A bee flew into a craft store. No, this is not a dirty joke. This is what happened – this morning. So this bee, he flew right on in. Oh! Bright lights, lots of colors and – whats this? Aisle upon aisle of beautiful, blooming flowers! Can you imagine this bee’s glee? (I’m loving that rhyme.) He was probably flying swoops in the air and doing a little bee jig. And then, maybe after smacking his little bee lips, he dove right down into those flowers – perhaps eyeing one of those lovely, seasonally appropriate sunflowers.
Wait a minute. Upon landing, that bee realized something. The lovely sunflower didn’t smell right. In fact, it didn’t feel right. Horror of horrors, after further inspection, that bee found not one trace of pollen anywhere upon that flower. Miffed, he tried the next one. And the next. And then he realized, they were all fake! This was all a lie! A conspiracy – bees everywhere were being made fools of! Zooming around the store, his senses overwhelmed by fake flowers with no pollen, with no way to get out to the real flowers with real pollen… this bee was livid, seething, utterly enraged.
And then he spots us. He sees my son C. and I wheeling through the sliding doors. Clueless, innocently entering this store in our own right, we wheeled right by the flower section.
Just as we brushed past the glittery mums, he made his move. Attacking, taking out his rage upon a sweet, slightly plump, 2 year old who was actually behaving today for his mommy. He was going to bring “the man” (and that bee was betting “the man’s” name was Michael) down for every lovin’ fake flower in that joint.
C. grabbed his neck. And then his thumb. And SCREAMED. I was at a loss. Did a plastic flower bramble just scratch him? Did some extra large glitter on those mums cut his neck a bit? I looked and found two bites on his neck, both a bit puffy. And then, the thumb, which he was waving madly for my kiss, had that same puffy punctured bite.
What the hell? Michael’s employees gathered around, recognizing that special pitch of a child’s scream in pain. And then one woman saw it. The bee, staggering around on the floor. Probably screaming up to his pollen gods, “Why… WHY?!?!!!”
Smooooosh. And his agonizing final day on this earth was over.
Meanwhile, you should know, I am a mother of a son with a peanut allergy. I am the daughter of a man who has fatal reactions to bees. I swell for days if I get one bite. And now my son has two? On his neck? So who SHOULD be the most prepared mommy ever – with benedryl and an epipen at the ready in case of emergency? On most days, me. Not today you ask? Nope, not today. My allergy kit was home, in the swimming pool bag. Today. Of ALL days.
And when I realized this, panic set in. His screams were ear shattering, but I barely heard them. I grabbed him and made a run for my car. “Wheres the closest walgreens, WHERES THE CLOSEST WALGREENS??!?!??!?” Um, down there. Screeeeeeech, my 97 Saturn (step aside General Lee) did a Dukes of Hazard peel out of the parking lot.
And can I just say? I am usually a fiiiine driver. Honestly. I have even been complimented on my skillz before. Oh ho, NOT today. ‘Scuse me, pardon me, get the frock over, I AM COMING THROUGH DAMMIT!!!!!!
And then I thought, hearing him howl and hiccup and surely gagging and almost dying, that I should go the other way to the Urgent Care right by here. Hiccup, gasp. Oh sweet cheese and crackers… HE’S DYING!!!!!
‘Scuse me, pardon… GET OUT OF MY GODDAMN WAY MY CHILD IS DYING!!!!!!!!
Oh shit, the urgent care isn’t over here. U-TURN!!!!! SCREEEECH!!! (“Just the good ol boys, never meaning no harm…”)
Back at the same pissing redlight. Should I run it? COULD I run it? Could I? Damn, fate hands me a cop car in the right hand lane.
Then, as I am pulling into the Walgreens parking lot, watching my screaming and drooling 2 yo in the rear view mirror, a faint little bulb managed to blink on in the haze of my panic. Call the pediatrician. Oh yeah…
Well, I handled that like a pro. “My baby… stung… will he die?” Sob sob sob. Calm down she said. He is fine if he is screaming. SOBSOBSOBSOB. She said bendryl, baking soda, make sure he keeps breathing, if he doesn’t, call 911.
Wha? 911?…. SOB!!!!!!!! WAAAIIIL!!! MY BABY!!!! WAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!
She shoulda been there. Really she shoulda. Because if I ever could have used a bitch slap, it would have been right about then.
So I hung up, grabbed my sweet bee punctured child, and ran for the pharmacy.
“BENEDRYL! ORAL SYRINGE! BAKING SODA! STAT!” Well, I didn’t say STAT but I should’ve, dontcha think?
I got what I needed, he got what he needed. The crying slowed. He was breathing. Oh lookee here, I was breathing. I even managed to fish a smooshed fruit bar out of my purse. Which he ate, smiling through boogers while caked bits of baking soda fell off his neck into his lap as he chewed.
We sang his favorite bumblebee song.
“I’m bringing home my baby bumblebee, won’t my mommy be so proud of me…”
He pointed to the scary monstews in the Halloween section and giggled.
All was well.
All was even better when he drowsily nodded off from the drugs in my car. I’ll be putting a mirror to his mouth to just make SURE I didn’t overdose the kid (I was a little shaky, maybe he got more than a teaspoon?) as soon as I press publish. (My priorities as a mom are right in check.)
But here’s my bottom line. It was a bee sting. OK, three bee stings. (And I am thinking maybe it was a wasp and not a bee, how can a bee sting three times?) But kids get stung. IT HAPPENS. And how did I deal with this fairly minor first aid incident? I flipped the FROCK out.
What am I going to do? When the stitches and the broken legs and the rest of it happens. (I have two boys, its not a matter of *if* , its a matter of when.) That epipen BETTER stay in my purse because judging from today’s complete and total over reaction, *I* will need a shot of epinephrine and a call to 911 more than my child with a broken limb will. I did a horrible job today. I screamed at stop lights, I panicked and drove all over the place, I cried as if *I* were the one stung when talking to the triage nurse. I looked like a craaazzeee woman tripping and running through Walgreens with my screaming kid, holding onto my shirt, now exposing most of one bra cup. What a fiasco. GET A GRIP WOMAN!!!
Maybe it takes practice. Maybe I need to read more stories of inspiring “keeping their shit together when scary stuff happens” moms likes this one and this one. Maybe if it were MORE than a bee sting but something really legit like a gaping wound, I would be cool, and totally together and summon the spirit of Miranda Bailey (my favorite Greys Anatomy character) and it would all be taken care of quickly, calmly and effiently. And I would even say “STAT”.
Who am I kidding. I am a fiasco in emergency situations, and thats that.
Thank God for triage nurses and 911. And vodka.