Jaws, the most human demanding Venus Fly Trap that I've ever met, is turning my brown hair, gray.
It all started on Sunday late afternoon. Jaws wasn't even a thought in any of our minds. But then, somewhere in between me chasing Isabella around the Nature Museum and Jake waiting near the exit, his eyes connected with a Venus Fly Trap on sale, which he named Jaws. As soon as he showed me the plant, I knew there was no way we were exiting the building without it. He had been asking for a Venus Fly Trap for over three years. How on Earth could I say no?
So we took Jaws home with an understanding that the plant was 100% Jake's responsibility. I was so nervous taking this darn plant home, because I truly am not blessed with a green thumb. Over the past four years, I've tried growing tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, blueberries and even simply a flower and everything has died or been eaten up on me by some wild bird or gross slimy wormy creature. But Jake, on the other hand, has the greenest thumb you have ever seen. And he's interested in planting. So this was the perfect opportunity for him to bring something into our home that I am not good.
The first night went kind of well. Jake asked me a few questions, like what should I feed Jaws. I replied, "An ant." So Jake captured lots of ants and fed three of the traps. Then he put it in his bedroom for the night. I told him that I thought the plant would be better off outside where it can get natural sunlight. Jake disagreed and said the plant needs to be with him, because he can give it lots of love. It was so darn sweet! And he truly has always been more knowledgeable in this area, so I let it be.
Yesterday was when my time and energy began being devoured by Jaws. As soon as Jake woke up, I was bombarded by question after question. (I have to reiterate that I know nothing about plants or gardening or anything green that requires watering. I'm not even good with taking care of a bouquet of flowers. And here I was faced with having to help my son in a subject area that I kept failing at.) Jake asked, "Mom, can you help me catch more bugs for Jaws?" "Mom, can you look online to see what Jaws should eat?" "Mom, can you watch Jaws for me?" "Mom, do you think Jaws needs more water?" "Mom, should we replant Jaws?" and finally when he went to bed, he asked me, "Mom, is Jaws dieing?"
I looked at Jaws and realized it didn't look healthy. It's leaves and traps were wilting; and a couple had already began turning yellow. My heart filled with sadness and my eyes felt heavy. That's when it hit me. I am getting attached to the most ugly time devouring plant on this planet. I really am liking this plant, all because of my son. My son has made this plant so special and so pet-like. And when I looked at how wilted Jaws was, I almost cried. He looked like he was dieing. I let Jake sleep with him by his bedside one more night.
This morning, when Jake woke up, I put my foot down and said, "Jaws needs sun. He needs to live outside." Jake realized that he didn't know how to take care of Jaws; and with a sad expression on his face, he got dressed and brought Jaws downstairs. I then took Jaws from Jake and placed him in the sun on top of a table on our screened-in porch. I thought that was it, but then Jake begged me to go online and read up on how much sunlight Jaws needed and how much he should eat and what he should eat and if we should play music for it and if dogs eat Venus Fly Traps. I'm sure you are getting the picture.
The last thing I need right now is another to do or pet. Yet for some reason this plant is now in my life and I'm attached to it. So today, while Jake was at camp, I began learning all I could about Venus Fly Traps. Did you know that you only have to feed one trap a week and that's enough for the entire plant? Funny what a mom learns and does for the love of her child.
When Jake came home from camp, he immediately ran out to the screened-in porch, pulled up a chair and just sat there staring at his newest responsibility, Jaws. As you can see from the picture above, Jaws is already looking better.