Until today, I was SO proud of myself.
At the bottom of the staircase that leads to our apartment is a little bush with tiny purple flowers. Every day this summer you could see at least five honey bees flying around it, gathering their pollen. The bush is right next to the stairs; there is no way to avoid it. Pumpkin Pie would always point at the bees and talk about them, and I'd calmly walk her past, telling her to leave them alone. There was no screaming or rushing or flinching from me. And I was proud, because I have never been calm around buzzing things. I distinctly remember irritating the heck out of my grandma the summer I stayed with them for a week, because any time something buzzed by my head I'd screech and flee. And they lived on a farm, so this happened a lot.
Our complex also seemed to be a favorite hangout for tons of wasps and yellow jackets. The wasps loved the two trees that are also right next to our staircase. We put out a yellow jacket trap and caught quite a few. Again, though, I managed to remain calm all summer long as we walked up and down our stairs each day. Pumpkin Pie never knew fear. In fact, I had commented to some people that I was a little afraid that maybe I wasn't teaching her proper respect for such stinging creatures by not teaching her to quickly move to a safe distance. I figured I would just keep telling her to leave them alone, and maybe she wouldn't feel compelled to pet them or something.
And then today. We were sitting in our living room in the apartment, watching our dear friend Elmo, when I noticed a yellow jacket flying around our sliding glass door. And not on the outside, like I've seen them all summer. He was inside. I quietly gasped and quickly went to see if we had any bug spray. All we had was a can of Off, so I grabbed it, although I'm not quite sure what it would do to him. I went back to the living room and tried to see him. He was near the window, but kept flying out into the room toward us. I lost my carefully cultivated calm and shrieked. Twice. And poor Pumpkin Pie started to cry. Hard.
Shortly after, he landed on the screen door, and I quickly shut the glass door. I was able to open the door slightly, push open the screen door and close the glass door again. He finally found his way out.
But I had to console my sweet little Pumpkin Pie. And really, only time will tell if she has now been instilled with fear of bees and whatnot. I'm not very proud of that. I feel like I've taken a piece of her innocence.