Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stupid Bee

When I was five years old, I was outside playing with the neighbor boy, doing five-year-old kind of things, when that neighbor boy exclaimed, “You have a bee in your ear!” Naturally, my reaction was to immediately clasp my hand over my ear. Because you know, that seemed like the right way to handle a BEE in my EAR.

I think it goes without saying that I got stung.

I remember everything about that moment. The kind of day it was, exactly where I’d been standing on the sidewalk outside my house, running inside to get comfort from my Mom. And while I’ve been irrationally afraid of any bee buzzing anywhere near me ever since, what I’d forgotten about was how much it must’ve hurt. Because on Sunday, my baby boy got stung by a bee.

Let me say that as much experience as I’ve gleaned as a Mom, there are two areas that I have absolutely no experience with and therefore I am rendered hopelessly incompetent: injuries and illness.

The illness issue is a bit of a mystery to me, and truthfully I should be knocking on 25 tons of wood before I say this out loud. But. My kids have never been sick. When Liam was a baby we had a couple bouts with ear infections and both kids get the occasional cold. But really and truly sick? It’s never happened. Vomit? Liam has only done so once, and I’m pretty sure it was because he had too much candy that day. And I’m telling you, I still don’t get it. Not that I’m complaining, I’m not. I just don’t get it. They’ve even been exposed to swine flu, and this stomach bug that got to everyone (Nate and I, their cousin & his parents, the grandparents, everyone) but my boys remained healthy through all of it. It’s bizarre.

The lack of experience with injury stems entirely from my own neurotic need to watch them at every second of every day lest they get into something dangerous. Oh no. I’ve seen too many reports of kids getting hurt on the most innocuous things, so I opt to just watch them like a hawk. What? Don’t tell me I can’t sustain that vigilance. I can. And I will.

But a bee that sneaks into the house. That I didn’t see coming. And so it was on Sunday morning, when my poor, unsuspecting 21-month-old baby was told to go pick up his trains, and he so dutifully complied, and there was a bee hanging out on those trains who wasn’t all that happy to be manhandled by a baby, and WHAMO.

And oh my god, it’s ALL OUR FAULT for telling him to pick up his trains in the first place. That’s it. My kids officially get a pass from cleaning up toys.

It got him on the back of the hand, and at first I thought he was crying because he wanted help with his trains or something, but then Nate starts with his Oh My God shriek and Quin just got STUNG by a BEE, and I go into panic mode. What if he’s allergic? What am I supposed to do? I don’t know how to handle injured children!

To my credit, while I was cuddling my baby boy (who in-between sobs kept repeating “hand” and “buuuggg” to tell us just what happened in case we missed it) I did ask Nate to go get the ice pack from the freezer and some Tylenol. And you guys, I discovered afterward that’s exactly what the internet told me to do. Hurah. I watched for signs of allergic reaction. But aside from a swollen middle finger (seems fitting, doesn’t it?) there were just a lot of sobs.

(Also, there was a pause from the sobbing to say "Yummy" in reference to the Tylenol, which I’m now convinced is a very bad sign. Maybe someday I’ll tell you the story I’ve been told about how I ate a bottle of Tylenol when I was little. Yeah. I did that.)

My sweet eldest child showed just what a good brother he can be, when the stealing of toys are not involved. He found every toy he could think of to make Quin feel better. I’m pretty sure that between assuring Quin that it’d be OK, and finding a combination of Zhu Zhu Pets and Buzz & Woody from Toy Story, Liam did a better job of making Quin feel better than I did.

Eventually, My Poor Baby got down to play again. He’d fiddle with some Lego’s or blocks and then pause to cry some more. This is the part I’d forgotten, how much it lingered.  But after an hour or so, he was over it.

Me on the other hand; I’ll remember every moment of that bee sting. Just like I did when I was five.