It was a nice and warm summer evening and the girls and I were all having fun outside. I was at the patio table reading. Halle, Dee, and Gracie were finding ways to entertain themselves with the grass, the flowers, the playset. All was well.
I hear this blood-curdling scream coming from the playset. Now a piercing sound like this coming from any other child would definitely stir fear into the hearts of a nearby parent. Signals would be sent to their brain. Instincts would prompt them to act NOW and come to the rescue of whatever danger is evoking such a cry of distress. But with Halle, her high decibel shrills have a proven track record of amounting to nothing more than a little bit of sensed unpleasantness. We try and try to work with her to help her understand that her level of reaction MUST have a true correlation to the level of physical or mental suffering. But it is of no avail, still she screams. A dirty look from her sister, a bump on her leg, hurt feelings, spilled milk, being told, ‘no’, a paper cut; all these minor offenses warrant, in her book, a scream.
So when I hear Halle cry out this time, of course I respond in a nonchalant manner because I thought for certain (like usual…) nothing was really the matter.
Baby, what happened?
OK, come on down, it will go away soon.
No worries. Just stay still, it won’t bother you.
This back and forth dialogue went on for awhile. Me trying to convince Halle everything was cool. Halle responding back like the sky was falling.
Finally, I actually try to look for this bee. My head turns up to the play set and…
I was beholding a truly dreadful sight!! The picture doesn’t do the spectacle justice, this was a swarm of THOUSANDS of bees and was about 2 feet in diameter. It sent shivers up my spine to look at.
Moments later when we were all safe inside I said, “OK Halle, sorry sweet girl. It is ok to scream for seeing this many bees.” She then insisted that we should make a rule that it is ok to scream for bees.
And with that, ‘screaming for bees’ is now officially added to our list of appropriate times to wail loudly. Halle keeps a running list in her head of these. So far she has come up with (and we have agreed) that when you are dying, someone is in your house that you don’t know, and getting shot with a gun are all ok times to demand the attention of others with your voice. And now, appropriate reason to scream #4 is this. Bees!
In light of this event; Halle screaming, me not responding… we have since pulled out the book, ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ as an extra teaching aid for this learning experience. I believe she understands all this in her head, i.e., why she can’t just scream for the heck of it. So hopefully soon, she’ll apply what she knows with her responses.