Sweeping the mudroom this morning, I stumbled across a mass grave. Of ants. Let me start by saying that it may come as a surprise that although we live in a 143 year old farm house in a small Vermont town, we have never had a problem with insects (mice, of course but no bugs). Until we updated our kitchen and uncovered some kind of colony of black ants. For the last couple of months, we have used ant cups, gel cups and spray. But to no avail. The little suckers just keep coming back. Our plan is to hire an exterminator to bomb the creepy bastards once it’s warm enough to open the windows without wearing our snowsuits- which in Vermont is typically June. In the mean time, I have children to keep the problem somewhat under control.
Their method of extermination consists of picking each ant up and pinching its wriggling body between their fingers. Most of the legs stop moving before they toss it back down. Sometimes the legs continue to spasm for a few seconds but by this time, the boys have lost interest in their suffering victim and moved on to the next. Of course the corpse is left behind (or tossed into the mudroom, thus the mass grave) with zip remorse. Zip.
Now all of this is gross, cringe-worthy and there’s nothing sanitary about it. But what’s most disturbing about is sometimes they smile while doing performing the execution. Even my two-year-old. And once I started thinking about this, I was comforted by the realization that all boys are murderers. This insecticidal ideation seems to be ingrained in their minds from a very young age- or as I believe, at birth- because surely this is not a result from my parenting. Surely. Nope. I even remember my cousins (four boys- bless you Aunt Kay!) seeking out and murdering anything from insect to arachnids to small reptiles- well except for the nature-loving one who wore moccasins, purples Umbros and toted a stuffed kitty around until he was… well never mind. But the rest were murderous.
Further distressing is that my husband seems to almost encourage this savage behavior. He at least suggests the carcasses be disposed of outside (most of the time) but he doesn’t tell them to cease this beahvior. I think I am the only one who cares. And this is another reason I stand by my claim: This isn’t my fault. This happens because boys are torturous, head-hunting babarians. This uncivilized streak seems to be limited to bug-squishing so as long as I can count on table manners, I think I can overlook this. But for God-sake, can’t they drag the bodies to the side of our property, dig some shallow unmarked graves and dump them there instead of the mudroom? Having said that, I’m confident I am raising upstanding, contributing members of society. I think.