Sunday, March 18, 2012

At times like this, I really wish I drank alcohol.

It has been, to put it quite simply, an awful night.

And that's being generous.

It started this afternoon, honestly, while I was trying to nap.  I've overdone it a couple days this week while being sick, and I was paying for it.  We took the kids over to the playground and came home, and at some point while I was dozing fitfully between calls from work, I was startled awake by Hubby literally screaming at Large Fry to calm down.

She'd been so deathly frightened by a bumble bee that had somehow gotten into the house that she'd run outside screaming, and Hubby had to scream to be heard over her.

Hubby had to leave just before 5 to meet up with the youth group at the church for their outing to a relatively-nearby-ish pro hockey game.

Dinner was uneventful.

It was about 7:30 when Large Fry came unhinged again, screamed that there was a bee, and once again ran screaming out of the house...and would not come back in when told to do so.

I had to haul her back inside.

I had to shout over her screaming.

She said the bee was in the den.


On the door.

There are three doors in the den.  It was a Migraine Salute moment.

It took five minutes to get it out of her that it was the door to outside--the heavy one, not the storm door--that had the alleged bee.

I dragged her into the room and showed her: no bee.

No, she screamed, tears pouring down her face.  It was in the curtains.

I moved the curtains and checked all over them.  No such bee.

By then, it was bedtime.  I heaved a huge internal sigh of relief and sent them upstairs to get ready for bed.  And I tried to calm my rattled nerves from what was (although I didn't know it) Epic Tantrum, Round One.

I'd just sent Small Fry back upstairs to brush her teeth when I heard Large Fry screaming.

I went upstairs and forced open her bedroom door, despite her increased shrieks to not do so, because there was a bee in her room.

I made her show me where.

It was a rust stain on the paint on the doorjamb, by the bottom hinge.  I told her to get her jammies on and went to tuck in the twins.

Large was lurking in the hallway and called my name.  I went back out to the hall.  She started to argue, but I told her to go potty and brush her teeth, in no uncertain terms.  I tried tucking in the twins, but had to go back to the bathroom and shout at Large that there were no bees in the bathroom--that buzzing she heard was the slight static of the twins' radio--and what she was feeling on her shoulders was the chiffon on the shoulders of her nightgown...and her own hair.

I went back to the twins and got them settled.

Then I went to see about Large Fry.

Round Two was about to begin.  I was blissfully unaware.

She refused to get in bed.  I bodily hauled her up.  I descended her loft bed ladder, and she was right behind me.  I got her back in bed, whipped back the covers to show her that there were no bugs of any kind in her bedding.  She still refused to stay in bed, screaming and crying and wailing, "I can't sleep all by myself!"

Which is hogwash.

She sleeps by herself every night.

I tried pointing out that Minnie Mouse was in bed with her; she was not alone.

No soap.

She screamed she didn't like this house.  She doesn't want to live here.

What didn't she like?  It has doors.  I pointed out that we couldn't get out of the house without doors, and our last house had doors, too.

New tactic.

She wanted to sleep with me.  Pointing out that I was not sleeping right now, and she was not staying up until I was going to bed, did not help.  She was adamant that she needed to sleep with me, or another grown-up.  Anyone.

I pointed out that her sisters were already in bed.  She said she wanted to sleep with Daddy.  Daddy, I reminded her, was not home; he was at the hockey game with the youth group.  He would not be home for quite awhile, and she needed to be asleep before he got home.  (Famous last words.)

After twenty minutes of screaming and wailing and shouting (and that was just me), I gave in and I dialed Hubby's cell.  I shouted at him that I needed him to talk to Large, and he needed to get to a place in the arena where he could feasibly hear her.  I lost the call, called him back, and put him on speaker.  He spoke to Large Fry and tried to help calm her down, then he and I spoke privately, and I warned Large that she had to stay in bed while I talked with him.

