Insecticidal Psychology

by doodaddy on January 8, 2009

I’m so glad your kids are back in school. (So are most of you, from what I’m reading.)

Just today, Mike and I took the girls to San Francisco’s brand-spanking-new science museum that’s so popular they had to import white-gloved crowd shovers from the Japanese commuter train.

But school’s started now for y’all, and while the place certainly wasn’t empty, both Boo and Emme were able to sit on individual enormous stone cats, no pushing.

20090107-005

Crowds? What crowds?

You may remember that on our last visit, Boo was nearly slugged by a six-year old, and it warmed my heart to think that said aggressor was probably at that very moment peeling spuds or cleaning latrines or whatever it is they make really bad first graders do these days.

At issue on that visit was an interactive floor-based computer game that we like to call Bug Stomp. The point, however, isn’t actually to stomp: you’re supposed to gently toe the projected images of beetles into bug traps. But if you stomp them, they scurry off into the shrubbery with a satisfying rustle. As a result, the exhibit is usually packed with a dozen kids, smashing away.

Mine, especially. Boo leads in with a bit of a grand jeté before delivering the fatal blow on the virtual ladybugs’ virtual heads. Even as a bug lover, I can’t help but be proud at her determination.

I’ve been fascinated to note that on every visit, there’s exactly one kid who can’t stand that all the other kids are smashing the bugs. Sometimes it’s a boy and sometimes a girl, but the pattern is identical: said child runs around desperately trying to keep the other kids from stomping.

This little Insect Protector never expresses concern for the bugs themselves, though. The real problem is that rules are being broken. You’re not supposed to stomp, you’re supposed to nudge. Do. It. RIGHT!

I always smile at this kid, the desperate one who wants to play the game correctly. He (or she) is a hopeless case, destined to a life where very few people will ever live up to his (or her) ideals. There’s no remedy, except, of course, to somehow chill out and accept the wide gap between the way things are and the way things should be: the chasm between bug stomping and bug nudging.

And how do I know this, you ask, about some kid I’ve only just seen for a few minutes at the Bug Stomp game?

Isn’t it obvious? That kid, once, was me.

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in behavior,big kids,man date ·

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Rattling the Kettle January 8, 2009 at 8:14 am

You’re not doing this blog thing right. 😉

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mom, again January 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Oh, I am, er, was that kid too.

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bgw January 8, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Ask not for whom the bug is stomped; it is stomped for thee.

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Jerri Ann January 8, 2009 at 5:08 pm

MURDERER

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doodaddy January 8, 2009 at 5:25 pm

@Rattling the Kettle – Oh, I know. The trick is figuring out in what way I’m doing it wrong… that’s the trick.

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doodaddy January 8, 2009 at 9:34 pm

@mom, again – Really? Then we’re the same person!

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doodaddy January 8, 2009 at 9:35 pm

@Jerri Ann – You know that these bugs are computer-generated, right?

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Brian T January 8, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I am in awe of stay at home dads. I could never do it. I like the way you use twitter.

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BugFrog January 9, 2009 at 8:21 am

It’s titles like this that rocket you into the search rankings!

We all look back fondly thinking that WE were the one who was frustrated that the OTHER kids weren’t doing it right. That’s the way I remember it, at least.

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doodaddy January 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

@Brian T – Hey, thanks. Luckily, all you have to do to get the title is stay home… no requirement that we do it well

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doodaddy January 9, 2009 at 9:44 am

Yeah, @BugFrog, but in my case I’m not embellishing. I really was the only person in the world doing it right. Really. That was me…

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Brian T January 10, 2009 at 12:10 am

@doodaddy – A quick trip through your blog immediately shows you are doing a lot of things right. Keep having fun and keep writing about it! Brian T

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