Welcome to Land of the Ladybugs...if ladybugs were Asian and beetles. When we first moved to Illinois Skip told me to climb a tree so he could play photographer (I later learned he had a tree obsession). After I climbed to a very nice posing branch I noticed a 'ladybug' had landed on my elbow. Thinking it would be a sign of the bliss to come I excitedly motioned for my photog to zoom in
and then it bit me. Three years later the bite mark (possibly just a pinch) has finally shrunk to nearly invisible. But the emotional scar remains.
During the holidays we left the Land of the Asian Lady Beetles and in doing so removed all food, water and heat sources. So upon reclaiming our home a couple weeks later I spent a day vacuuming a large number of dead asian lady beetles. Yet I still find many of these bugs in the most random and middle of the floor places. Each new sighting brings a shriek of joy from Pippa, "LAY-EE BUUG!!!"
Really it is adorable and heartbreaking to tell her not to smash they dried carcass. So I have been quickly kicking the bugs into a corner for later removal.
Then one day the receiver of such kick moved out of the way. We grabbed a glass jar, a fancy red cling wrap lid, and scooped up our first pet. I'm not saying this is a moment Pippa will remember forever, but I was elevated to Coolest Mom Ever status (and am now documenting it). She talked to her pet Lay-ee Bug for a forty-three minutes straight. These forty-three minutes happened to overlap with bedtime so Pippa may have outsmarted me. Then every morning we would check on our ladybug, offer some new sticks, lettuce, water. Pippa would also do this without me at any moment I would come to learn. Which is how we lost our ladybug. Twice.
The first time we lost Lay-ee Bug, she flew right by my nose and landed on the curtains. I suppose the mauve hue resembled a bright flower. Sadly for her, but happily for Pippa who came bounding across the room with the glass jar, the escape lasted all of thirty seconds.
The second escape occurred days later. The bug had been nestled into some bark for a few days. We hadn't seen it move and I was certain it had died. Then one day, "Lay-ee Bug, where are you?" Pippa could not see that ladybug and the lid had a suspicious opening in it. I pulled all the sticks out and confirmed the ladybug's disappearance as well as it's life.
Two days later wouldn't you know that I found that silly little thing stuck on it's back, legs wiggling in the air, next to a box of markers. I'm not saying I know what happened, but I'm not saying I couldn't guess either (or that this may be just another of the many Asian lady beetles hibernating in my house). Lay-ee Bug is safely back in her jar with fresh leaves and water. Really I can't put her outside to a certain death.