Long before summer began, Claire started asking me questions about bees. Not seeing any significance at the time, I readily answered her questions which included everything from how honey is made to what bees eat, and, of course, why they sting, where the stinger is, etc.
Once summer started, I immediately regretted this previous conversation. She has panicked about bugs in general in the past, but the obsession with bees this summer and the possibility of getting stung has haunted her every foray into the outdoors. While it has been extremely irritating at times, I can't say that I blame her all that much. After all, I'm not much of a bee fan myself, nor is Shawn who is allergic to certain bees and wasps. So, I guess, in some ways, she gets her "bee paranoia" honestly.
Well, the fateful day finally arrived. While at the pool today, Claire was stung. She was playing "Ariel the Mermaid" in the baby pool, which, at the time, involved her pretending to sleep in the water. Apparently (I was occupied with Ben at the time) a bee like bug flew into her hair, got trapped there, and stung her shoulder out of protest. The first I heard of this encounter was Claire saying, "Mommy, I was playing my Ariel game and then I got a little hurt." When I asked her to show me where, she pointed to her shoulder, and I saw the bug in her hair.
All you moms out there know the importance of a mother's reaction and it's proportionate response in a hurt child. Well, in my defense, I'm not a fan of bees! I think I responded something like, "Oh Claire, there's a bee in your hair, hold still, I think it stung you." You can imagine her response.
Once the offending insect was removed and squashed by a shoe, Claire was carried, shrieking like a banshee, away from the pool. I examined her shoulder, and, sure enough, found a small bump there. She wouldn't let me touch it at all. After assuring her that she was brave, and that all would be well, she finally quieted down. I think because she realized that, after all, it really wasn't all that bad. Actually, looking back on it, I hesitate to even call it a bee. Maybe a horsefly? I don't really know. It was big, black and mean looking. Enough said.
Regardless, the highlight of the morning for me was when Claire looked at me, and, in all sincerity said, "Mommy, I thought I would never get stung by a bee, but then my life changed, and I did." I couldn't help myself. I laughed.