Bait and Switch. BAIT AND SWITCH!
This Official Everything Is Okay Alarm


Okay, so I'm guessing we're only a few hours away from being plunged into hurricane-related darkness and Nick-Jr-less misery, so I'm typing as fast as I can to get this entry done and we all nkow nothing goood kan com of thsi. You stay classy, East Coast! (And safe. That too.)

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On the opposite end of the weather spectrum, Friday was a beautiful day. Almost unfair, even, that such a perfect fall day was ruined by intrusive thoughts of "I don't trust that tree over there" and "I need to go buy bread and canned goods and booze and a generator-powered TV."

The entire neighborhood was playing outside. The parents milled around and chatted about the weather, packs of little boys tossed up armfuls of dry leaves like confetti, and Ike chased after every toy that did not belong to him because fuck his boring-ass toys, that's why. 

I intercepted him during a crazy toddler run towards the street and put him back down on the sidewalk, but about halfway through the process he started screaming. And I mean: SCREAMING. Louder and more indignant-like than a usual "mo-ooo-ooom stop thwarting mah dreeeeamzzz!" whine-fest. This was more like, "mo-ooo-ooom how dare you immunize me against poliooooooo!" screaming.

When I set him down, I realized there was a bee on the back of his sweatshirt. I quickly swiped it off, then smushed that fucker flat on the sidewalk with my shoe of mama-bear justice. Ike continued to howl at the top of his lungs.

Ah, shit, man.

I pulled up the back of his shirt and sure enough, he'd been stung. Twice! 

And I realized I did not have the faintest idea of what to do. Three children, zero bee stings. UNTIL NOW. IN A WORLD. WHERE JUSTICE AND INCOMPETENCY MEET. ONE MOTHER. WILL FACE. Etc.

My choices were, basically, to whip out my phone and start Googling, or throw myself on the mercy of the crowd of my neighbors in hopes that someone else knew what to do. 


It takes a village, y'all. 

Two different parents went running towards their doors and back inside.

I thought, maybe, they were going for whatever necessary first aid equipment was necessary, but it turned out they were both going to check Wikipedia.

A mom emerged with an ice pack while a dad ran back out to confirm that yes, the Internet says to put ice on it. And to remove the stinger, if possible.

There was no stinger, just some swelling, but nothing horrific. Ike settled down and stopped crying, and I was instructed to go inside and put some itch stick on the stings, don't worry about getting Noah from the bus stop, we'll get him, the baby is okay the baby is okay poor baby

In the end, Ike's brush with bee stings turned out to be less of a big deal than Ezra's overly dramatic mosquito bites (OMG and ZOMG), and the welts faded completely after a couple hours. 

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But I am telling the story anyway because I can add "bee stings" to the long list of things I have freaked out about unnecessarily, but am now an expert in. Bee stings = ice pack, itch stick, put some wine on it. The more you know, *rainbow jazz hands*, THE END.






That may be my favorite gif ever. And thanks for that - 2 boys, no bee stings...yet.


Scrape the stinger off (in the future). Never pull it out. Ice for 15 minutes and then put a mixture of meat tenderizer and water on it. I kid you not.

And if any of your kids get stung and you notice a lot of swelling at the site of the sting or a puffy face, go to an ER asap.

Glad it wasn't so bad. What a cute kiddo! :)


I got stung by a bee picking pumpkins my dad had planted for the boys last year and let me tell you: it felt like my finger had been hit by a sledge hammer. Luckily I was immediately able to put my cold beer bottle on it, but holy cow did that hurt. Poor Ike. I probably would have dosed some motrin too because OW, and maybe even some benadryl just to be on the safe side.


I have heard that it is helpful to take a cooled black tea bag (first steeped in hot water) and hold it on the sting after the stinger has been removed to take away the sting. Something about the tannins being calming.


We had family friends who were beekeepers. I was at their farm and got stung once. They ran inside and cut an onion in half and then pressed the cut face of the onion against my sting.

Momo Fali

Bees are bitches, yo'.

Katie in Cali

Scrape the stinger off with a credit card or something similar. Then, cut a raw potato in half and put it on the stung area. Or scrape the insides out and put that on. Helps remove the bee poison.


Love love love. Thank you: this perfectly encapsulates the parenting panic I feel. Preparing for the tail ends of Sandy up here in Canada. Know that we're not going to see the worst of it so for that I am grateful and thinking of those who are. But I have a 6-month old baby and for some terrifying reason we're living very high in a waterfront high-rise. WIND! WIND!!!!

In all seriousness, stay safe down there. Thinking of you and good luck.

Sara Jessica

Apply ice and Clean the area with soap and water, you might also need to take antihistamines, though I suggest you ask a doctor about the last point... Hope all is well now!

