Recent circumstances are forcing me to consider explaining some of life’s most difficult truths to my young son.
He is still a few months away from his second birthday, but some conversations just can’t wait. The world just moves too darn fast to take any chances.
It’s time I talk to him about “the birds and the bees.”
Relax. I’m not some home-schooling psycho who’s giving his son an early education into the sensual arts. No, I think I’ll wait til he’s at least potty-trained before we have that little chat. That at least gives him the time to learn a few more words, and gives me some time to gather some clue of what to say. The whole “birds and bees” discussion is one of many life lessons I feel inadequately prepared to relate to my child.
The chat at hand, though, is something I can handle. And it can more accurately be called, simply, “the bees.”
We have an infestation of carpenter bees on our roof deck. My son, curious and simple-minded and just plain ignorant, doesn’t realize that the chubby little buzzing things swarming around up there aren’t his friends. He doesn’t even know that they aren’t babies (He continues to greet anyone and everything with a cheerful, expectant “hi baby!” Even fucking bees.) let alone that they’re dangerous and if he annoys them enough they will show no mercy on him.
So it’s time for Dad to step in and teach him a thing or two about nature before he gets stung and incites a full-on bee attack.
It won’t be a long chat. Basically: “Don’t swat at things that have stingers or claws or fangs. Capisce?” He’ll shake his head “no” or drool or throw a tantrum and that will be that.
Done and done.
Probably the only way he’ll really learn is if he gets stung. But the kid’s allergic to just about everything, and he’s already packing a few extra pounds, so the last thing we need is to watch his face puff up Ashley Judd-style after a bee goes kamikaze on him.
So I’ll give him the talk, and once I’ve handled that piece of fatherly duty I’ll just sit back and wait until he’s ready for school, or at least for me to read some passages The Dangerous Book for Boys (thanks Caroline!).
Because after the “don’t harass bees, they’ll sting you” thing, my knowledge of science and nature is basically tapped out.