The Rest of the Story

A Letter to the Couple Who was Watching Us from a Window

Dear People I Don’t Know:

I got the impression that you thought I overreacted. You saw my child start crying, then you saw me yank him over to our vehicle and start smacking him.

Yes, I really did do that.

You may have thought to yourself that I was a bit harsh on him, that I should realize that 3-year-olds just cry sometimes. Maybe you thought I should have relaxed, cut him some slack. Maybe you thought my nerves were fried or I didn’t get enough sleep the night before.

I don’t know what you were thinking, but I do know that you were watching us. You were right next to the window of a nearby building and I could see your expression. It wasn’t a full-fledged glare, but it did convey concern.

That concern is what I want to alleviate. You see, although you had a pretty good view of our situation, your view was not good enough – you couldn’t see the yellow jackets that were stinging my son.

Sincerely,

The Touristy-Looking Guy with the Floppy Wide-Brimmed Hat

And that’s how our Tuesday on vacation started. It was supposed to be a fun day – playing miniature golf, eating lunch at a restaurant, and visiting a museum.

We pulled into the parking spot near the golf place. The older 3 kids got out and started walking on the wood beams that served as parking markers near the next building. The wife and I were getting the strollers out of the van and loading them with our gear.

I happened to snap a photo of Gamma walking on a beam, probably several seconds before “the incident”:

child balancing on wooden beams that mark parking spaces

Alpha walked along the beams, with Beta close behind him. Gamma was following until he got near the end. Then he just stood there, wringing his hands and crying.

I’ve gone through that routine before, with Alpha a few years ago, so I recognized what was happening. One thing about young kids is that they don’t (and seemingly can’t) run from danger. They freeze. When Alpha was getting stung by wasps, I wasn’t as close, so I yelled for him to run to me. He refused/ignored me/was too scared to move. So I didn’t bother yelling when I realized something was wrong with Gamma.

After I pulled Gamma away, I smacked one yellow jacket off his face and another one off the back of his head. I didn’t see any others as I looked over his arms and legs. He was crying and asking to go back home. I carried him to the entrance of the mini-golf place because he was too distraught to walk. After we had gone about 50 yards, he started crying again and grabbing his shorts. It turned out a yellow jacket had followed us and waited until he was in Gamma’s shorts before he started stinging.

I smacked that yellow jacket too. I thought about pulling off Gamma’s shorts to make sure no other pests were in there, but they were loose enough that I could just glance around and see that the coast was clear. We gave Gamma some Benadryl to combat any swelling – at least 4 stings total (two on his face and one on each thigh). I put an Epi-pen in my pocket. And then we went mini-golfing.

Gamma had wanted to go mini-golfing, so that turned out to be a good distraction. He ran around and played, and the stings did not get any worse. But he was jumpy the rest of the day if he saw anything flying.

On the boardwalk for the golf place, I happened to check the bottom of Gamma’s shoes. What I saw there was the head of a yellow jacket stuck in his tread. I wiped it off in case the scent of a dead yellow jacket would attract angry comrades. That’s probably what started them stinging in the first place. Although I do think that Alpha and Beta woke them up and disturbed them enough to start looking around, just in time for Gamma to step on one and start the war.

They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.

Revelation 9:10

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This little article thingy was written by Some Guy sometime around 6:13 am and has been carefully placed in the Travel category.

5 Responses to “The Rest of the Story”

  1. Ricky Anderson Says:

    Oh, man. Glad he’s all right. What you just described is a personal nightmare of mine. All flying things with stingers will make me run in a panicked beeline (ha!) to nowhere, waving my arms and screaming like a girl.

  2. Vacation II Photos •• Some Blog Site Says:

    […] The Rest of the Story Vacation II […]

  3. Some Guy Says:

    That’s a very appropriate response to yellow jackets. I don’t know that the screaming helps, but the running and waving are good.

    Ever see Tommy Boy?

  4. Ricky Anderson Says:

    Don’t think so. Might have to check that out. I assume there’s running and waving of arms?

  5. Some Guy Says:

    Not much, but there is a scene where they reference being attacked by bees. “Your weapons are useless against them.”

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