To the best of my recollection, my first bee sting happened when I was about five years old. I was climbing the jungle gym at nursery school. So was a bee. Only one of us survived the encounter. When I learned that bees die after they sting you, I was glad. Justice!
Neither of my daughters have been stung by a bee. Yet. I confess that I am a little bit terrified of the day it finally happens. What if they turn out to be allergic? What if we’re in the middle of nowhere and they swell up and stop breathing? What if there’s a swarm? What if there are genetically altered bees carrying an alien virus? (Confession #2: I heart Mulder and Scully.)
Poppet knows that bees will hurt her and if she sees one, she makes sure to get as far away from it as possible. Pixie, my fearless little daredevil, does not yet understand that not everything in the world loves her. We were in the garden, enjoying a bit of late afternoon sunshine, when she started screaming. My first thought was bee! I couldn’t find the sting to pull it out, then glanced back to where she’d been playing.
There was a wasps’ nest beneath her windowsill.
I whisked Pixie inside, realising she’d actually been stung twice, berating myself for not paying proper attention to what she’d been doing in the garden. Worst. Mother. Ever. (I’m pretty sure that’s a mom’s natural reaction whenever her child gets hurt. I certainly felt that Mommy Guilt two days before, when Pixie fell flat on her face while we took an afternoon stroll around our complex. Thank goodness for a fringe that hides the worst of the scrapes.)
Some antihistamine ointment, Allergex syrup, and lots of cuddles later, Pixie finally calmed down. Still feeling very sorry for herself, she snuggled against Poppet on the couch and held out her injured hand, babbling her tale of woe.
“And what happened to the wasps?” you ask. Well, let’s just say I made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.