A school project

May 27, 2009

My daughter’s 1st grade class has a project due this Thursday involving the collection of a bug. Already, I am grossed out. Bugs, collected for school or just flying around (or, heaven forbid, in my house) are just not my thing. But, it’s her project and she (and her two –year-old brother) are already quite excited about it. For the past week they have been collecting rolly-pollies outside and I am constantly saying such things as, “No bugs in the car!” or “Get those disgusting things out of our house!”

The project entails collecting (that’s a nice way of saying, “Killing, but not ripping off any essential body parts or squooshing into a big mess”) an insect or spider. (Gross! Spiders are even worse than regular bugs!) Since pretty much all school projects fall on my shoulders (as opposed to, of course, my husband’s very broad and capable ones) I began to stress out over what we were going to do about this “collection” event.

And then, I thought my problem was solved. (Well, in a sense. In all actuality, it was the start of a whole new problem – you’ll see what I mean in a minute. But for now, we’re focusing on the school project.) My husband came home one morning, from his insanely early trek to the gym and announced that when he walked in the house, he found a cockroach on our kitchen floor. (See. Right there. That’s my NEW problem. But, I’ll save that for another post.) He told me that he “saved” it in a plastic baggie so that, when I called the pest control people (Oh yes, I should mention tasks like that also generally fall upon me) that I could show them what it looked like and they would know how to treat for them. At first, I wanted to vomit. A cockroach on my kitchen floor. It doesn’t get much worse than that, does it?

And then, a wonderful and brilliant idea struck me. We now had an INSECT (fully unharmed – except for the fact that it was dead, of course) in a plastic bag in our house. THAT could be the insect for the 1st grade class project! I wouldn’t need to search for or kill or “collect” any other bugs.

I shared my glee with my 6-year-old. We have a bug! What kind? Oh, it’s a cockroach! But that counts as an “insect” – 6 legs and all!

“Mom, do you realize we have to attach our bug to poster board?”

“Yep! We can just tape the plastic bag onto it.”

“Mom. We then need to describe it and tell about it.”

“No problem! That’s what Google is for!”

“And then, Mom, we need to say where we found it.”

Pause, pause, pause.

“What am I supposed to say, Mom? That we found a cockroach on our kitchen floor?”

More pausing.

She had a good point there. My 6-year-old is a smarty, I must say.

Did I really want the kids (and, of course, their parents) in her school – her private school, may I add – to know that we brought not only brought in a cockroach, but we brought in a cockroach from our kitchen, for the bug project.

Probably not.

What to do, what to do.

“Okay, I’ll take you outside tonight and we’ll search for bugs. How does that sound?”

It sounded great to her.

It sounded positively disgusting to me.


Johanna said...

Just wait till the boys get older. With 3 boys- and Chuck's encouragement- bugs, worms, and all sorts of gross things are now a daily part of our lives.

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