Sara R.

We used to have a bee sting club in my neighborhood when I was a kid, and I got to be the president because I'd been stung 8 times (though we STILL ran through the clover barefoot). We always scratched out the stinger, put a paste of water and baking soda on it, then once that had dried we put on ice and took ibuprofen or benadryl if necessary. I know it's a bad thing that all the honey bees are disappearing, but I sure am glad when I see my kids running around barefoot outside! Glad poor baby Ike is ok!


Meat tenderizer! I remember we always put meat tenderizer on our stings as kids and the swelling went down almost immediately.


There is a first aid app. I have been first aid certified multiple times, but something happens to your logical thinking when it's your kid! Maybe this will be helpful.


Glad to read the bee sting rememdies for future reference. (Not that I will remember any of them in my own moment of panic.)

Good luck dealing with Sandy and stay safe!

Kim W.

I agree with the baking soda paste method -- from what I understand, the baking soda neutralizes the burning acid pain of the poison. And from experience, I can say it greatly reduces the pain. And then ice, and advil and/or benadryl. My boys disturbed a wasp nest a couple years ago, and they were chased out of the forest and their clothes were covered with wasps, and I had to strip them right there in public while they screamed their heads off, and I must have looked as if I were beating them or trying to publicly humiliate them. Can you imagine? Did any of the passing cars or people in the playground have any idea what was happening? I doubt it. We got some ice from some picnic-ers and then drove straight to the store for advil, benadryl, itch sticks (4 varieties!), and lots of candy to help them stop crying.


See, that's what happens when you steal other people's toys! The Karma bees'll getcha!

If that was the case, my toddler would be one big puffy welt right now. I kind of want to teach her about Karma, though, now that I'm thinking about it.


My kid got a bee sting when we were out at a farm a couple of years ago and I was all, "da fuck do I do?" and he very calmly insisted we make mud with our water bottle and some available dirt then put it on the sting. I don't know where he got his voodoo, folksy medicine, but it made him stop crying, so yay.

Glad Baby Ike is okay. Stay safe!


Oprah Bees are awesome! Gave me a much needed Monday Guffaw.


My toddler stepped on a wasp a couple of weeks ago and I have never, EVER, heard screaming like that before. It was horrible. I administered loveys and cuddles and ice and he self medicated with his thumb. I also stomped the bejeezus out of that effing wasp. Poor baby Ike!


My Ezra-age daughter gets thigh-sized welts from mosquitoes, but has been stung by bees THREE separate times (Before the age of four! Once in her mouth!) and ice has always done the trick. Within a few minutes, they've just been little dots.


Oh, and I only knew what to do, because I had stepped on a bee (yes, in our very same backyard) myself, while I was pregnant with her.

I guess it made her especially attractive to them.

Sandy W

This was probably not a bee, but a yellow jacket. Bees only sting once. Yellow jackets will sting repeatly. That would also be why there was no stinger. Thank goodness he int allergic. Poor baby.

Amy in StL

I'm with Sandy. Learn to recognize which bees (honey bees) leave a stinger. That way you'll know to go looking for it or just apply ice.


Ah yes, the universal cure, put some wine on it.

Be safe during the storm.

Lisa Y

My three-year-old got stung last month at my nephew's birthday party and I panicked and iPhone googled too! And then as soon as my sister-in-law offered her "magic ice" (a teething toy) she was fine and it didn't even swell as much as a mosquito bite. How did mothers properly panic before iPhones? Is that what the Ask-A-Nurse line was for?


Stay safe, Amalah.

liz belt

baking soda paste works though...and if ezra or noah has a worse reaction than ike benedryl ASAP. Also next time Ike gets stung he could have a worse reaction, the more you are stung the worse the reaction


It's been said before, but baking soda paste. My one and only bee sting was treated with that and it works a nice trick.


Love your blog,put some wine on it-ha. Stay safe in this storm!


I hadn't been stung by a bee until I was over age 40, then (condensing long story here) I was stung 5 times within seconds... It hurt for a few minutes, but the really annoying part was the ITCHING that occurred 5 to 7 days later!! It itched like crazy! Just an FYI, might want to keep that benedryl handy in a week or so. =)


Poor Ike! For future bee stings, a paste of baking soda and water neutralizes the venom.


(wow, apparently people have a lot to say about bee stings!)

I got stung by a on Sat through my jeans. What the every-loving fuck?! Anyway, after I realized what happened I ran into the house yelling "ow ow owwww" and grabbed baking soda because I thought that might be a "thing." So I did a baking soda paste on my leg and then had my toddler bring me the ipad and googled bee stings. Whaddya know - make a paste of meat tenderizer or baking soda and put on the sting for half an hour, then use hydrocortisone cream (which we also had). By the time I had washed the baking soda off I felt fine though.

