Today after work, before I can even make it to the top step of our foyer, Jacob comes bounding excitedly out of the house.
"Mom! Mom! Guess what's under this cup?!" He shouts in my ear, pointing to a plastic cup upside down on his skateboard.
"Nope! Guess again."
"I give up." Well, it's obviously not a giant slice of pizza or a non-alcoholic margarita.
With much ceremony, Jacob slowly lifts the rim of the cup off his skateboard as if he were a magician unveiling the disappearance of an eight foot lion. The cup moves incredibly slow. I might as well be watching wood mold.
Finally, the cup is completely off the ground. "Ta-da! Look, a rolly polly!" He smiles happily, convinced that he has just blown my mind.
"Wow, that's very neat." I assure him. Why do those things have so many legs and so many weird pieces of armor? Rolly pollies are the Shredder of all bugs.
"I caught him at Tyler's house. He's going to live with us now. But mom?"
"Can he come inside?"
"But he's cold!"
"He's a bug, he lives outside. He's used to the cold."
"But Mom! I saw him SHIVERING."
"Jacob, bugs don't shiver."
"I don't know. But they don't shiver."
"Well he really did. He did shiver! Please can he come inside?"
Flashback to the April 2014 Incident of Caterpillars: Jacob has five caterpillars in a cup. He set them on the kitchen table. The cup gets knocked over. Caterpillars, grass, and dirt rain down all over my just-swept (that's rare in my house!) floor. Still not sure if we ever found Caterpillar No. 5.
"I'm sorry, but no bugs in the house."
"Fine. Then I'm going to build him a house."
Jacob disappears inside and I finally get to walk in and set down all my stuff. I toss my shoes in the corner, set the groceries on the counter, and collapse into the couch, letting its worn, stained cushions eat me alive. Jacob emerges from his room with an elaborate, rolly polly-sized Lego house.
"Look mom! It has a window. And a deck. And a toilet. I hope the rolly polly will know this is a toilet. Do rolly pollies poop?"
"Sure. Why not."
"And he can sleep here. And I'll put grass here for his food."
Welcome to the next big thing in the insect world: luxury resort living. Hmm, I wonder if there is an untapped toy market out there for designer bug houses?
"But Jacob, what happens if he wants to come out?"
"Mom, he can't come out. I made it so he can't escape."
Luxury resort living? Scratch that. More like colorful prison cell. Hmmm, tough love.
Jacob carefully picks up his rolly polly, sets him inside and puts the final Lego piece in place.
"There, NOW he will be comfortable."
Apparently I am unfamiliar with the radiant heating, insulated line of Lego pieces. Maybe I should buy some stacks to place in front of my single-pane windows.
But Rolly has a house of his own, there is no danger of him sneaking his way into MY house, and Jacob is happy. That's called a win-win-win. Now if only I can find that caterpillar.