Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Day of the Yellow Jacket

I am sure this Saturday will go down as one of the least busiest Saturdays of the summer--maybe even the year. We didn't even leave the house once time. We have had such a busy week-- both Mike at work and me with the kids that we didn't have the energy to get out. Several times we looked at each other and asked, "You want to get out and do anything today?" But we never did. It was glorious.

Most of it anyway. After a pancake breakfast and a full morning of playing, we drained, cleaned and refilled our pool so the kids could swim. They excitedly put on their bathing suits and headed outside. About ten minutes into their outdoor swim session, Lucas came bursting in the back door saying, "Something's wrong with Leah!!!!!" Two seconds later Leah came in crying the "I'm really hurt, this is not a fake cry." If you're a parent you learn to distinguish the two very quickly. My heart rate picked up expecting to see blood or a broken bone. Instead, she was screaming that something had stung her and her back hurt really, really bad.

I took her in the bathroom and stripped off her bathing suit. She was shaking and crying, so it was hard to get a clear story of what happened, but it was clear that she had been stung not once, but twice. The area around each sting was swelling up and the skin around that was red and hot to the touch. Her whole back was super sensitive to any touch and she was nearing hysterics. Mike brought in some Benadryl, an ice pack and some dry clothes. Slowly Leah started calming down. I brought her to the couch and she put her head in my lap as I lightly scratched her face until the worst of the pain was over. We applied a paste made of baking soda and water which brought the swelling down quickly. Her brother and sister were so concerned about her and hovered nearby until they could tell she was okay.

Eventually her story came out. It went like this: "I was just standing by the tree next to our neighbor's yard when a bunch of black things flew out and started stinging me!" Mike and I went out to investigate and to our dismay we found a decent sized yellow jacket nest in our Bradford Pear tree! If you are not familiar, yellow jackets are in the wasp family and are meaner than a rattlesnake. They are aggressive and territorial and will sting multiple times.  My dad came over, and he and Mike formed a plan to get rid of them. They started by spraying the tree with the water hose which they did not like one bit. I watched from the back porch and saw at least a dozen fly out in a frenzy. Once the nest was cleared, my dad went in with a broom and knocked the nest down. It was full of round, white, gooey, yellow jacket eggs (larvae?). It was disgusting. Needless to say, it went far, far away. We're hoping without their nest, the yellow jackets won't return, but we are keeping an eye on it now.

This is the yellow jacket nest. It still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Once that situation was taken care of, and Leah was feeling like her normal happy self again, we proceeded on with our afternoon and evening--dinner together at the table, more playing, a little America's Funniest Videos and then baths and bedtime. Minus the yellow jacket stings, today was just about perfect.


Sue said...

I love that she told you it was not a fake cry.

Maria Rose said...

Poor girl!