Monday, May 23, 2011

Okay, about that "every day" business

Let's be honest. I don't turn on my computer most weekends (except to do homework, which, as you know, I will not be doing for another five weeks). To keep my weekends free to party (and by "party" I mean "nap" and "take my kids to the farmer's market and/or library"), I'm going to revise my previous "I will blog every day" statement. I will blog every WEEKday. It seems more manageable and gives me time to recharge my wit over the weekend so that I can regale you with tales of hilarity and/or woe throughout the week. Besides, don't you have better things to be doing with your weekends too?

So ... this is the part where I'm supposed to regale you with a tale of hilarity and/or woe, huh? Let's get down to business, then.

So, Friday afternoon, the kids and I went over to visit B's grandma (who is also our next door neighbor, you may recall). We decided to take the "road" (read: circular driveway) instead of walking through the grass because it had rained half the day and Grandpa had just mowed, so there were clumps of wet grass everywhere. We had a lovely visit and then, because I was feeling frivolous (Guess whose husband got a job! What up?) and it was just me and the kids for dinner, we decided to go get Chinese takeout. We placed our order (chicken and mixed veggies for me, chicken lo mein for the kiddos) then went next door to the grocery store for some beverages and dessert (skinny cow ice cream sandwiches for me, popsicles for the kiddos). Scout was ecstatic because she got to push the little cart (I tell you , it is the highlight of her LIFE). We got a lot of "Oh, isn't that just darling?" looks, and everyone was freakishly kind. I later realized it was probably because I recently purchased these headbands, and people probably thought I had cancer because my hair is so short you can hardly see it when I have them on. Morbid? Perhaps, but I have a feeling it may come in handy if I ever have 21 items in my basket and need to use the express checkout lane. Who is going to begrudge a young, tumorous mom one measly extra item? That's immoral. I digress. (I also meticulously count my items if I plan on using express checkout because I am terrified of being "that person" and the prospects of someone confronting me about my abuse of the 20 items or less lane. I digress from my digression.)

Anyways, we came home and ate, and after dinner, the kids were covered in MSG and popsicle residue, so I decided to plunk them in the tub. They splashed; I scrubbed; we drained the tub (a mini-poem, just for you). As I was lifting Scout out of the tub, I saw what I thought was a freckle under her chin. I thought, "Huh... How is it possible that I have never noticed that freckle before?" Upon slightly closer inspection, I decided it didn't look like a freckle so much as a scab. I thought, "That's weird. How did she get a scratch on her neck?" Then I did what any normal person would do: I scratched at it. (What? Don't act all affronted. I'd like to see you resist the siren call of a mystery scab.) It didn't come off. At this point, I was totally confused, so I had Scout lay down across my lap and tilt her head back so the light from the bathroom vanity would illuminate the mystery spot. I peered at it. I peered closer. And then, I saw what no mother wants to see...

The spot had legs.

Blogger keeps shrinking my images, making the text difficult to read
(and making all of my hard work on the non-magnified parasite
completely worthless). Lame.

Eight, horrifying legs. This is the part where I totally impressed myself. I simply said, "Scout, I need you to lay (Lie? I have a degree in English, and I still don't know the lay/lie rule.) right here and wait for me. I'll be right back." Then I calmly walked out of the room and called my sister-in-law. Since Handsome, her husband, is a firefighter/EMT, and they are both "outside people" (unlike me, a strictly inside person), I figured they'd be able to tell me what to do. It was very cool for me to be able to interact with Handsome in that capacity. I got a tiny glimpse (or earful, as the case may be) of him on the job, and he was totally in his element. I half expected him to call me "ma'am" or something. He didn't even say anything remotely terrifying to try and freak me out (which rarely if ever works anymore because I am totally used to his antics). He confirmed that it was, in fact, a deer tick on my child's jugular and told me how to go about removing it. He also suggested that I keep it in case we needed to take it to the doctor (which is why I have a Ziploc bag on my fridge that reads, "Scout Deer Tick 5/20/2011, Do Not Open or Throw Away," and every time I look at it, all I can think is, "Dead Dove. Do Not Eat." Love that show). Equipped with this knowledge, I went back to the bathroom armed with tweezers and the parenthetically aforementioned Ziploc and set about trying to remove the nasty little parasite.

At this point, I should mention that Scout fears the tweezers more than death itself. Once she realized I wanted to use them so close to one of her major blood vessels, she kind of, sort of, freaked out a tiny bit lot. While she kicked and screamed and flailed and I tried to remove the tick without puncturing her artery, I managed to pull the body off, but the head remained in her neck. When she kicked at me again, I noticed that she had another one on her thigh. Abandoning the disembodied head, I decided to try for the one on her leg instead. I'm not sure how, but I managed to get that one out completely without severing her femoral artery. When I tried to go back for the remnant of the one under her chin, she clung to my neck shrieking, "I'm scared! I'm scared, Mom! I'm a-scared of the tweezers! I'm just SCA-AARED!!!" At which point, I am pretty sure my heart looked like this:

Contents may have shifted during delivery.

She broke it right into a million, zillion pieces. It was heartbreaking, that's why. So I returned to the phone to ask my sister-in-law if it was imperative that I get the head out and/or if this was emergency-room-worthy (since we live in Western PA, where "deer tick" often equals "Lyme Disease"). She consulted Handsome, who did not seem to think so, but they agreed to call his mother (a nurse) and get her to call me. A few minutes later, she rang to say that we could wait until Monday to call the doctor, and she was pretty sure the remaining head would come out on its own, but she had a few tactics I could try to get it out without tweezers. (Both were a bust. Sorry, Leah.) In the end, I got Scout to settle down, put her and Jude to bed, and we all went about our weekend with Scout telling anyone who would listen that she had two deer ticks on her (cue the serious face) and it was very scary (insert gravely emphatic nod here).

I took her to the doctor this morning, where she was a total champ (probably because no tweezers were involved), and they put her on a round of antibiotics just to be safe. She's not running a fever and her bites haven't turned rashy, so I'm thinking she's out of the woods (both figuratively and literally; we don't need her going in there and getting more of those little bloodsuckers on her). The part that has me the most confused is where on earth she picked them up in the first place. Although I suppose when you're 38 inches tall, even walking into the as-yet unmowed yard to pick a dandelion could land you with them. Who knows? All I know is that this has firmly reinforced my "inside person" status.

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