On a gorgeous fall drive with two of our young grandkids we stop at a park to play. Fresh air. Colourful leaves. Blue Alberta sky. And a backpack full of snacks. A perfect outing.
The kids run and jump and swing through the playground. In no time at all, I have 5,000 steps and only three near heart attacks at the hanging upside down antics.
Just as I begin to video our granddaughter as she hurtles down a zip-line, our grandson, who is only three years old and too short for the ride, lets out a scream. Not just any scream - a full out anyone-within-a-mile-can-hear-him kind of scream.
I bend over in time to see him swipe a wasp off his pinky finger. Tears streak down his face as he sticks his hand in the air.
Even without reading glasses on I can see the stinger, with a blob of venom attached to it, sticking out of a small cut right above his pudgy knuckle. I pull the stinger out and lift it to my eyes. The venom sac still clings to the sharp barb. It’s kind of cool to see but another scream brings me back to my grandson’s finger.
Hugs can’t console him and people start to stare. I’m sure they think the tyke has fallen victim to some enormous travesty set upon him by me. I give the staring people a pleading look to tell them, “I’m doing my best.”
“Let’s go to the car and get a band aid,” Grampa says. “Stick his finger in your mouth.”
I look at my grandson’s dirty hand.
“It was a wasp sting not a snake bite,” I say.
“It’ll distract him.”
I pick up the tyke and put his finger in my mouth knowing I’m doomed. No amount of hand-sani can’t save me now.
Once his finger is in my mouth, the screaming stops. When it starts up again, it’s not as loud. I suck on the finger. The scream turns into snotty sobs.
At the car, I set him on the tailgate and pour water over the sting while grampa searches for a band aid. Candles, old granola bars, blankets, masks and gloves (thanks covid) pile up beside us. Not one band aid.
Grampa digs through his emergency car repair kit. “Look what I found.” He holds up the tiniest silver hose clamp. “It’s a superhero ring for a brave little boy.”
Our grandson’s eyes go big. “Really?”
Grampa nods a very serious grampa nod. He takes the injured pinky and ever so gently, puts the hose clamp over the red mark.
All the way home our grandson holds his hand in the air.
“I got a superhero ring.” He waves it at his sister. “Because I’m brave.”