Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bee Prepared

A few weekends ago, we decided to take advantage of the lovely Fall-like weather and head to Ernie Miller Nature Center. We know better than to take a family vote on our upcoming activities. It's never pretty. And it's rarely unanimous. But we went ahead and took a vote anyway.  You might be able to guess how Tate voted by his body language.
Tate needs a bit more convincing/nudging/dragging to go anywhere beyond the comfort of his own home. However, once we pry his fingers from building his magical castles in Minecraft, and reintroduce him to trees, dirt, and sticks, he thoroughly enjoys himself. 
First step, look at the map and figure out which trail we're going to try first. Many things make me laugh about this picture. Of course, the tiny backpack on David's broad shoulders. Also the fact that he still gets confused about 435 East/West, but get him out in the woods, and he really knows his way around. And finally, David has never stayed on a trail in his life. He believes the best adventures are to be had just off the beaten path.
As I was snapping all these pictures, I began thinking of what I could write about this trip. Just as I had decided it would be a pretty short story, and perhaps mostly just pictures, the excitement began to unfold. (We'd only been there about 10 minutes.)
David and the girls headed off the trail onto a side path. Tate decided to stick with me, found this super huge boulder, and had me snap a picture. 
As we continued down the trail, we heard Reese scream. Not an "Ewww, I walked into a spider web" type of scream, but a blood curdling scream that made me think she must have seen a snake. She kept screaming, so I figured I had better head back to check on things. She emerged from the path screaming and crying and holding her neck. 

A snake fell from the trees and bit her neck?! was, of course, my next thought. Between sobs and hiccups it was ascertained that she had, in fact, been stung by a bee.  Her first sting ever. 

I'm not allergic to anything so I started to at least feel relieved that she probably wouldn't be either. Remembering she also shares another person's DNA, I quickly turned to David and said, "Are you allergic to bee stings??" 

He didn't think he was. I then remembered hearing somewhere that you can't always tell from the first sting if you're allergic. It's the second one that does you in. Well, great. As if I needed anything else to worry about when the kids aren't with me. What if Reese is attacked by a swarm of killer bees when I'm not around? Guess who'll be wearing a bee keeper suit to school from here on out? 

It was turning red and swelling slightly. I felt helpless, but wanted to do something, so I started blowing on it. Hey, it was all I had. And it helped. Or, at least distracted her somewhat. I had zero first aide items on my person. David grabbed a cold water bottle from his Barbie-sized backpack and she held it against her neck. 

Drue's sympathy department can be a little, well, lacking at times, and as I hovered over Reese deciding what our next step should be, Drue acted as though she was being bothered by this whole ordeal and said, "Do we have to go home?!" 

I was about to make a fire to send up smoke signals letting others know we were in need of first aide attention STAT, when I remembered that even though it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, we were actually right off the highway. And there was a Wal-Mart just up the road. So I revised my plan, declaring that I would take Reese to get some medicine, while David and the other two continued their trek. 

It totally should have been the other way around, because David is just more sensible in these types of situations. Actually, in all situations.  We got to Walmart and I drew a complete blank. I couldn't think of anything that would help a bee sting. All I could think of was my Mom making a paste of baking soda and water for our wasp stings. 

So as we dashed into the store, I quickly Googled remedies, having to pause every few minutes to blow on Reese's sting per her request. I found a bench near the pharmacy and plopped her on it as I began looking down the aisles. But the insect bite medicine was a few aisles over, and I didn't want to leave her where I couldn't see her, so I pulled her up off the bench and brought her along. As you can imagine, the Internet is full of bee sting remedies. So i decided just to go with the first one I came across.  Toothpaste. Double score because we were almost out anyway. I grabbed a tube, as well as Tylenol (thank you, Google) all the while asking, "Do you feel strange? Are your lips swelling up or going numb?" 
We made it back and were reunited with the rest of the adventurers. (Thank you, cell phones). From there on out, it was a much calmer, more enjoyable experience. They performed a few skits in the outdoor amphitheater.
We found some other fun spots to stop at along the way. 

Tate predictably ended our time there saying, "I love this place! Can we come back?!" 
Absolutely, Buddy. But next time I'll be sure and bring the toothpaste. 

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