Butterfly Time in First Grade

I did not know it was coming already, I was surprised and excited all at once.
It is Monarch Butterfly time, again.
I knew E was looking forward to the whole experience.
I knew instantly as I drove up to car line and saw the first grade classes holding deli containers upside down that each child was taking home a chrysalis.
Each child would get to watch the beautiful green chrysalis develop jewel like gold dots, then begin to become translucent, soon seeing the orange markings of a Monarch butterfly.  Ideally each child would get to watch it hatch {is that even what they do?} and push out of the tiny outer shell.  Each child would get to watch the sad wrinkled and weirdly shaped butterfly stretch it’s wings pumping blood into the edges of the wings enabling the butterfly to flutter all around the house in vain attempts to catch it, tag it and set it loose.
Each child was given strict warnings on when to handle the butterfly.  Everyone knows to let the thing struggle its way out, with out the struggle the blood never pumps properly and the thing will never fly. {Hum is it now the time for parental advice, about letting our kids work things out, struggle a little with decisions, and working through hard problems?  You get the idea we can learn something from the butterfly.  Although I think stepping in letting your child know you are available for assistance would not be harmful but we all know if we do everything for them they will never do for themselves, thus crippling their future.}
E brought the chrysalis home last week Friday.  She was full of excitement and could not wait for it to hatch.  {I”ll just keep saying ‘hatch’ until someone corrects me if I am wrong.}  After a few pictures the butterfly to~be was put on a table in the diningroom left to do his own thing.  On Thursday I went into the diningroom to sew for a craft fair I am participating in, and I noticed the butterfly was translucent, that I could see the orange markings.  I snapped a picture and hoped that it would wait to come out when E was home.  Nope I turned around 30 minutes later he had hatched and was already working his wings.  I took another picture, to show E when she got home after school.  She was excited to see the butterfly working his wings and watched it flap for a few minutes before going off to play.  We set out a mason jar with flowers and left for dinner.  When we arrived home it was hanging on the flowers still stretching and hanging.  I figured that was a good sign.  Right before bedtime, the butterfly took flight.  We caught it and took a few pictures, it flew off, we caught it again, taking a few last pictures, it flew away one more time.  R caught it passed it off to E who took him outside and placed him on a flower vine on our fence.  We left him there and went to bed.  Or actually E went to bed.  I was thankful that E was soundly sleeping during the rain that came shortly after depositing the butterfly on the vine, I did not want to go stand out side with an umbrella covering the butterfly waiting for the rains to stop.The first night home,  all green and pretty.Becoming translucentHatchedStretched out and dryingE and her butterflyButterfly excitementReady to goThe hand off.R taking a turnThe release

I do have a tragic and funny butterfly story.  Each of my children have brought home butterflies.  In the beginning it was both kindergarten and first grade, I am not sure which child it changed with but now it is only first grade.  When C was in kindergarten, he was so excited to bring home his first butterfly.  His eyes sparkled in excitement.  We placed the deli container on the kitchen counter where he would check the progress for a full week.  After a week we could tell the butterfly would hatch soon, he wanted to stay home from school to see the butterfly being hatched but I sent him with the promise that as soon as I noticed any movement I would come get him from school.  {we lived 4 minutes away then, now we are 2 minutes away} Sure enough he started moving so I checked C out of school, so he could watch him hatch.  It really was cool to see.  After the butterfly emerged, and hung for a few minutes C wanted to go back to school.  After school the butterfly was becoming more active.  We sat around the table watching the butterfly while eating our snack.  C was 5 so O was 3 and R was about 16 months.  After snack we went back to the bedroom to play.  R toddled away, soon he came back with orange dust all over his face and hands.  I jumped up and ran to the butterfly.  It was too late R ate/mangled the thing to death.  C was so sad/mad he cried and yelled at R, who was too young to even know what he did was wrong.  Although that boy is still to this day my pickest eater I have no idea what ever gave him the idea to eat the thing.  I thought they were supposed to taste bad that is why birds don’t eat them?  C was so upset that I was going to throw it in to the trash, he was sure if we just set it outside that it would be healed.  So I set the thing outside and we prayed about it.  The next morning C ran out to check and the butterfly was gone {well most of it} he was sure it flew away.  I was confident that a neighborhood cat ate most of it.  So now when we bring a butterfly home C makes sure that the baby of the house does not get their hands on the butterfly.
What about you?  Have you ever ‘hatched’ a butterfly before?
Go hug your kids and check out the butterflies headed south for the winter.

5 thoughts on “Butterfly Time in First Grade

  1. christine says:

    The baby ATE the butterfly. That is horrifically hysterical! We have never had a butterfly hatch at our house, but every year our zoo has a butterfly exhibit. There are always butterflies hatching, and it is the most amazing thing to watch. We once had some migrating monarchs go right through our yard. They were everywhere. So darn pretty.

    • overholt8 says:

      yes the baby ATE the poor thing, maybe that is why he is so picky now about the foods he eats? I would love to see a whole migration. We tag them and can track them. But in order to track them they have to die and someone has to report it on the website with the number we can check the website to see if ours was tracked. We never have.

  2. Fred Wiechmann says:


  3. Sandra Musick says:

    We didn’t have the butterfly thing with my children, so I got to help with the grandkids. All of our were set free. Your kids crack me up:)

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