I'm going to come right out and say it. I hate flies. Hate them.
Summertime brings those maddening little critters in the house and the kids and I have taken to hunting them. Early morning and late at night are the best times as flies can't move very fast in the cold. Mae goes at them with her bare hands, jumping and slapping mid-air. She has a surprising (and disgusting) success rate. Lana, of course, would never hunt a fly. Not because she wouldn't want to hurt it - far from it. She doesn't go near anything she finds distasteful.
This morning at six-thirty, Mihiretu came into my room as I was making the bed. He pulled me back towards the living-room where he had been getting his early morning Caillou fix. "Idea!" he said excitedly. "Idea!"
He brought me to a corner window where there was a big fat fly, preening its wings. "Bee!" he said, meaning fly. All flying insects are named bees in his world.
He grinned at me hungrily.
"You want to kill it?" I guessed.
And so we were off to the kitchen to collect my preferred weapon, the long pink rubber gloves I use for washing dishes. I gave MIhiretu one glove and held mine by the end so the the empty pink hand drooped towards the floor.
We tiptoed back to our unsuspecting prey. "Okay," I counseled, "Be real quiet until we get right up to it."
Once we were in position, our bodies stooped and ready to spring, I hissed, "Go!"
And so began the furious flapping of rubber, pink streaking our vision. The fly, poor guy, buzzed in a panic from window to window until finally we had him spinning on his back on the floor.
"Okay, Mihiretu," I said, generous mother that I am. "Finish him off."
Mihiretu looked at me uncertainly. I nodded my head. He raised his glove high above his head and whapped that poor fly into its next life, hopefully a promotion, a rat, say, or a cricket. Mihiretu grinned at me in triumph.
How did I get here, I thought, chasing flies through the living-room with pink rubber gloves at six-thirty in the morning, a little African boy at my heels?
I don't know. But I'm happy I'm here.