Sandra Lafferty

Writer ~ Educator ~ Mental Health Advocate


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When Butterflies Aren’t Flying: An Irreverent Look at Childhood Wisdom

My son likes to spend his allowance at the dollar store. He hasn’t learned that cheap toys don’t last. For him it’s all about stretching his two dollars as far as he can.  That’s fine but ten minutes after we get home most of his choices fail the usage test.  Still he smiles and marches to the cashier, generally presenting money before the item being purchased, and week after week buys junk.

Victory! I talked him into saving and with the help of some extra side jobs, he has nine dollars. Now he’ll see the error of his ways. Off we go to Wal-Mart in search of a more substantial choice than a hollow plastic dinosaur or a set of cars with axles already falling off in the bag.  Nope. That’s too much money. Take me to a different store he says, clinging to his green.  Ugh. We need more than nine dollars to shop at Toys-R-Us so now what?  His suggestion … back to the Dollar Store.  Oh for Pete’s sake!

Well, a dollar lighter we are home with a super duper lime green butterfly net which will momentarily be adorned with duct tape to better secure the net to the stick. Chasing butterflies, bugs and hopping critters is a great spring pastime and I applaud his choice in theory.

This spring has been unseasonably cold and we here in mid-America are still getting thermostatic whiplash with a hard freeze following right on the heels of an 82 degree afternoon.  Another freeze is coming next week. I’ve told Munchkin that we are not likely to be inundated with morphed caterpillars while the nights still feel like December. Undaunted, he dons a coat and goes in search of the illusive butterfly.  I get a cup of tea, wondering if the net will survive long enough to ever whip through the air in pursuit of a Monarch.  (No I don’t think we get Monarchs here, but using the word butterfly again in this short blurb would create a grammar gaff that would leave me sleepless. And, well, chasing a Painted Lady with a net just seems kind of inappropriate for a four-year-old.)

A bit later I’m in search of a too quiet Munchkin. There he is, net full of bright yellow flowers, smiling.

Whatcha doing?

Nothing.

Find any butterflies?

Nope. But I got these. What are they?

Dandelions, I say resisting the urge to call them weeds.

Well, Mama, when butterflies aren’t flying, just hunt dandelions!

Eyes watering and fighting back a sneeze I congratulate Munchkin on his catch just as the net full of bounty is bunged beneath my nose.  Back inside I grab a glass of water to wash the pollen from my throat. Munchkin stares at me through my half empty glass. There is something naively profound in what he said I murmur, knowing he sees my glass half full.

Butterfly Hunting


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Game invites, passwords and very poor spelling

Note to self: stop leaving electronics logged on when you leave the room.

I just discovered that I invited 8 people to play Words With Friends, locked myself out of a protected app by trying the password too many times, and left my blog page in favor of YouTube — All while I was making a PB&J sandwich.

iPhone = Kid distraction device

I’ve been hacked by a preschooler.

Being only a few feet away was enough of a buffer to allow exploration into grandma’s icon land. I’m still not sure if the 3’6” hacker sent an email or shared a blog comment.

So, if you receive an incoherent message from me using letters primarily from the middle row on the keyboard, either I forgot the advice I just gave myself or I’m having a very, very bad day. Either way …. Oops.