Ten had a great time climbing the raindrop tower, and was transfixed by the beehive. Since it was a nice day, we headed out to the Wisteria Courtyard to play in the water toys next to the trike track. Within 5 minutes she was completely soaked and having a grand time. The only thing that distracted her was when one of the Kidspace workers brought out Millivanilli the millipede to meet the kids. She watched the whole presentation and then could hardly contain her excitement at getting to touch it.
Tenley has been obsessed with bugs lately. Rolly polys, ants, crickets, grasshoppers, butterflies- you name it. She wants to pick them up, examine them, talk to them, show them to me, etc. So given my kids latest obsession and my fond memories of raising silk worms when I was in kindergarten, I plunked down $8 to adopt 2 caterpillars during Kidspace’s Caterpillar Adoption Days.
Our new friends were scarcely an inch long and about as big around as a red 7-11 coffee stirrer. They came to us in tiny soufflé cups filled halfway with a food that looked like someone had pureed peanut butter and vegemite. They crawled around and ate and Tenley sat there and watched it all.
We read The Hungry Caterpillar, and apparently they were, because when we woke up on Thursday morning they had tripled in size and barely fit in their soufflé cups.
On Friday they “assumed the position” and moved to the lid of the soufflé cup and began hanging upside down.
By Saturday morning they had completely wrapped themselves up as a chrysalis, and Tenley wanted to know why she couldn’t see her caterpillars anymore. We read The Hungry Caterpillar again.
On Tuesday, Tenley and Daddy built a “butterfly bungalow” according to the directions we received. Tenley colored the shoebox in shades of green and found a branch and leaves for her little friends. Daddy affixed the soufflé cup lids to the top of the box and enclosed the front with screen so we could watch the proceedings.
On Friday I woke up and went to open the blinds in the kitchen and noticed that the box was missing from it’s location on the counter. It wasn’t on the floor. I searched the house in a panic wondering why the cats would have bothered the poor cocoons. I found Hobie sitting on it in front of the stove. I carefully turned it over and noticed that both chrysalis were still attatched…but one looked funny….and there behind the leaf was butterfly #1.
My vicious killers, LaFred & Beeps, must have heard the cracking and flapping of wings and gone on the hunt. We relocated the box to the safety of Tenley’s dresser. Good thing too, because butterfly #2 appeared on Saturday morning.
On Monday afternoon, we took our pretty Painted Ladies outside to let them go. We peeled back the screen and one of them took flight immediately. The other one was a little more reluctant to leave and instead decided to hang out on Tenley’s hand for a while. Eventually, she took flight too, and Tenley ran after her yelling “Bye butterfly! Nice time! I miss you!!”