annika (aged 5) loves bugs. At her preschool ‘graduation’ after all the princesses, fire fighters, and artists, the teacher announced: “When Annika grows up she wants to be an entomologist”. Most of the parents looked at each other and laughed and the kids all looked confused. Like most parents I hardly even knew how to spell it.
So when Annika grows up she wants to be a bug scientist. She is off to a great start and I just hope that she continues to follow her love for bugs as she gets older and doesn’t let anyone convince her that bug are gross and scary. Most girls and some boys don’t understand why she loves them so much. She treats and cares for them as if they were her pets. She even let a wood bug crawl all over her face the other day. While that sure gave me the ‘willies’ I didn’t let her know it because I want her continue being so enthusiastic about them. It is really impressive how much she is interested in learning about bugs and in the evening we will read science books about bugs. I was telling her that sometimes when a bee stings it loses it’s stinger and then dies. She got so upset to a point of almost crying. Yes she loves them all that much.
Early in the summer she had been collecting caterpillars in her bug box, which was well stocked with ‘caterpillar food’, and one day we looked in to see a yellow worm looking thing. Annika was thrilled when she identified it as a chrysalis. One of her little caterpillars had started its metamorphosis. She was so thrilled and she began dreaming of the beautiful butterfly it was becoming. We watched that chrysalis for a weeks and we even took it on a road trip with us in case it emerged while we were away from home. After about a month I was starting to give up and I was getting ready to tell Annika that here butterfly was not coming when it finally did. What we thought would be a beautiful butterfly, however, turned out to be a moth, but Annika did not care. She still thought it was beautiful and very special. We let it out of the box and allowed it to get its wings ready for flight. After dinner we checked on it and it had flown away and was gone. Annika was so proud.
Our neighbours have their niece visiting them right now and she is 1yr older than Annika. When she first arrived she would not touch or go near a bug except maybe a ladybug. Yesterday she was over playing in our yard with Annika and they were painting and playing in the splash pool. Annika got bored and went off to find some bugs. A few minutes later I heard her little friend say “I caught it! I caught the ant!” She was so excited and I was thrilled that Annika’s interests had worn off on someone else. That being said she also got Annika to play with some dolls later that same day. Annika played Dr. Barbie – Entomologist.