The “Bumble-bee Freeloader”

The home of the freeloading bumble bee

The home of the freeloading bumble bee

     It was the third weekend in February and Stephen was looking forward to the four day weekend that we were getting because of “Carnaval.” 

     “Carnaval” is the name that Ecuadorians have given to the celebration of “Marti Gras” that is the more commonly known name for this celebration in the United States.  In Ecuador, the two days before Ash Wednesday are national holidays in celebration of Carnaval.  This year, those days were the 23rd and 24th of February. 

     Saturday morning, Stephen and I decided to take our babies up to a place called “El Teleferico” which is a cable car ride that carries you up to the top of the Mountain/ Volcano called “Pichincha.”  Restrictions to children under the age of eighteen months meant we weren’t allowed to actually ride the cable car.  However, there was a cute little park and some lovely landscaping at the base of the cable car ride.  We took the opportunity to roam around and find some good locations to take family pictures. (One of those pictures is the banner to our blog site).  

     I was carrying Luke around in a Baby Bjorn® and Stephen was carrying Jared around on his shoulders.  When we found a spot to take a picture, I pulled Luke out of the Baby Bjorn® and held him in my arms.  After the shot was over, I strapped Luke back into the Baby Bjorn® and kept on moving.

     After a couple hours, we decided to go back home so that Jared could take his afternoon nap.  I didn’t notice anything unusual about the Baby Bjorn® until we made it home.  Stephen was putting Jared to bed, and Luke was laying peacefully in his crib when I made a startling discovery. I had just picked up the Baby Bjorn® that I had tossed onto my bed when we arrived home.

     To my surprise and amazement, the Baby Bjorn® began to make the oddest humming noise and it appeared to be vibrating in my hand.  At first, I thought I might be hearing the noise from somewhere else.  So, I took the thing over to Stephen and asked him if he was hearing the same thing I was hearing. 

     He looked at me and stated quite calmly, “It probably has a bug in it.” 

     I jumped back, dropping the humming object on the ground.  I recovered my sense quickly, realizing that I didn’t want the humming “thing” to come flying out into the house.  I gingerly picked up the Baby Bjorn® once more and carried it over to the living room window.

     For those of you who are unfamiliar with the way a Baby Bjorn® works, it contains two straps that are put on one’s back and a series of hooks and buttons to strap a small baby onto the front of the person holding the baby.  The two side hooks go into a cylinder hole of cloth and metal near the rib cage area. 

     After banging the Baby Bjorn against the outside wall of our 6th story apartment window, I suddenly realized that the buzzing noise and vibration was coming from the cylinder hole on the right.  I debated for a moment if I should just take a shoe and try to pound the life out of the creature before digging it out, but then realized I didn’t want to deal with the mess afterward. 

     Therefore, I took a deep breath, pointed the Baby Bjorn® out toward the sky and carefully rubbed my finger at the closed end of the hole where this insect appeared to be trapped.  A couple buzzes later, a bumble bee crawled out the front of the hole and flew away. 

     Just like that, our “bumble bee freeloader” was gone, and I was grateful that no one had been hurt in the process (including Mr. Bee).