Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ugly Butterfly

This afternoon, I was exhausted (my own fault, of course) and frustrated. My girls weren't exactly thrilled to be going down for their naps, but we all needed the rest. And the break from each other.

Ellie, exhausted toward the end of her first full week back in school, was particularly contrary. And she would not stay in bed.

Finally, I had Ada down. Not sleeping, but in her bed and quiet for a minute. Here was my 15 minute break! But no, here came Ellie again, complaining about a butterfly on her arm.


I sent her back to bed, carefully lifting all the layers of covers to check for bugs. Perhaps it was a spider that she brushed off without seeing it clearly? I saw nothing except the usual carpeting of toys.

She came right back out, holding her arm and complaining about a butterfly. Again. I looked at her arm; it was fine. I put her back to bed, a little more angrily.

The third time she came out complaining about a butterfly, I was really frustrated. I was just trying to go to the bathroom, pick up my book, get a glass of water, before joining her in her room and keeping her company while she went to sleep. Couldn't she wait a moment? She's 4-1/2 years old!

But she was really anxious, so I got over my frustration and listened more carefully. I set down my quarter-filled water glass and went with her to her room, sat down on the bed and tucked her in.

Almost immediately, a mosquito swooped in for the attack.

I smacked it against the wall, killing it.

"It's all done!" Ellie exclaimed, excited. But she was still a little freaked out. "Clean the wall! Clean the wall!"

And she wouldn't stay in the room alone while I went for a Kleenex. So, after I cleaned the wall and washed my hands, I took Ellie to my room and settled her on Paul's pillow. I lay down next to her, soothing her gently until she fell asleep.

And then Ada started screaming about being neglected in her crib for so long.

But just then Paul came home from work early! And took Ada with him to pick up our freshly repaired lawnmower (sorry about the ugly lawn this week, neighbors). So - I got to climb into my soft, comfortable bed, snuggle in with my favorite 4-year-old in the world, and rest for a while.

When she woke up, Ellie gave me a great smile and lots of cuddles. Then she saw a piece of lint on the bedding. "Butterfly!" she cried, with concern.

Wonderful afternoon.


Rob Monroe said...

Aww. I hope she doesn't become afraid of REAL butterflies because of this!! Yipes.

Sarahlynn said...

So far, so good. She's wearing a new shirt to school today (fresh from a care package from Nana) . . . and it's covered with butterflies. No complaints!

I'm thinking they're OK in theory, but all bugs - especially the flying ones - can be a little alarming out of context and close up. (Where context is defined as outdoors, or, at least, NOT IN THE BEDROOM.)

Anonymous said...

Oh my, what an ugly butterfly indeed.