Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Child vs. Wild

This week I have a whole week of vacation to spend with the boys.  Today, after doing some housework, running errands and having lunch, we came home and decided to play in the yard.  With so little sunshine in Seattle lately, it felt like a good idea to take advantage of this sunny afternoon.
Big Dog suggested we use the wiffle ball and bat I brought home in hopes of improving my wiffle batting skills for my wiffle ball team at work (yes, I work in the nerd zoo, we have a wiffle ball league) and I agreed.
As we were choosing the best position for our batter, Little Dog decided to join in but as he rounded the corner by the blackberry bush, his smile turned to screams.  I though he'd caught his hand on the thorny branches of the bush, but he insisted he'd been stung.
I should really know what to do in this case, but I didn't.  I rushed to look at his finger, complete with stinger and venom sack.  At that point I kind of froze.  I knew I was supposed to get the stinger out quickly but scraping it free, not by pinching it or using tweezers, but with his thrashing and screaming that was a lot harder than I'd expected.  I got him to put his finger under cold running water then made repeated attempts to scrape the stinger free to no avail.  As I did this his screams turned to howls.  I couldn't quite hear what he was saying at first, but in a moment, I realized he was screaming, "The horror!  The horror!" over and over again.  When I looked at him I found my future thespian looking in the mirror working to perfect the best expression of shock, pain and misery to accompany the injury.  It was hard to keep from laughing, but I did.
A quick google search revealed that remedy for a bee sting was to cover the area with a paste of baking soda and water, so I mixed this up and instead of trying to keep a patch of goo on his little finger, I put the paste in a shot glass and made him keep his finger in that.  It seemed to work, but I also gave him some Tylenol and a dose of benadryl, just in case. (I'm allergic to bee stings and both boys are pretty reactive to other bug bites.  It felt like a reasonable move.) 
As I ushered him upstairs to distract him with some TV while he nursed his injury, my sobbing boy continued to tell me how much it hurt.  Every few steps, he'd exclaim, "Bee sting!" his voice filled with frustration and disgust.  At one point he decided to tell me about another terrible injury he's suffered, "One time I got a paper cut," he started, "but it didn't hurt as bad as the bee sting.  Stupid bee sting."
And as I tried to comfort him, I reminded him that I have been stung by a bee as well, so I remember how badly it hurts.  I told him I was proud he was being so brave as he suffered.  "I remember that story," he said, "you told me before.  So you know just how I feel?"
"I don't know just how you feel, but I remember that it hurt quite a bit and that was many years ago so it must have been pretty terrible," I explained.
"Yeah," he agreed. The added with vehemence, "But I don't think you know how it is.  I think I hurt more than you did."
At least he's toned down the melodrama- he's no longer practicing his faces.

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