We have an ant problem in this house. Actually, that's putting it mildly. I wonder if, pound for pound, there might be more ants than people in, under and around this house. Of course, we have to be really careful not to leave crumbs lying around. That's another way to say that there are ALWAYS ants scurrying around somewhere, in bathrooms, kitchen, dining room and even bedrooms, since everywhere the kids go they seem to leave a trail of crumbs (and sand, but that's another blog...). So the ants go marching faithfully, cleaning up after us. I see them form happy lines after meals, cheerfully carrying away our leftovers if I don't sweep up immediately. Every day is Picnic Day at the Parkers'. No doubt they think that we are the most generous, benevolent people the world has ever seen--some of the time.
But the truth is, I'm becoming less benevolent all the time. I'm tired of sweeping up dirt piles that dash away while I'm going back for more. (It doesn't help that the kids appear from everywhere when I get out the broom, so they can wade through anything I sweep up.) I don't like tucking poisons into all the available corners of the house, and I have tried the recommended environmentally friendly ant killers, with varying success. Lately I've found that veggie spray, the kind you use to scrub wax and random insect poisons off of veggies and fruits, is also a very effective ant killer. I use it so much, now the smell makes me think of ants instead of veggies.
Anaya was getting callous too, until recently. I cleaned the ants out of the tub before her bath the other day, but she called to me after she got in. "Mommy, there's an ant in the water!"
"Well, kill it," I responded heartlessly. (You see how benevolent I'm getting, encouraging my children to slaughter innocent creatures.)
"Okay, I did!" she shouted back, then paused, apparently to contemplate the little carcass. "Mommy, I will never kill another ant!" she announced brightly. "Ants are my friends!"
What that means to her, who knows. She hasn't given up on the concept now, and it's been several days. She comforted her friend Aile today, who screamed in terror when she saw an ant sauntering across her chair toward her. "Don't worry, Aile," she assured her. "Ants are our friends!"