It’s fall, so that can only mean one thing: Insect-A-Palooza. I don’t mean the moths living on your porch, but rather, the yearly invasion of invertebrates in 1st grade. I’ve never been much of a bug person, but after 3 years of 1st grade, I now know my fair share of buggy facts.
You may recall Sara’s award-winning bug dioramas from year’s past:
And now, I can say I’m an expert on the Yellow Ladybug. They aren’t all ladies, and ladybugs are actually a type of beetle. I am getting SO MUCH out of my kids’ education! I hope they are too!
We start every project with the same questions: What do you want to study? WHY do you want to study it? How do you want to show your research? What is your WOW factor? After a week of two of deep thought, Kelly informed me she wanted to represent the ladybug across the 4 seasons. Dem’s a lot of facts for one box, so we decided to…feel it coming…GET OUT OF THE BOX.
Kelly put summer and fall into the box, and spring and winter on the sides. SO much to say! So many predators! So many food sources! So many stages of life! You can see the eggs stationed near an aphid, who is about to be eaten, if the hornet doesn’t eat the ladybug first! THE DRAMA!
Winter was calmer: glittery snowflakes and ladybugs curled up asleep on a branch. Kelly is pretty good at cutting and gluing shapes with the Cricut, but she needed help with the snowflakes. Getting these stinkers off a sticky mat isn’t for the fumble-handed.
I did snacks again for the Bug Science Fair, but after getting so sick last year, I decided to keep it simple. Thank God, because the Insect-A-Palooza Fates hate me. This year, Kelly got sick and missed the entire week. I ordered gummy bugs and kabob’ed them, which is a little trickier than it sounds. Shoving 88 gummy bugs through sticks took some effort, but not a single one tore. Add Oreo dirt, and you have a smorgasbord of insects. Yum?
I just love how they turned out. I wouldn’t let Kelly help because she had been so sick, so she sat at the opposite end of the kitchen, taking notes on my culinary performance. I received her “notes” when I finished: 1. Take lots and lots of bugs out of packages. Use scissors. 2. Push the sticks into your belly to get the bugs on the pointy end of the stick. It will hurt. You will bruise your belly. 3. Millions and millions of bugs and sticks are needed. 4. You should let your sick child help. She wants to help. She is sad you won’t let her help. She loves bugs.
You get the idea.
Kelly didn’t have a fever on Insect-A-Palooza day, but she also didn’t have a voice. I pulled her out of bed anyway, and drove her to the Insect-A-Palooza. If I could survive it last year after spending the night in the ER, she could do it with no voice. She did a great job miming her presentation. With all that clay and felt, who needs words?
We only stayed one hour, and just when I thought we’d balanced the week and won, Sara came around the corner looking like death on a stick. I realized Kelly was possibly worse for the wear. Now…straggling through Day #8 of the Great Croup Depression of 2013…I’m amazed we made it to this event at all. Last night Sara had a night terror and croup attack at the same time. Before you think the words, “it doesn’t get worse than that”, I can tell you on Friday evening, Sara puked raspberries, a cherry popsicle, and grape cough syrup all over the hallway and bathroom. Fluorescent vomit. That’s worse.
Tomorrow we enter Day #9. The sun is setting. The coughing hours are upon us. May I kindly ask for your prayers? In this buggy fall, I wish Godspeed upon your households. Godspeed my friends, Godspeed.