We're currently on the road, traveling across the country. As I'm writing this- writing, mind you, not uploading- we are in Iowa. Which, by the way, the conversation I just had with Sam went: "The hell, where are we? Illinois?" "Iowa! What the hell? Oh no, are you writing a blog entry?"
An hour ago, I was going to say that the most exciting thing that had happened so far in this trip was getting a suite at the motel, enabling us to actually shut a door between us and the kids. Now? Emily has conveniently topped that excitement with one of her own making.
We just stopped at the "Mississippi Valley Welcome Center". It had a view- ish- of Ol' Miss, a little shop full of that random crap you see in touristy places, a playground (thank you hay-zeus), and plenty of picnic tables.
We had our lunch and the kids went exploring down a path in the woods. Grampa carefully put the fear of poison ivy into their heads, and I followed up with a "Stay ON the path!", which was well bordered with (their) knee high undergrowth. It wasn't long before Emily was screaming. Now, I don't mean that arguing-screaming or attention-screaming. Fear-and-pain-screaming.
We tore down the path to find that they had strayed away from the path onto a fallen tree. Okay, but when I say fallen tree, I mean the top was touching the ground and the other end was still connected to the stump four feet off the ground, which is precisely where Emily had fallen off of it. And. Ready? Into three foot high nettles. That surrounded the entire tree. For yards and yards in every direction.
Luckily, Grampa was not dressed like me in a short dress and flip flops and could wade in and retrieve the now screaming-crying-snotting poor little girl. Turns out she is as allergic to nettles as I am. Blistery looking hives were appearing all over her.
I ran ahead to the parking lot and grabbed my first-aid kit, as did Grandma.
Grampa and I slathered her with every non-sting non-itch wash, cream, and roll-on that we could find. As prepared as I thought my first-aid kit was (it sure cost a helluva lot to build), I didn't have a single antihistamine, child or adult, but Grandma and Grampa went and bought some.
An hour later, she is nearly hive free. Emily asked why she had gotten covered on both arms and both legs but none had gotten on her face. She was as surprised as the rest of us. The girl has had two emergency room visits for facial injuries, not to mention she had killed a baby tooth and permanently marred an adult tooth years before it ever erupted. "Because, for once," I said to her, patting her back, "you actually protected your face."