I hate flies.
For whatever reason, I can’t abide their existence in my house. In my mind they are symbols of filth and spreaders of disease. Their presence is not common in my house, but when one somehow finds its way in… its days are numbered.
I hate flies, but I hate polluting my home with aerosol poisons as well. I’ve never gone for the kill everything approach – I’m more hands-on.
My preferred method of dispatching an errant fly is the tea towel whip method. If you are not familiar with this method, it basically involves rolling up the closest tea towel then attempting to flick the disease-ridden insect out of the air. Sometimes it takes a few goes, but usually it’s fairly effective.
The Giant Blowfly
Giant blowflies are the worst of the worst (even if they do make for good photos). One made the fateful mistake of entering my house a few weeks ago. Quick as a flash I had the tea towel cocked and my sights set on the buzzing beast.
Hannah had been playing in the living room, but the jet-engine-like drone of the oversized insect had disturbed her from her play. She was now standing at my feet, clinging to my legs for dear life lest the beast attack her face (she may have had an unfortunate facial interaction with a fly a few days prior). She watched as I followed the blowfly with laser-like precision until the perfect time to strike…
The blowfly was neutralised by a brutal direct hit. The sound of the tea towel slapping the kitchen bench was explosive. It echoed through the house (probably the whole neighbourhood) and was immediately followed by the most pleasing of silence – the absence-of-fly silence.
Hannah had watched the whole thing. She had flinched at the speed and sound of the tea towel whip, but she had watched and she had understood.
Natural Born Killer… Maybe
A few days later another unsuspecting fly entered our house. A smaller, quieter fly, but still a disease-ridden monster that had to be dealt with. Swiftly.
I hadn’t seen or heard the fly, but Hannah had.
Emma noticed Hannah’s actions first. She noticed her get up from her DUPLO and walk with purpose into the kitchen. She watched Hannah remove the tea towel that was draped over the oven handrail and she watched her swing it around in an attempt to make a whip.
Emma had no idea what the determined toddler was up to. She hadn’t been around for the blowfly incident and so was oblivious to the modelling that I had provided Hannah with. Emma watched, mesmerised as the toddler zeroed in on the little buzzing insect that was now buzzing near a window.
Hannah swung her whip. She got it nowhere near the fly, instead it fluttered gently around her own head. Not a bad effort though – she’s not even two years old. The failure didn’t deter her, she tried again, and again, and again…
Hannah didn’t manage to kill the fly that day, but her dogged determination to dispatch the bothersome bug was impressive. She may not be a natural born killer of flies, but even at this early age, Hannah is the kind of person who can spot a problem and try to deal with it. She is also willing to persist even when the task is tricky – not once did she turn to us for help. I think those are pretty great qualities for a toddler to be developing.