Yesterday, as often happens when my girls are outside playing together, Sleeping Beauty started to shriek.
I, not being a helicopter parent, ignored it.
Usually her shrieking subsides quickly, or Cinderella manages to find a way to calm her down. Usually Sleeping Beauty is shrieking because of some perceived or real injustice done to her by her sister.
On this occasion, however, the shrieking didn't stop. It got worse. And it finally got to the point where I could hear tears through her shrieks.
I decided it was time to investigate. I put on my stern "mom face" and my nasty flip flops, and I got ready to verbally deal with Cinderella, who I had assumed caused the shrieking in the first place.
Once outside, I demanded, "What is going on?" Cinderella, glancing up from where she was squatting next to Sleeping Beauty, calmly replied, "She has a bug caught between her toes."
"There's a bug caught between her toes."
I thought to myself, "It's probably just a little beetle or a pill bug. Well, I suppose it could be a little spider, since they've been playing with the leftover water in the collapsed pool. Maybe an ant?"
I peered over the top of Sleeping Beauty's head and my first reaction was to physically restrain myself from jumping back and shrieking myself.
My second reaction was to verbally restrain myself from asking Cinderella why she didn't just remove the bug herself. (What? I didn't want to touch the sucker.)
What I had seen was two very large wings and several very long legs jammed between the first two toes on her left foot.
A water skeeter.
A large water skeeter.
A very dead, very squished water skeeter.
Jammed in between her toes.
I did not want to touch that thing. So, I did the next best thing, and second thing to cross my mind: I grabbed Sleeping Beauty's left ankle, and flopped her foot around on the grass, hoping to dislodge the squished nastiness.
I then proceeded to wipe the top of her foot on the grass (she's flexible), hoping the thing wouldn't separate into pieces, thereby forcing me to actually have to touch some part of it.
It must have worked, because by the time I stopped wiping to check our progress, the bug and his many wings, legs, and body parts, were gone.
At least, I think they were all gone. I didn't bother to check between Sleeping Beauty's toes.
And neither did she.