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Friday, August 25, 2006

Kate and the Mystery of the Wasps

I have a friend with an acute fear of spiders. I'm not too worried about spiders particularly, but I certainly can relate when it comes to wasps. Everyone says to hold still and they will fly around you and then buzz off, but everytime one of those suckers comes near me, I look like a marionette gone crazy. Try as I might to keep my cool, I freak out every time.

Which brings me to my story: Last week I was at the baby's change table, changing her diaper when I noticed a wasp buzzing around the window. It was one of those big suckers too, I think they're called yellow jackets. I was almost done the diaper and I hastily finished up, put the baby in her crib and found a board book to smoosh the wasp with. The wasp crumbled and fell behind the change table and all I could think of was Andrea's blog entry about the spider she thought she killed in her daughter's room, only to discover it crawling around again, hours later (minus some legs). I cautiously peered over the change table and spied the wasp curled on the ground and motionless. I stared for a good five minutes, just to be sure, but it didn't move. I gloated a little over my cool-headedness in ridding myself of the terrible little beastie and left the corpse where it lay. I'm a terrible housekeeper at the best of times, but I wasn't picking that thing up until it was an empty shell, if I could help it. The reason for this is quite simple. When I was ten, I was swatting wasps in our houseboat and unknowingly knelt on some of the bodies. I was stung three times in quick succession and after screaming bloody blue murder, my dad came running and when he found out the cause of my freak out, he told me that wasps often sting out of self-defense when they're dying. A last-ditch effort if you will. Anyway, I wasn't taking any chances with this wasp. Let it stay on the floor and dry up. No one can see it behind the table anyway.

I briefly wonder where it had come from, but figured that it got in from the patiodoor being open downstairs and flew around my house for awhile before meeting its fate in the window of my daughter's bedroom. I didn't give it much more thought than that.

This week, I was again changing my daughter's diaper (oh, will the dirty diapers ever stop?) and there was ANOTHER WASP in the window. Unfortunately, I was just starting to change the diaper and Kate's at that wonderful stage where it's fun to twist around while I try vainly to attach a fresh diaper. She recently succeeded in rolling over, back to front, and I think she was practising. Anyway, it took longer than normal to put this diaper on and the whole time, I'm trying to keep one eye on the wasp and one eye on the diaper. This is even more difficult than it sounds, given the squirminess of my kid at the time. Finally I got the diaper on, after a few pleas with my daughter the lay still, and I put her in her crib. I can't say that my heart was pounding, even for theatrical purposes, but I WAS sweating a bit. And not for my own pansy ass either, I was more worried the damn thing would land on Kate and give her a jab. And in this day and age with kids dying at the smell of peanuts and carrying around needles to save them from bees, I have daymares about her getting stung and dying in my arms before I even know what happened. Anyway, I grabbed the same board book and flattened this wasp too. It fell on the window ledge, in the track of the window. I left that one there too. I learned my lesson when I was ten.

Now my question is this: Where are these damn wasps coming from??? I have a small nest in a roof peak at the front of my house, but surely they haven't made their way from there INTO my house, have they?

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