One of the many challenges for me personally in parenting a curious small person is where my aversion to all things creepy and crawly crash headfirst to his attraction to the same.
When I was growing up I used to have no such qualms, spending hours hunting through scrap wood with my best friend looking for all sorts of bugs and beetles. Some of our best summer afternoons were when we found dozens of slaters and then raced them one on one until we had the supreme winner. I’m not sure when exactly this changed, nor am I sure that my wife even believes I was ever like that as my dislike of insects is now so strong. My instinct is to freeze, flick and flee.
Stronger than this fear however, is the belief that the last thing I want to do is pass this fear onto my son. This is how I end up with spiders crawling up my arms, eyeballing a praying mantis, admiring an ant trail or spending an entire morning keeping track of a snail as it makes its way slowly up our fence. Despite my internal screams of “noooooooooo”.
In two of the pictures below you can’t even see the tiny spiders, but trust me they were there, accompanied by an excited call of “Mama come look!”