Glad to know Ike isn't deathly allergic to bee sting!

Big Gay Sam

Be careful everyone. :(


I got my first bee sting last summer. I screamed bloody murder and my husband came pelting down the stairs because he thought I had broken a leg and was being raped/murdered because of the SCREAMING and WAILING and BEGGING FOR HELP and HYSTERICAL LOUD CRYING.

Suzy Q

I thought at first your neighbors ran back inside to get away from the bees. Sorry!

Oh, that little Ike face. It gets me every time. I swear I can see what he will look like all grown up, just by that last photo. He is/will be so awesome.

PS: belated Happy Birthday to Noah and Ezra!


Poor Ike! I stepped on a yellow jacket a few months ago and got stung for the first time in about 25 years. I ran into the house, yelling at my husband, "I got stung by a beeeee! OMG what do I do?? Make it stop hurting!" He calmly suggested ice and I marveled at his ingenuity.


Crazy story. Read this post this morning and went about my day. Then, this evening, my 16 month old started to cry fairly hard and I went to see what was wrong. Then I saw a wasp gimping around near her foot. Being allergic to bees myself, I immediately panicked and threw her into my arms and called my husband ("COME HOME NOW! OUR DAUGHTER WAS JUST ATTACKED MY A POISONOUS FLYING BEAST!!!"). Luckily he works close by and was already on his way. Meanwhile I was in the kitchen with my baby still crying and your post today flashed into my brain amidst the swirl of "OMG WHAT DO I DO?!?". I grabbed a bag of frozen peas from the freezer and took her to her bedroom and laid her on her changing table to examine. Stinger was still in her little foot and I could see it was starting to puff up a little. I grabbed tweezers and yanked that sucker out. By then, husband was home and he was looking up sting remedies while I was trying to keep the peas on my squirmy, crying baby's foot. All ended well and she's now, an hour later, playing happily like we didn't just live the most traumatizing moment of history together not long ago. BAAAAHHH! Children!


Your readers are right--there is a big difference between bees and wasps. Bees can only sting once--the stinger becomes embedded because it is a barb and it rips out of the bee's abdomen. Wasps and hornets can sting multiple times and thus are far more dangerous.
If you find a stinger do NOT use tweezers to pull it out--you will inject the toxin into your child making the sting much worse; using a credit card or similar hard straight edged item, gently scrape the stinger out of the skin--that way you aren't releasing more toxin. Apply ice right away to keep the swelling down. If you see that the swelling is getting worse or any other part of the body begins swelling call 911. Always have some Benadryl on hand--for your child it should be the liquid or the melt-in-the-mouth kind so it will qct quickly. You may also want to put neosporin on the wound. The baking soda paste also helps with the swelling. (We keep bees and have been stung multiple times!)


I thought meat tenderizer was for jellyfish stings.

I'm glad it was probably a nasty dirty wasp (because I sort of love bees and wouldn't want to admit it if one attacked poor baby Ike.) Mostly though I'm glad he's OK and you found remedies that worked.

Stay safe, y'all!


I laughed so hard I snorted at the Oprah bee gif!

Leigh Ann

I have never been stung. Ever. One of my 4 year olds got stung, and I remembered someone say something about a credit card or something to push out the stinger or bribe the bee with Amazon shopping sprees. Or I was googling it, but when I went back outside 5 seconds later she had pulled the stinger out herself. Like a badass. (pretty sure it was more of a harsh poke than a sting.)


Late to the party, but my mom swore that an onion, cut in half and applied to the sting, worked like a charm.

To be honest, I've always been so terrified of bees that I've spent my nearly-45 years avoiding all contact, so I've never tested this out.

Seems like the more smelly and disgusting the old wives tale is, though, the more likely it is to work, no?


The easiest and most effective way to stop the pain from a bee sting is to place an aspirin (the old school kind) in the palm of your hand and add a drop of water. The aspirin will start to disintegrate and you will mix the water with the powder to make a mud-like mixture. Rub the mixture onto the sting area and let it dry. When it dries the sting will be healed and the aspirin will just flake off.

Easy, not a big deal, and I have been stung by enough bees and hornets to try this every summer of these 30 years of life.

This will totally fix the sting for Ike and you can have some wine for you.


Oiy. On a walk with my son this summer, my husband suddenly heard him howling. He looked back (he was in a wagon, thus not in view) and my son tried to EAT a bummble bee. (He was 10 months old at the time - everything goes in the mouth!)

Other than a fat lip for a day, he was fine. but yikes.


Lemon juice is the best

Whitney Worthington

hahaha that .gif is amazing

Also, "The more you know, *rainbow jazz hands*,"

...made my day. Thank you.

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