Bugs in My Baby’s Ears

“Daddy, that’s a New York bug.”

I’ve been reconsidering my autobiographical note there to the right wherein I call myself a “former naturalist” — ever since I got an e-mail from someone asking why I put my clothes back on.

A “naturalist” I was and a naturalist I am, I suppose, since you never really quit that job. To wit, that means that I professionally pointed out bits of nature to kids, then explained them, then waited to see if the kids could point out some bits themselves.

I never stopped: as I’ve written about a million times, Boobaby loves to dig for bugs and we’ve been doing it since she was four days old or something.

You reap what you sew. At the playground last week, Boo spent about 20 minutes picking up little bits of stick, rock, and sand and describing their buggy attributes. She introduced me to the Seaweed Bug (which, untrue to its name, was a pebble), the New York bug (it had a funny accent), and the Cheese-Eating Ladybug, a rare subspecies.

After about 10 minutes of my bug lesson, I got out my phone and caught on its voice recorder some of the natural history lesson. For your listening pleasure: [audio:BugHuntHighlightReel1.mp3]

The recording is under 3 minutes long and is “safe for work.” Except for the enormous poop that happens at about 1’20”.

I won’t torture you with the rest, but I think that’s snippet’s enough: you’ll understand now my conviction that I’m warping my poor daughter beyond all reason. As a palliative, as soon as she finished digging out grubby bits of soil and ascribing to them fabulous insect-like superpowers, I immediately took her to the mall to buy a box full of Barbie dolls and we both got mani-pedis.

Time to undo the damage I’ve done.