After work, Egor and I spend quality time with Liev in our computer room. Liev scrambles about, trying to stand or yank books from the shelves. One of us reads or works on the computer as the other one attends to Liev. Since the cricket infestation, we vigilantly vacuum up little cricket carcasses as they appear.
I checked my email when Egor hollered, “STOP!” (Russians say it with a hard O as in boat). “Quickly! He’s about to put an insect leg in his mouth!” Instantly, I was out of my seat and on the floor, prying the leg out of his right hand. I heard another thunderous “STOP!” from Egor. “The other hand! The other hand!”
Our jolly baby, much amused by the commotion, laughed as he attempted to stuff the contents of his left hand in his mouth. As I pulled his hand from his mouth, I got a glimpse of his intended snack and wailed. A juicy, thumb-sized wolf spider quivered its last. My scream startled Liev and annoyed Egor, who scooped the crying baby off the floor with a theatrical “Gospedi!” (Oh Lord!)
Despite our best intentions, Liev gulped down the spider, smiling. Is this parenthood? Doing your best and failing? What if it had been a scorpion? A black widow? The best we can do is to be vigilant. Or perhaps calmer.