This was the scene at our house yesterday afternoon:
The Bun was checking on his "buh-fye" every five minutes. The butterfly we found on the sidewalk during our walk earlier that day. The butterfly that rode perched precariously on the Bun's knee all the way home. The butterfly that listened to my sweet, sweet son tell it not to be scared because we were saving him.
I have to admit I walked a little slower and listened a little harder to soak up every tender word the Bun whispered to his new friend. I almost melted when he put his fat little hands around it to keep the broken-winged insect from blowing away in the wind, even though he himself was completely terrified of the helpless bug. And when he started talking about the orange flowers at our house that we could let the butterfly live in (endless episodes of The Cat in The Hat has taught him that much) I almost cried at his sweet compassion.
When we got home, in a fit of "I will do everything possible to save this butterfly for my son" we put honey on a cotton-ball and stuck it in the flowers with the injured little guy. I almost fell flat on my face when his little tongue unfurled and he started drinking the gooey syrup. I was practically a hero to the Bun too.
"MAMA! Buh-fye eat bhu-fye food!" Mama!"
"Wow, I see. Thats pretty cool, huh?"
"Buh-fye food, Mama. Buh-fye eat food den go home, Mama?"
"Maybe he will go home when he is done eating Buddy. I don't know"
The butterfly didn't go home, and instead settled down to sleep for the night. In the morning he was still there, alive and unable to fly. So we fed him some more, both of us watching with rapt attention as he stuck his little tongue out again. I might have been imagining it, but the little guy seemed almost grateful.
He lived for another day, being checked on by his new best friend and drinking honey. I will never forget how absolutely heartbreaking it was when I found him "sleeping" the next morning - and how guilty I felt for making him stay out in the cold all night. After a quick parent meeting, Hubs carefully removed the lifeless bug from the bushes, and we told the Bun that his butterfly probably went back to visit its family while he was asleep.
And the Bun, being as innocent and precious as two and a half year olds can be, said:
"Dak's buh-fye doe home? See buh-fye Mama? Tell Mama scare, den Dak save buh-fye? Dak feed buh-fye, den buh-fye no scare no more, awwright Mama?"
|Seriously, click on this picture to check out both the butterfly's tongue and his poor little broken wing :( |
I have way to much emotion invested in this bug.
And with that, I might just have to go get a "I brake for butterflies" bumper sticker yall :)