Monday, September 24, 2007


People for the Ethical Treatment of Ants.

They should be knocking down my door, they should be following me on my weekly pilgrimages to Target, harassing me all the way. They should be throwing educational fliers in my direction whenever they get the chance. They should be on the other side of the fence, cowering in my neighbor's yard when they are at work, shouting "free the ants" to me and my kids. They should be sending me tons of spam emails and calling my home at all hours of the night, reminding me that "ants have feelings too".


Because one of my children (who is male but whom shall remain nameless) has taken to snacking on these little critters.

Yup. One of my sons thinks it's funny. He thinks carpenter ants are tasty.

I haven't figured out yet if this is due to his extreme fondness of the movie How to Eat Fried Worms, or the fact that I let him watch Man vs. Wild one too many times. Whichever the case, last week his brother (of course) informed me that he'd eaten an ant. Willingly. No bribes were involved. No dares were taken. He simply ate an ant.

Figuring it was a one time deal, I chose to ignore this little gem of boyhood exploration and shoved all the images of the act itself waaaaaaaaay back in my mind, hoping to never deal with it again.

But silly me, a few days later, he ate another one.

At which point an intervention was necessary.

"You know that on Man vs. Wild, Bear Grylls (who mommy thinks is quite yummy!) tells us that the things he does on the show are strictly done in order to survive and in NO WAY should a person attempt to do these things unless he/she is in a life or death situation" or something like that, went my lecture.

Followed by:

"Eating ants is gross."


"You are not in a survival situation, therefore you should not be eating ants."

And, again:

"That's just gross!"

I remember being about that same age, and playing "ho-bo" with a neighborhood friend (we - being little kids and not very politically correct - would pack up some food in a bandanna and tie it to the end of a stick before setting out on a long "journey", you know, to the end of the street). Along the way, we passed by several gardens and a few fruit trees where we would pluck some "treats" to put in our "ho-bo" sack. We'd occasionally grab a horsetail and drink the "milk" out of it, but that is as exotic as it got.

Although I'm sure we stepped on many an ant during our childhood, we never thought to pick one up and eat it! As if!

It isn't like I've raised a couple of kids who don't appreciate nature and every living thing in it either. They like bugs, they make homes for them and name them and feed them (until they die).

So where this crazy, I'm gonna eat all the ants in the world!, behavior is stemming from, I have no idea.

All I know that no ant is safe until this little phase (dear god, please let it be a little phase) passes.

And in the meantime, I'll be on the lookout for the People For The Ethical Treatment of Ants.

Dogs eating slugs . . . boys eating ants . . . it doesn't get any better than this!


alice c said...

My brother kindly offered my children deep-fried grasshoppers from Argentina. I was HORRIFIED but they thought that he was the coolest Uncle on the planet. Nobody died but I didn't tell my Mother in Law.

Alexandra's World said...

Cute! There will come a day when you will look back fondly and remember the "good ole days" when your son ate ants! :)

Lisa said...

Extra protein! Maybe?

So... what do they taste like?

Becky said...

LOL or like my house...dogs eating poop from 4 year old little girls LOL. at least he's getting all his protein! we love that show man vs wild!

Anonymous said...

Carrie, I ate grasshoppers for a while in 3rd grade, it stared as a dare and then I thought it was cool. John W.

painted maypole said...

my dad used to do this when he would take us middle school kids from church to camp - much to my horror and to the delight of everyone else. He tells me the trick is to bite them before you swallow them. I did NOT carry on his legacy when I became a counselor at the same camp years later, despite the urging from several people who remembered my dad's ant eating days. He tells me now that he did it once to try to occupy the kids while they were waiting for something, and it created such a stir that it just became a thing. So my advice is don't dwell on it. But he may becoming the camp hero.

Mrs. Chicken said...

hmmm... how about slugs eating boys??

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

The boy's got survival skillz!

Kelley said...

I ate chocolate covered ants given to me as a gift from my grandfather. He told me about it ten years after I had eaten them....
My son eats everything. But food. He once ate the sides off my coffee table, I kid you not.
And he has the most beautiful unchipped front teeth.......

Becc said...

LOL))) I think my nose is still crinkled... uck...

Fog City Mommy said...

no body likes me... everybody hates me..... lalalalalala

tag! you are it, by the way!

your cousin said...

Somehow I think the childhood versions of my dad and your mom would have approved.

Kristin said...

Is it ok that I am relieved to have never been through this phase?

Tabba said...

oh, wow. WOW!

If it makes you feel any better. My husband - an adult - ate a bumblebee at an outdoor wedding on a bet.

Total guy thing. That's all.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

OHHH...the host of that show is very YUMMY!

As for the better keep a close eye on that thing you know he will be pretending to be in the desert and drinking his tee-tee! (EWWWWW...did I just write that?!)

I actually saw that episode and, cute host or not, I am frightened!

I am sorry to say that I feel obligated to report you.......I hear Al Sharpton may get involved as this a blatant case of specieism! (hee-hee)

UH-HUH! Specieism is SO a word! :)

Mamacita Tina said...

Ants, it's what's for dinner?

Yummo! Something to look forward to when Ian's older.

I remember some boys in Jr. High eating ladybugs. Ugh.

Rock the Cradle said...

I guess sending you a box of chocolate covered ants is now out of the question...;)

Anonymous said...

You single mothers are all whores