Wednesday, April 25th 2012
Seth-6yr’s Policy Changes on Moths

The kids and i have a bedtime routine. It’s a special one on one time where I tuck in each kid and we read something of a spiritual nature and talk. It’s added an hour to bedtime. And sometimes, honestly, when I’m tired and selfish,  I HATE the time consuming part of it. But mostly, it’s extremely special, and we all try to make sure we have enough time at the end of each day for this new routine.  When one kid will interrupt another kid’s time, I correct it and tell him that it is MY time with his brother and it’s special and he’ll have to wait. I think they test it to be sure that’s always the response for all of them. Generally, there are no exceptions in any way for any reason.


The Exception.

Ethan-12yr and I were reading together in his room  -’devotionals for dog lovers’ or something like that. add an animal to any conversation, and suddenly you have ethan-12yr’s undivided attention. Seth-6yr came in and he was crying.

He got the standard line.

He went back to bed and wailed his little heart out.

I yelled for him to hang on and I’d be there in a minute.

He screamed that there was a moth in his room and it was going to eat his underwear.

He was PETRIFIED. Genuinely terrified for his life and for his underwear.

I sent him to the couch, away from the moth, and laughed all over Ethan-12.

I told him I’d help him in a little bit, and to get comfortable, and I went to tuck in Caden-8yr.  Caden-8yr wanted to know what was wrong with Seth-6yr.

Caden-8yr listened to my explanation and then said, “you know you’re the reason why he thinks that, right?”

Caden-8yr has a matter of fact little way of looking bored as he totally nails you with some bit of truth you’ve forgotten and he remembers verbatim.

“Um… no?”

“Well. Last year we were outside and I caught a moth and gave it to him and he said he would keep it as a pet. And so he kept it in his underwear drawer. A few days later you found out about it – because he said to you, “I have a pet moth, Mom” – and then you got mad and told him that it would EAT his underwear and he had to get rid of it and then he went to his drawer and pulled out a pair of Elmo underwear and it had holes and he was sad and he threw them away.”


“Well. Not anymore. Because his pet moth ate them.”

“So… he’s afraid the moth on his ceiling who hasnt’ moved all day is going to eat the underwear right off his body while he sleeps and that’s why he’s so afraid he’s crying his head off?”

Caden-8yr took a moment. And then said, “Yes. Because that is what you told him.”  There was a hint of condemnation in that statement.  I heard it loud and clear.

I thanked him for that little revelation, we read about Joseph, and then i went to slay the moth with Seth-6yr. I used a broom with clorox wipes on the end of it. I don’t know what else to slay moths with, and this did the job JUST fine in case you need to know.

Seth-6yr cheered me on until I killed it and did not ONCE suggest sparing his life and keeping it as a pet.

I tucked him in, apologized, and he and his underwear slept peacefully the rest of the night.

I feel terrible about how upset he was, and how it really WAS my fault, but then it’s just so cute I can’t stop laughing. Seth-6yr took a baseball to the thigh in a game a few weeks ago. He shook his leg, looked at me for a brief second in the stands to see if I’d seen it happen, and then went on as if it didn’t hurt at all. He didnt’ rub it, cry, yell, or say a word to anyone.

He had a baseball sized purple circle bruise on that thigh the next day.

He can be tough.

But clearly, there are limits.

Moth and Underwear Limits.




8 Comments on “Seth-6yr’s Policy Changes on Moths”

April 25th, 2012
3:45 pm

Oh wow. Poor little guy. That does make moths seems pretty terrifying. (I have a professional fear of them, you know.)

Also, how wise and awesome is Caden?

One more also: I like your bedtime routine. That sounds sweet. Dickens has recently decided he likes our bedtime routine and he always shows up for story time.

