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Thursday, August 28, 2008  

Stung

I don't remember how old I was the first time I got stung by a bee. I was young enough that I was still living in my parents' house in Coon Rapids, but old enough to react to the sudden pain that lit up the webbing between my right finger and thumb by sending up a blue streak of curses that was visible several blocks away. Fortunately my devoutly religious grandmother, who was visiting at the time, took it in stride.

The second time was just a few years ago. Since Trash is deathly allergic to bee stings, we have a zero-tolerance policy around here and I was trying to eliminate a hive that had somehow gotten started under our siding. On reflection, perhaps I would have been better off just spraying the hive and then backing off instead of sticking around to try and bulls-eye every individual bee I saw.

M. Edium's first time was tonight. We were at the pool and I was standing literally right behind him when he suddenly cried out, "Ow, that hurts my hand!" I looked and didn't see a wound, but then I saw the drowned bee bobbing in the water. I knew they died after stinging you, but I didn't know it happened that quickly.

You'd probably expect a three-year-old to shriek in several different frequencies at once. Well, I'm not going to say that M. Edium didn't cry, because he did. But it wasn't the kind of mortal screech that would have come out of, say, me.

I've long suspected that he has a high pain threshold. He's remarkably forgiving when he has to get shots. We found out he had a hairline ankle fracture last summer when he got up one morning and calmly reported, "I can't walk so good." If he falls or crashes into something, he'd much rather get back to what he was doing than sit and cry about it. I suspect that what upset him about the bee sting wasn't how much it hurt, but how long he had to wait for it to stop hurting. It's like he's used to having pain go away in the first minute or so after sustaining an owie, and then when it doesn't he feels ripped off. By the end he was crying not from pain but frustration.

I'm also glad to report that he didn't display any signs of an allergic reaction, although if he had, he probably would have denied the symptoms of anaphylactic shock the same way he does the symptoms of being sleepy. He did say at one point that he wanted his mom, but not enough to actually get out of the pool and go home. No, that would have ruined his evening. By the time we did go home a half hour later, for dinner, I asked him how his hand was feeling and he said fine. Like it had never happened, even though I could see the angry red welt. That is to say, it looked angry to me, but M. Edium's attitude indicated that it was now actually a fairly congenial red welt.

Who is this kid? That bee must have been like, "Shit, man, this yuppie-larva izzzz tough. I'm out."

I don't think it's to the point where it's dangerous or anything, mind you. He has the typical preschooler fearlessness when it comes to climbing and such, but in general when something hurts he knows enough to quit doing it. Like, we're still going to need to keep oven mitts in the house.

But it's a good thing we're not the type of parents who discipline our child by thumping him, because then we'd be really screwed.

posted by M. Giant 8:31 PM 5 comments

5 Comments:

NICU grads tend to react either really well or really, really badly to pain. Glad to see M.Edium is in the first group!

By Anonymous elizabells, at August 29, 2008 at 11:40 AM  

May I suggest M.Edium has quite a lucrative future in hockey?

By the way, the allergy doesn't necessarily show up the first time. I think with my little brother it was the third or fourth sting when his hand blew up to the size of a small ham.

By Anonymous Bo, at August 29, 2008 at 8:45 PM  

Bo speaks the truth -- it's seldom the very first sting that causes trouble. Anaphylaxis is a type of hypersensitivity reaction, so one must first be sensitized to the allergen (in this case, the toxin). So unfortunately there's not a 100% chance he will avoid Trash's fate. Still, he's a tough lil' dude, no question about that.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at August 30, 2008 at 3:08 PM  

Aw. AW! Poor guy.

By Blogger Linda, at August 31, 2008 at 2:12 PM  

Ellie is the SAME way! The kid has taken some pretty rough looking tumbles. I sit back and wait for her reaction before I react. She gets up, dusts off and gets back to whatever it is that she is doing.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 2, 2008 at 7:54 AM  

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