I have a husband. For the most part I try to leave him out of this blog because the Internet is no place to hold a marriage. Also, I’m more likely to write when I’m angry than when I’m happy, so most views that I would post would come off as tragically myopic.
Today, however, I have a story to tell you and it requires his presence.
Bees. I like the concept of bees. They fly from flower to flower and pollinate fruits and vegetables and are instrumental to all life. They make honey, which is pretty good. They are brightly striped which is cool.
In practice though bees and wasps are alarmingly similar in appearance. Especially when you stand 10 feet away and cower. And are probably allergic to wasps.
So, like any sane person, when on Saturday afternoon a bee flew in our back door, I called to Jeff for help and picked up Fiona to better be able to flee the terrible monster. “Hey, Babe, can you get the bee out of the house?”
He sighed, got up from the couch, and began flailing at the bee, while telling it to get out.
“Uhm?” I started, and paused here because once you’ve asked for help, the standard of marriage happiness says that you “Butt-the-heck-out”. If, once you’ve asked for a job to be done you quibble about the hows, you are causing unhappiness.
However, there is a correct method of bee removal from a home and it does not involve a six-foot tall man flailing with an X-Box controller at an object roughly the size of a bean. He performed a dance that would probably be analyzed by anthropologists as being a request to the bee deities to take their small buzzy acolyte and get the frack out of our domicile. It looked more or less like an octopus trying to signal a plane. It was performed to the tune of a small voice saying in increasingly frantic tones, “A buzzy bee? A buzzy, buzzy bee?!?”
In case you were wondering, the correct method of bee removal is to close all blinds and turn off all lights. Open only the door that you wish the bee to go through. The bee will fly through door, attracted to the light.
He hit the bee.
Fiona was really starting to get upset, “Daddy, the buzzy bee? Is the buzzy bee okay? I play with it! The buzzy bee?”
The bee was only stunned.
I offered him a paper towel so he could relocate it outside.
He managed to get stung.
He then threw a spectacular fit. He screamed. He cussed. He jumped up and down. He yelled in what I assume was wordless rage. (Our daughter comes by her dramatic nature honestly.)
He scared the crap out of Fiona. She started shrieking. She clung to me with both arms around my neck and legs wrapped around my waist.
Finally, I yelled at him to cut it out. He stopped being a crazy person and I was able to focus on Fiona. It took about 10 minutes to calm her back down to something not hysterical. And she continued to ask about the buzzy bee and burst into tears. (I’m not entirely certain that she wasn’t partially upset that she didn’t get to keep the bee.)
Eventually, I pulled the stinger out of his finger and settled him on the couch to fume.
Then I turned my attention on Fiona. She was still upset so we snuggled until she wasn’t shuddering when she took a breath. Then we talked. We talked about bees and how they protect themselves when they’re scared. We talked about leaving them alone, but not being afraid of them. We talked about all the good things that bees do.
Then we played. We pretended to get stung. We handled it better than Daddy. We took care of our pretend stings. We pretended to be buzzy bees and chased each other and visited flowers. We pretended to see bees in the garden and leave them alone.
Then we went and looked at Jeff’s hand. When she saw the sting she burst into tears all over again. So we did all of the talking and pretending again. And again. And again. Until she could talk about it and think about it without crying.
I am pleased to report that my Fiona-Girl did not suffer from nightmares about bees or Daddy. Though, I’m fairly certain that she will be afraid of bees for a while.
I’m a little concerned that we have traumatized our child. Please tell me we’re not the only ones?