Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Fire Ants, Mosquitoes and Wasps; Oh My!
On recent visit to Orlando, Grandpa K. wanted me to bring the girls by his house to see the horses, donkey and chickens. Naturally the girls were very excited by this prospect. Well, this visit served to prove to me once and for all that I am not a country girl by any stretch of the imagination. Not in Florida at least. The visit officially became a debacle within the first two minutes of my arrival. As I was getting out of the van, Grandpa took the girls a few feet away to look at the face in the tree and within seconds E. was running at me screaming in sheer terror, "Mommy, ants are biting me! It hurts! It hurts!". I picked her up in one arm and whipped her shoes off with the other hand. As I am dusting them off of her they are falling to ground and begin attacking me (If you are unaware of my relationship with ants please see my dissertation on why ants are the minions of the devil in my first blog post). E. is still screaming and now I am yelling and we're both panicking. Grandpa saves the day with a water hose and in the house we all go.
After a good 30 minutes of listening to E. complain about her itchy bites and how much she doesn't like getting bitten by ants and N. holding her nose and complaining that the house smells stinky (they are not used to the smell of cigarettes) we decide that it's time to go see the donkey. We moseyed (cause that's what you do in the country) down the path to the pasture where the donkey is kept, with a keen eye out for fire ant mounds. There was at least 302. E. got some dirt on her foot, was convinced it was more ants and a melt-down promptly ensued. In order for Project Nature Adventure to move forward Grandpa carried Emily. I imagine this is the point where he began wondering how on earth I could possibly be his progeny. So after maneuvering past horse poo, a 30 year old curmudgeonly horse who likes to bite on occasion, and getting a couple more ant bites we reached the donkey pen. He was, in fact, a rather pleasant donkey. The girls looked at him, gave him a couple pats, and that was that. So after about 3 minutes we exited the pen, once again avoiding excrement and flesh-nibbling equine and headed to the chicken coop. A. narrowly escaped stepping smackdab into the middle of the largest and most visible ant mound in the tri-county area before we arrived at the chicken coop. No chickens were actually in the chicken yard, they were all in the coop. We tried spraying them over so gently with the hose to coax them out into the open to no avail. So Grandpa K., Uncle K., and his girlfriend held the girls up to the windows to see the elusive creatures. I was too busy getting bitten by mosquitoes and watching for ants. And sweating. And getting my toes dirty. I came to this realization: I don't like getting my toes dirty and sweating for no good reason. I don't like getting attacked by vicious insects. I had officially had all the nature I could handle. After conveying this fact to the rest of the party (very nicely since Grandpa just wanted to do something neat for the girls after all), we trudged back to the house, hosed off and went to Chili's. Thank God I'm not a country girl.