Liza Loves Bugs; Eli Loves Puzzles

Liza still loves her some bugs. These days she has her pick of them, as we’ve had so much rain that beetles and cockroaches have fled indoors to escape it. More fools they, as that puts them at Liza’s mercy. Liza finds them, picks them up, and carries them around by one of their teeny legs. She’s like a giant toddler God to these bugs. When she’s done playing with them she lets them run away, so I can only imagine the religion that has sprung up around these events.

“The God lifted me high into the air, and I heard peals of laughter like thunder!”

“You failed to sacrifice a bread crumb to Her yesterday! Be glad She did not crush your pitiable carapace!”

She found one in the kitchen this morning. All the way from our bathroom I could hear her yelling, “Buggy is running! He’s hiding from me! Come out, buggy! Come out!” A few minutes later she wandered into the bathroom. The beetle she’d found waved its legs feebly, trying desperately to pull one leg out of Liza’s grasp.

“This is buggy! He says hi!” Then she said, in a voice even more high pitched than normal, “Hi, daddy! I want to watch a show!” “Buggy wants to watch a show! He likes Dora!” she added in her normal tone of voice.

“How lucky he likes the same shows you do,” I told her.

Eli, meanwhile, is obsessed with escape-the-room games. He’s grown bored of Kingdom Hearts II: The Cut-Sceneing, so I’ve turned to free online Flash games to occupy him at night. He enjoyed titles like Little Wheel, but it’s the escape-the-room games that have captured his heart. He can’t really help with them, but he loves seeing me struggle to find the hotspots that, when clicked, will show a lever that, when pulled, reveals a substitution cipher that I then must solve.

In playing these games, I’ve filled sheet after sheet of paper with codes, ciphers, and doodlings. The other night he came up to me and said, “I have a piece of paper here. It needs to have codes on it.” So off we trundled to Jay is Games to find an escape-the-room game that wouldn’t frustrate me too much. I’m afraid if I get too stressed out I’ll only be able to calm myself by stepping on all of Liza’s bugs and hearing them pop like bubble wrap.