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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Plantain at the Picnic

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Plantain at the Picnic

Monday was the big kick off to the annual conference at the mission where My Beloved works (the same conference where my unfinished love story really began). This year they've made some big changes, shortened it up a bunch and added a HUGE picnic to the kick off. It was hot and it was humid, but it was a lot of fun!!

I was still on the "we'll see how I'm feeling and how hot it is" track when My Beloved left for work that morning. Maybe the kids and I were going to be there, maybe we weren't. My Beloved was working it all day. At 9:30 he called to say we should totally come... and that it started at 10... not 11:30. There were all sorts of those blow up activities (slide, bouncing room, etc.) I had already decided we were going to go, but this made it even more sure! And we were going to start getting ready now.

We wrapped up breakfast, used the potty, put on our shoes and mommy gathered all the necessities (sunscreen, etc.). We were in the car by ten after ten.

It was hot when we got there, and humid too. The cloudy sky had broken open to nice sunny (read: even hotter) weather so our first order of business was to apply that sunscreen. It wandered in several directions through the morning as others were blessed by my having it with us! Once the kids were slimed up, Daddy was there and ready to take them on the huge slide! (See pic at the top.)

Eventually Daddy had to take his shift at the golf carts, but the kids were all over. We had to have mandatory breaks when they sat in the shade with mommy (I stayed there and sent various teenagers to chase the kids) and drank water until their faces were a more normal color (other than bright red). They had a blast and I stayed mostly comfortable with my water in the shade.

Lunch time came (and the climax of our story today) and we found a shady spot away from all the blow up stuff. This made it easier for the kids to play in the shade for a while. While we were visiting, I heard crying just under the tent nearby. A quick glance and I was pretty sure someone (6-7 years old) had been stung. It was the same tent the "medical station" had been set up, so I looked around to see if anyone was helping. All I saw was the mom running to get some ice.

A plantain weed leaf (notice the veins are parallel, not branching off the center).

When we'd sat down, My Beloved and I noticed some plantain weed in the grass next to us. This was very exciting considering our recent lesson in identifying it. With the research I'd done Sunday evening, I knew that this was a great treatment for bee stings (among other things). All that needed to be done is to pick the leaves, chew them up, and apply the green goo to the sting. I picked 3-4 leaves off the nearby plant and jumped up (as any 38 week pregnant woman would "jump" up from a seated position on the ground in front of 600 people).

Now understand that this isn't MY child... so really, I wasn't going to chew the leaves and apply my spit to her sting... this was going to have to be the mom's job. And I know that not everyone is ready to just put an unknown-to-them plant in their mouth and start chewing, only to spit it on their already distressed daughter.

I tried to approach the scene delicately. I walked up, leaves in my hand, and started out... "You do not have to do this," I said patiently (what would I have thought in her shoes???), "but if you chew these leaves up and put them on the sting, it's supposed to draw out the poison and help the pain go away." (I even sounded crazy to me!) I'm sure she didn't quite know what to do with me. I reiterated that I wouldn't take it personally if she didn't want to try it. She said she'd try anything once, but didn't move to take the leaves. She kept applying the ice to the stings. I waited a moment and then added again, "Again, you don't have to do this, but if you want to try it, the sooner the better." She was starting to understand. And the little girl wasn't looking happy about my idea. The mom took it, chomped it in her mouth for a few seconds and then started to smear it on her daughter... who was now freaking out worse about the treatment than the actual stings.

I honestly don't know how it turned out. I left just after (my presence was distressing the girl... I was after all the crazy woman who convinced her mother to spit green goo on her) so I really don't know the outcome. She wasn't crying long after that, but I don't know if it's because the plantain weed worked... if it's because the trauma of the green goo had passed, or if the pain would have subsided that quickly anyway (I'd like to think it was the plantain.) It was just too perfectly timed (after our research and learning the night before) to be a coincident!

Now I just need to have the opportunity to use some of this new found knowledge on my family... if only to see first hand what the results are.

Anyone have experience with plantain weed???

Some info on Plantain Weed:

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