All one has to do is brush with the lightest of touches against it. "Once stung, never forgotten" is Australia's most toxic tree the gympie-gympie. The pain is from the toxic small fibers of its leaves leave in your skin, a horrible feeling variously described as "acid," "electric," and liable to make you "as mad as a cut snake."
I had a gympie-gympie parent-moment over the weekend, not a peaceful moss-y bower which is my goal, to be the sort of Mama on whose soft shoulder one can rest one's weary head and recharge, I want to be something bosomy and aprony, which I realize is a fantasy: I am neither.
I screamed that my son, 9, must SHUT UP. He'd been bickering all day and I was trying to make pancakes and everything felt like it was storming and I mis-cracked an egg on the edge of the bowl and it puddled on the kitchen floor and the dog ate it, and subsequently barfed and who cleaned it up? I, I, I. Isn't this the full catastrophe? And there hadn't even been a meteor about to hit us.
What I want to do more of is to cool off, to take breaks. Be the adult in the room. Sometimes it's the adult in the room who needs a time out.