They told the children not to eat their apples on the hay ride. They told the children the open apples would attract bees. They told them this like 5 times and shouted it after us as the tractor rumbled and dragged Super Preschooler's field trip into the orchard. But since when has Super Toddler ever listened to anyone? Ever. She isn't likely to start today.
Here she sits, dead center on the wagon bed, calmly and defiantly eating the apple that she started eating 2 seconds after pulling it off the tree. I can't stop her unless I want a repeat of the tantrum that happened when she found out that she wasn't riding a horse today, so I don't even bother.
I, personally, have no problem with bees. I kinda like bees. I remember giving my 2nd grade presentation on my favorite animal; the bee. I loved the complex order to their hives. The intricate dances and communications. The subtle variations in honey, given the flowers used. That the worker bees were all female and able to do anything, while the male bees were kinda lazy and called drones. Drones, what an awesome word. I loved that presentation and I was very proud of it. And of my aunt, who has keep several hives on her farm for years. And of the fact that my aunt found a tiny bee-keeper suit so I could go with her to visit the hives. Despite, or maybe because of, all this bee-love, I have actually never been stung by a bee; in fact, the only pain bees ever gave me was the cruel response of Perfect 2nd Grader to my presentation. "Only you, Erin. Only you would pick a bug as your favorite animal. God, you are so lame." And anyway, that she was a human drone is hardly the bees' fault, so I don't hold them responsible for that. I still like bees.
Maybe as a result of this or maybe because they are awesome, my children have no major fear of bees. They usually just stand still until the bee goes away. Super Toddler, who likes to take everything to the next level, would probably pet them if they landed on her. She is fearlessly eating this apple in the middle of the hay ride, while all around her head bees buzz and dance. The children from Super Preschooler's class are not so nonchalant and the screaming is getting a little loud. The boy next to her is really starting to freak out. I am feeling guilty for letting her eat the apple, but the bees seem to be dive-bombing apple-eating and non-apple-eating children (no, Super Toddler isn't the only rebel on this hay ride) with equal vigor. One lands on my shoulder and I don't have an apple at all. The mom next to me screams and starts to slap my arm rather hard. I suppose I should thank her, but I am distracted by Super Toddler's neighbor's impassioned shriek.
Of course, time slows down and I get to watch it all in freeze-frame awfulness. A bee lands on his cheek. He completely loses his mind and basically punches himself in the eye, killing the bee and causing the bee to sting him near the outer edge of his eyebrow. I am not sure what order this happens in; the bee may already be dead when her stinger is shoved into the little boy's brow by his own fist. This, of course, happens to be the only child of a helicopter mom, who has brought his equally helicoptery grandmother along for the outing. The melee that follows is impossible to describe, but I have a feeling war zones might be calmer.
Speaking of calm, during all of this, Super Toddler continues to placidly eat her apple. An apple that a bee has landed on. Super Toddler smiles at the bee, waits for the bee to take a drink of her dripping apple, and then gently shoos her back into the orchard. She resumes eating her apple. I look up to catch the death glares emanating from both Helicopter Mom and her mom. It is an uncomfortable ride back to the barn, I can tell you that.
Well, uncomfortable for everyone except Super Toddler and her bee friends.
I can see it now;