After working the girls up into a frenzy about getting a swan plant so we could watch caterpillars turn into butterflies (wholesome! outdoors! gardening! learning but it’s FUN! etc), all our local garden centers were totally out of the bloody things. So we schlepped across town to a High Class garden centre and selected a healthy specimen with two teeny tiny caterpillars already munching on it. Amy promptly named them Elsa & Anna. Success…until two angry wasps wanted to come with our plant, and caused us to nearly knock over an over-priced yucca in our haste to get away. Plant temporarily abandoned, we sought out a garden centre employee so I could say “hey look, buddy, I don’t know how you guys do things over here in the land of Range Rovers, but in the Central-West suburbs we like our plants without flying striped stinging assholes”.
The nice employee man explained to my wide-eyed children that the wasps were chasing us because they want to eat the caterpillars.#RemueraHorrorStory. With Amy’s shrieks of “Go and save Elsa & Anna, Mummy! Don’t let the wasps eat them!” shattering the terra-cotta pots, I raced back out to retrieve the plant. Amy told me I was very brave. I’m sure the the swears, yelps and “I think there’s a wasp on my t-shirt!” dance I performed really exemplified my braveness to the other patrons.
Apparently to shield Elsa & Anna from the wasps, our best bet is to keep the plant inside until the butterflies start hatching, or whatever you call the bit where they come out of their chrysalis. Nice employee man warned me “the only thing with keeping them inside is that you’ll probably notice their poo on the bench around the plant, but it’s quite dry and easy to brush up”. I laughed and explained that I have two small children, so poo is a big part of my life, and little tiny easily brushed away poos will be a welcome change. He looked alarmed and didn’t laugh back. I didn’t care – I’d abandoned all dignity during the initial yucca knocking-over/abandoning plant fracas.
Parting advice as I was scuttling to the car (looking out for wasps) was that the plant I’d chosen would only last two caterpillars for up to three weeks, then we’d need another plant. I’ve now spotted three additional eggs on my indoor swant plant that the kids have absolutely zero interest in.
I should have just gotten a f*cking puppy.