Saturday, August 27, 2011

Same Page, Different Readers

Yesterday, while I was in a meeting on a campus, my cell phone vibrated. I saw that it was my son's daycare. My stomach gave a little lurch.


I apologized to the others at the table, and they were very accommodating.

"Hello?" I answered the call. I could barely hear the voice. It was the director of the daycare.


"Yes?" I was surprisingly calm, considering. It's that moment before they tell me what is wrong that just kills me. I prepared for the worst, but at the same time I don't want to think about what the "worst" might be.

"Your son snorted a bee," the director told me.

My reaction was immediate.

I snorted, thinking that I had heard wrong. I bit my lip to keep from giggling--how often does any parent even contemplate hearing that sentence on the phone?

The director repeated herself, then elaborated. Zane had been outside playing, and something had flown up his nose. My son thought it was a bee and went to his teacher for help. Not before trying to dig the dead insect out of there, however.

"Is he okay?" I asked, but at that point I kind of knew the answer and I was relieved. They had recovered bug parts, according to the director, and there did not appear to be any swelling or allergic reaction at this time. The comment about 'recovered bug parts' almost got me giggling again as I hung up the phone. It was funny, dammit!

Just a typical boy and a typical bug having an encounter. Maybe flying up noses is what bugs do when they are old; maybe human noses are the equivalent of the Elephant Graveyard. I had a mental picture of a bee trying to fly into Zane's nose; it seemed farfetched, but I wasn't there. If it was a bee, then it didn't sting him, and since Zane has never been stung by a bee before, he should not have an allergic reaction.

I texted my husband and told him that his son had snorted a bee. Next thing I know, the phone vibrated again. It's my husband, and he was freaking out. He was upset that his boy might be hurt, wondering about allergic reactions, and thinking that we would be going to the ER.

How different our reactions were! It's usually the mother who freaks out and the father who talks her off the metaphorical ledge. Yet my husband and I seem to react directly opposite the expected stereotypes. It likely won't be the first time that Zane gets something stuck up his nose, because that is what kids do. They also poke things that aren't supposed to be poked, push the buttons that aren't meant to be pushed, and pull on things that don't necessarily like being pulled. Accidents are going to happen.

My husband will give himself a heart attack from overreacting for the next eighteen years or so, and I worry about that. But things could change. Maybe there will come a day when I will be the one freaking out in an emergency and Larry will be the calm one.



  1. Love the "bug parts", but really am cracking up about the "snorting a bee" as I have visions of the bee just laying around and Zane casually walking by plugging one nostril and snorting the creature right up in the other! I am glad he came away unscathed (Zane that is!)

  2. Glad your boy is ok. I imagie that over the next 18 years or so you and your husband will take turns panicing. It was his turn this time. :-)


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