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Sugar Bowl Mix: My brave daughter and one big bug

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My brave daughter and one big bug

A few weeks ago at around two am Caroline woke us up screaming. Unusual. But in the scheme of nights and parenting not that unusual. She slammed open her door and charged up the stairs, panting. Tim got out of bed, not particularly quickly and I stayed in bed. The two of them went back down to her room and I heard loud bangs and whacks. A few minutes later Tim reappeared. We went back to sleep.

In the morning Caroline filled me in, breathlessly, her face red with excitement. She had woken up, suddenly when she felt something biting her neck. At this point in the recounting she bent over and showed me a red mark on her neck. She sat up in bed and turned on her bedside lamp and found this staring at her.

She leapt out of bed and came running for us. After Tim had thoroughly squished the offending bug Caroline got back into bed and went back to sleep.  The next night we did a thorough check of her bed before she went to sleep. And we've repeated this almost every night. But now that several weeks have passed I realize the checks are really more for me than for her. She doesn't seem too bothered by the whole affair.

Jerusalem Crickets are BIG and SCARY looking.  We had seen two of these in her room before but they were on the floor. The first time we saw one we couldn't figure out what it was. A cockroach? A bee? A hybrid? A neighbor told us it was a Jerusalem cricket. These are as big as two inches long and are fat, juicy things with hard shells that are disgusting and hard to squish (hence all the banging at two am). They're not venomous but have strong jaws that can deliver a sharp bite (hence the red mark on Caroline's neck). Apparently they're not seen very often because they're nocturnal (hence the two am appearance). And a final interesting note: the female will often eat the male after mating - information I skipped when telling Caroline about the bug.

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