Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And then there was the buzz about the bee*

It's a good thing that neither child actually saw the deceased hare. We had enough trauma with a wasp. Maybe it was a hornet. It could have been a bee. It was certainly enough to strike terror in the hearts of C and N.

Good Friday was a whirl of activity. N had invited a friend over, which I thought would give me time to clean the house. It turned out to be a very nice day so the girls played outside, came in for drinks, then needed towels for a "picnic" outside, then came back in to ask if they could don swimsuits and play in the sprinker. So they changed and they played in the water. Came back in, changed and had lunch, changed again and went back out. They came back in, dried off, changed, played in N's room, changed again, went back out...and so it went.

By the time the friend left, I had a little over an hour to run an errand, shower and clean the house. (As we attempted them in that order, you can tell which one did not get done). Especially as the "little over an hour" changed to "less than an hour" the moment we let the wasp in the house with us. He stayed up in the large window that no one can reach but the concern over what he could do was all-consuming. I explained that if they just left the insect alone, he'd leave them alone.

When we returned from the store to find it still in the window, the questions just increased.
"How does a bee sting?"
"Is it a bee or a wasp?"
"What does it feel like if it stings you?"
"If it's a bee it'll die when it stings us. Is it a bee? If it dies, does it go to heaven? Can you see when you are in heaven? Can you see bees in heaven? How can you see in Heaven?"

By the time the babysitter arrived, they were distracted showing her their new sticker books and forgot about the bee/wasp issue.

The next day, the wasp was still in the window, desperately searching for a way out but not leaving that particular window. As the day wore on, you could tell the little guy was getting weaker.

By the end of Saturday, after I mowed the grass and finally got a shower, I came out to find the wasp crawling outside my bedroom, at the top of the stairs. I asked my daughter to keep an eye on the wasp while I looked for a big shoe or book to put it out of its misery. She backed into her room (partly to stay away from the bee and partly to make sure I did not use her shoe). My son started to come upstairs, volunteering to "keep an eye on the bee," when it occured to me that after dead bunnies, wavering faith in the Tooth Fairy and my constant assurances that the bee would leave them alone if they left it alone--maybe I could still get this little guy out of the house alive. I could save the day for someone--even if the someone was a bug. I told my son to go ask his dad for a shoebox while I kept an eye on the wasp. My thinking was maybe I could put the box on the step below and slowly scoot the wasp into the box with the lid. My son came back with my hubbie, who came with one of N's new shoes, and smacked the wasp.

Though they were stunned for a moment, they recovered as they were at least released from the fear of that ever-present stinger. However, for the week afterwards, every time my son went up the stairs, I'd hear him muttering "poor little bee."

He still asks me at least once a day how you can see in Heaven.
* After initially posting this, I looked for our "bee" online and found that it was a European paper wasp.

No comments: