I travel with my son and a ladybug. Yes, that small, shiny, red-and-black insect. Only in the form of a plump stuffed toy. Ladybug (or as J calls her, “Buhbug”) is one of the first few toys I bought when my son was just a few months old.
I read in one of those online baby sites that bright colors and contrasting patterns or shapes are the most recognizable to babies, so while at the mall one afternoon, I looked for some such toys. There were angry alligators, silly monkeys, turtles, tigers, warty beanie frogs, and then in a small stall, I saw her… a lone ladybug. She was bright, she had contrasting colors, she was fuzzy—I had to have her. The salesgirl told me she used to have three kids when they got her, but the kiddie bugs were the first to go. So sad, an orphan momma bug, so I took her home.
Loads of baby drool, a lot of toothless then eventually some toothed bites, and several washings later, Ladybug is still with us. J has a love-hate relationship with Buhbug. Sometimes she gets hugs, sometimes she goes flying out the playpen, but she travels with us, all comfy in the baby bag, her smile ever kind.
Not until I had a baby did I deign to sing to another human. J takes it in stride, and to compliment me, he readily falls asleep to my lullabies, no matter what song I happen to be warbling. For fun, I sing the Sesame Street ditty, “Ladybugs’ Picnic” to him and so far, he seems to like it. That, along with the rather morbid Ladybug rhyme:
Fly away home!
Your house is on fire,
Your children are gone.
All gone, all except one—
And that is little Ann,
Who hides under
The warming pan.”
I’ve put the Ladybug song here, in case a wandering mom or someone still in touch with his or her inner silly soul would care to know the lyrics. I’ve also drawn a few ladybugs on the page to make it all colorful and jolly. Sing it!