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Friday, August 13, 2010

Meet the Future President of PETA

Friday, August 13, 2010 By

One of the reasons that we're so concerned about Emerson's school placement is because of how sensitive a child she is. She's a little ray of sunshine, unicorns, and strawberries, and she deserves to stay that way. She doesn't need people like my fourth grade teacher - I'm talking to YOU Mrs. Van Tone - browbeating the love of education out of her.

Trust is an issue with Emerson. She trusts everyone, even if I tell her differently. Like when this guy pulled out a machete, and this is how she reacted when I told her to stay away from him.

There's that fable that I always gets wrong, about the frog and the scorpion. The scorpion needs a ride across the river. The frog agrees, if the scorpion promises not to sting him. Halfway across the river, the scorpion strikes. As they're both drying - the frog from the poison, and the scorpion from drowning - the frog asks, "Why?" And the scorpion replies, "Because I'm a scorpion."

Emmie is that frog.

We were at Six Flags Whitewater last Saturday, and stopped for a little while to have a picnic in the shade near the park entrance. I looked over to see Em staring at an ant on her sandwich, and moved to flick it off.

"NO!" she said, yanking the sandwich away. "I'm SHARING wif him."

"Emmie, ants don't really... " I began, but she was already ignoring me. "Okay, but don't let him crawl on you. He might bite you."

Approximately 38 seconds later, the ant bit her. It fell off her sandwich and scrambled for cover - under her leg. And it bit her on the ass.

She cried so hard. And while she was just getting over that, a bee flew in and stung her. On her ass. I mean, really, insect world? Was that necessary?

I flicked the bee and stinger from her butt as she shrieked.

"It STINGED me!" she cried, hysterically. "It tell me to GET OUT OF HIS HOME!"

And that was the crux of it. She wasn't nearly as upset about getting stung as she was about the perception that the sting was the result of the bee's rejection of her friendship. My little froggie.

"Dat bee tell me to GO AWAY!" she cried. "WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!"

It was kind of sweetly innocent. In a totally delusional way.

We set off for the first aid clinic, with her trying to manage the pain with the breathing exercises I give her when she's too hyper or angry to make good choices. At one point, I told her that she might feel better if she ran for a minute, to burn off the adrenaline. The result of that garbled suggestion was that I traveled all the way across the park with a 5-year-old doing Lamaze breaths and running in tiny circles as we walked. She looked like a crazy person. It was kind of awesome. But, what the hell. It helped her to calm herself through the pain.

And when we got to the clinic, the "water doctor," as she called him, gave her a piece of ice wrapped in gauze. But it was "medicine ice," according to Emmie, so it was better than the ice we had already put on her butt back at the picnic site. After a few minutes, he told her that it would be best to get her injured butt back in the water, where the water and the sunshine would work together to make it feel better. Essentially, he told her to go play.

And she was fine after that.

But when we were driving back to Augusta, an insect flew in the car. Emmie lit up like a neon sign: "Awwww, loot, mama! He want to be our friend!"



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