Little has befriended several ants that made their way into our apartment after the Spring landscaping and fresh mulch was delivered. They’re on the large side for ants, but not particularly aggressive. She loved her Ant Friends; following them around, feeding them bits of crumbs and jelly, picking them up and allowing them to crawl on her while she had make believe lives all sorted out and conversations about said lives with them. We even got her an ant farm so her ants would have a home.
Last night, it happened. Shortly after I put her to bed for the night, she came wandering out of her room with tears in her eyes, found me, raised her shirt and wailed the way only a pre-schooler with a broken heart can wail: “An ant got me!” Before she burst into tears.
Got her it did. It wasn’t enough to break the skin but there was an ant attached to Little’s left side after a particularly vicious bite. I swatted him off and snuggled with Little who lamented all of her fears and heart break about her Ant Friends suddenly becoming vicious and scary.
It was an insect, which was apt to bite for little to no reason at all, but I’m not ready to tell my Little that. So instead I told her that this particular ant was just mean, and grumpy. Most of the others shouldn’t bother her if she was gentle with them. She seemed to accept that explaination for this Ant’s sudden betrayal, and was content to go back to bed.
I followed her to her room and tucked her back in. Turning out her light and heading for the door before she said: “Mama? Ants have really sharp teeth. Lots of them!”
Ugh… I wish she could stay little and innocent forever, with such a forgiving tender heart.