While we have no idea where her sudden fear of bees is coming from, it's clearly psychological and can't be reasoned with.  I said I did not want her going in and sleeping in our bed just because she suddenly thinks her room is alive.  It would set a dangerous precedent.  I was not willing to budge on that.

With my frustration mounting, I hung up on Hubby and went back to try one more time.

Large was still quivering and crying and fidgeting.

I had zero luck.

I managed to accidentally dial Hubby again, and this time I held the phone to Large's ear.  Hubby gave her two options: either sleep on the floor of her room, or go sleep on the loveseat in the living room.  Our bedroom was not an option.

She chose to go to the living room.

I chose not to fight with her over the fact that she wanted to sleep in the oversized chair.  I made sure she was settled, and came downstairs.

And got a big dish of ice cream.

I got precisely three bites in before I had to go upstairs because now Medium Fry was screaming.  There was a small spider on the ceiling of their bedroom, and she was coming unglued.  I told her it was not getting her, it would leave her alone, and she needed to roll over and face the wall, close her eyes, and go to sleep.

Fifteen minutes later, she came downstairs screaming, saying there were bees in her panties.  I checked.  No bees.  I sent her back up.  Within another 15-20 minutes, she was screaming again, pulling and picking at the flighty sleeves of her nightgown.  I tried to calm her down.  No luck.  I stripped her nightgown off and told her to go back up to the living room.  She refused to "stay like this."  It took me five minutes to realize she didn't want to stay in just her panties.  I sent her up to her room to get jammies.

She came down less than a minute later to inform me that she had no jammies in either dresser.

I had helped her put away her clothes that morning, so I knew she had jammies.  I pulled out a two-piece Minnie Mouse set that had no ribbons or frills or anything that could possibly be construed as a bee.  I made her get dressed, and then I called Hubby again on the house phone.  I didn't figure my cell's meager battery would last long enough.

He talked to her, and got her to promise to go settle down and sleep.  She went back to the living room, and I went back to the den.

About 10:30, I heard movement.  I went upstairs, and she wasn't in the living room.  I went up to the next level, and she was laying on the floor in her room.  "You okay, honey?"

"I didn't want to sleep downstairs.  I want to sleep here."  Ooookay.  I went back downstairs.

Forty minutes later, I thought I heard my name.  I silenced the tv, and listened.  Nothing.  I went to start a snack for myself because I needed to eat so I could take my antibiotic.  Once that was going, I decided it would be smart to check things out.

Just in case.

Large was not in her room.

She was not in the bathroom.


I walked into the master bath from the hall door, and turned on the light.

Large was snuggled into the middle of our bed.

"Out!"  I herded her back to her room, and asked where she was going to sleep--there, or the living room.  She opted for her room, and actually climbed into bed.  I got her Pillow Pets for her, turned on her music, and got her settled.

I went back downstairs.  Again.  All I could think of was that the morning was going to be singularly unpleasant, since it was nearly 11:30 and morning was going to start in 7 short hours.

Hubby arrived home about fifteen minutes later.  "Anything else?"

"Since I talked to you?  Yeah, about fifteen...."

Footsteps padded upstairs.

"Now," Hubby said, and turned.

I stopped him, and explained what had happened.

I have no idea what he did when he got upstairs, but I heard no screaming.  No wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Clearly, he handled her better than I did.

Score none for Mom tonight.


  1. This too shall pass. Could be the final stages of adjusting to the new house. Just keep on being the good parent that you are.

    1. Thanks. You have NO idea how much I needed to hear that.

      She had mentioned one afternoon last week, as we walked home from school, that she had "been stung" at recess. I'm guessing that another student actually was, since she didn't show any other signs of it happening to her. I plan to email her teacher and see if she can help shed some light on the situation.

      We didn't have any problems at naptime; fingers crossed for bedtime.

  2. Did you finish your ice cream?

    DaddyBear is right on all counts.

    1. It was a bit on the melty side, but still edible.


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