Monday, April 20, 2009

Irrational Fears

Since becoming a mother, I've become more and more aware of the bad habits and irrational fears that I exhibit. Naturally, I want and desire to not pass these on to my children. Honestly, would you want to go through life living in a house that's messy, eating junk food, and being afraid of raw meat and bees? Now that I've let you in on some of my neurosis, let me continue this post...
Last week, we were fortunate enough to be able to enjoy some springtime weather by spending lots of time outside playing in the backyard and at the park. Mostly, the boys played and I snapped pictures. After all, I covet those days that the natural light seems perfect for an impromptu photo shoot. So, while I was doing this:
Grayson was doing this:
And while I was doing this:
Jayce was taking a breather and eating fruit snacks like this:
I continued to do this:
While this:
... decided it was time to attack a bee. A huge bee. The size of the end of my thumb - from the last knuckle to the end - huge.
Now, if you've ever spent any amount of time with me outdoors during the summertime, you know that I have an irrational fear of bees. And wasps. And hornets. Pretty much, anything that stings. I know exactly where my fear comes from - when I was 8 or 9, I ventured under my uncle's pool deck to look for something and failed to notice a basketball-sized bee's nest. I received several stings on my back and arms as a result. Fast forward twenty years, and as soon as I see a stinging insect, I still run for the hills.
So, I'm enjoying my time with the boys outside, and I noticed our dog, Lexi, nosing at something in the grass. Since she's notorious for eating anything outside, I yelled at her to stop. She kept going and going, so I walked over to get her attention. That's when I noticed the yellow and black body of a bee. I froze mid-step. Jayce was eating his fruit snacks at the picnic table at the other end of the yard, but Grayson was still swinging just a couple of feet from where Lexi was playing with her new "toy". I immediately determined that the bee needed to die, so it wouldn't get mad(der) and fly away and sting the first thing it came across - Grayson. I reached for the closest thing to kill it with:
(I'm sure you are thinking: Why didn't you just step on it? My answer: the irrational fear made me think that it was already pretty pissed off and it would find some way to sting me before it died. And I was wearing flip flops.) Yes, a rake. Technically, I could have used Jayce's snow shovel, but I thought he might try to get it from me. Also, I know that squished bees exude some sort of aroma that attracts other bees - not exactly what I wanted on a tool that my kid likes to use everyday.
So, the rake was my choice. And not the best one. I neglected to take into consideration that the end of the rake and the soft ground would allow for escape for the evil insect. It probably didn't help that I refused to step within five feet of the dying insect. Thankfully, it was unable to fly, so I kept at it. That sucker refused to die! And to add to the dilemma, the rake kept on flinging the bee around the yard - not far, but enough that it kept getting closer to Grayson who was still in his swing.
Then Jayce got done with his snack and he came over to help me with "raking" or whatever he thought I was doing. Now, I was frantically hitting at the ground where the bee had landed the last time it was flung around with one hand, and holding Jayce back with the other hand, praying that the sucker would just give up and die! Finally, finally it came to it's resting place:
No, you can't see my striped enemy in this picture, because it was essentially buried as I kept smashing it into the ground, but rest assured: It's there. He's dead. Finally. A little part of me hoped that by burying him, he wouldn't attract his flying buddies.
After looking back at what happened in our backyard the other day, I know exactly how insane I looked as I stood five feet away from a spot on the ground that I kept smacking with a rake. I understand that I was being somewhat neurotic about taking the life of an insect. I just can't help myself. I just hope that my boys didn't pay too close of attention to how I was behaving...

3 comments:

Assistant Ring Master said...

That's hilarious. It sounds so similar to my insane fear of spiders. I had to get over that when Ben was about 2...I must have done a good enough job hiding my fear from him because he is now our resident spider smasher.
And really, bees have some odor that attracts other bees? I smash hornets and wasps all the time around here in the summer. They love the pool for some reason - but only when the kids are in it.
Kudos Melissa, you saved your kids from certain disaster!

Ravin2 said...

sounds like mom with frogs, but it was a lawn mower instead of a rake... the similarities are eerie

Jenney said...

This is so funny. I can imagine the whole scene!
Um, and I am afraid your fear comes from me because you were under the pool deck with me (who did not get stung*) because I had dropped an earring through the cracks and you were helping me look.
*and it turns out my allergist has me carry an epi pen for bee stings because I am prone to be quite allergic and it is a good thing I was not stung that day...but I still felt SO horrible for you...so I am DEEPLY sorry.