April 25th, 2012
5:07 pm

What a great bedtime ritual. How comforting and special.
I’m so glad you were able to route the moth, and keep Seth’s underwear intact.
Jan recently posted..Faith in a Phone Booth

April 25th, 2012
5:55 pm

That’s so funny. I love your 8yo. He sounds like he has a bright future as a lawyer or detective ahead of him.
I remember taking everything literally and concretely when I was in kindergarten. I’m not really sure if telling this story here on the internet is going to get me into trouble somehow if I ever try to run for a public office or something one day. Someone is bound to take it the wrong way or twist it the wrong way, so that’s what this whole preface to my story is about. Try to view it through the eyes of an innocent six year old who loved everyone very much and was often overly compassionate…

My big sister and I rode the bus every day with all the kids from the black neighborhood (maybe I should say “African American” or something, but I’m not sure which term is the currently accepted one right now). I loved these kids. They were awesome, hilarious and really nice to me.
One day, they were paving our road and as we got off the bus and ran across the street, my bossy sister said “Don’t step in the tar, it will make you turn black.” My sister swears this isn’t what she meant if she ever DID say something like this. She was probably just telling me it would get me dirty. But for quite a few years, I really believed that she was telling me that stepping in tar would turn you into a black person. I felt kind of sad that this had happened to all of them and tried really hard to be kind to them and not step in any tar myself.

It doesn’t sound like much, but I can clearly remember believing in this as the truth just as much as the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. I can understand how a little guy that age could envision a moth gobbling up his underwear. Especially if he associated one night in a drawer with all those holes in his Elmo’s. LOL!

Jenn Sullivan
April 26th, 2012
12:14 am

Oh my goodness! I laughed. Hard. I was afraid I was going to wake Mary up, but I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s just so funny and I feel bad for Seth, he’s going to forever be afraid of underwear eating moths, but so funny. I’m taking this as a lesson to be very careful how to word things as Mary grows up so that she doesn’t ever have a fear of underwear eating moths either. Also, was the moth in the underwear drawer last year just hanging out in there without being in a container? Did you wash all of his underwear? I am intrigued by the moth staying in the underwear drawer all by itself.
Jenn Sullivan recently posted..What we’ve been working on

April 26th, 2012
5:40 am

I agree with Seth-6yr. I draw the bravery line at bugs, and moths are some of the ickiest of them. Of course, I live in the country where there are more bugs than stars in the sky. Seth-6yr might have a panic attack if he ever saw my garage. We leave the light on 24-7 so it’s party central for every moth in a 10 mile radius. Ick.

Mother T
April 26th, 2012
8:36 am

I love your bedtime routine! That’s something those boys will remember all their lives.

Had a HUGE laughing spell over the moth. My 10 yr old grandson has a “bug collector” container and he loves to get moths, caterpillars, spiders (yuck!), and all sorts of things into it. He will then proceed to enlighten everyone in hearing range about the life style of said bug. He can look at a moth and tell you if it will eat cloth, leaves or other bugs. I have learned more pieces of information about all sorts of critters than I ever wanted to know!

April 26th, 2012
4:48 pm

Caden is FREAKILY wise and awesome. dickens is probably wondering why you haven’t always done this for him!

the moths are terrible this year here! how about there?

ahhh, the literal nature of children!!

GREAT, JENN. i couldn’t rememeber! and then i worried about the mothy underwear collection. so i asked caden if i had washed all the underwear last year and he said “no. no you did not do that,” with an expression that looked a bit pitying. the underwear drawer is in a fairly airtight plastic 3 drawer cheap target plastic thing, so the moth was contained without a container. ew.

my lovely therapist lady said to crack the garage during the day and they’ll leave!

mother t
oh, your grandson sounds like my ethan! is he making up his facts, or does he really know? (it’s hard to know with ethan.)

April 28th, 2012
9:25 pm

Kels, everything is bad this year. We had such a mild winter, it didn’t kill off stuff. The boathouse is covered up with spiders and their webs. Ants are in all my flower pots. Moths hang out on our front porch, waiting for an opportunity to fly into the house, where they drive the dogs crazy–they chase them incessantly! We already have to use mosquito spray to sit out in the yard in the evenings, and usually we don’t have mosquitoes until June. Hope your moth issue resolves itself soon. Have you tried putting moth balls in your flower beds?
Jan recently posted..Faith in a Phone Booth

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