I'm such a lout!
Here I am back an entire week, and I didn't even thank my six fabulous guest bloggers!
I've just lost track of time while spending the week unpacking, airing out sleeping bags and tents, picking a huge tick from my daughter's head, storing the camping gear, attending to...
Yes, one of my daughters forgot to tell me that for a few days, there was something stuck to the side of her head. I thought maybe it was a scab or a burr or a watermelon seed - anything but an arachnid lodged in her scalp and sucking away at her lifeblood.
I don't know why I was in such denial about ticks. I suppose it's because that even though I grew up running through the woods and rolling around in tall grass, I have never, ever, ever seen a live tick on me or anyone else I know. I thought that maybe I had some super tick-repelling powers and that I conferred my powers on anything and anyone else who happened to be associating with me at the time. Sort of like with poison ivy, too. I know - KNOW - for a fact that I've pranced though poison ivy patches as a lass, and not one pimple, pock, or...I've run out of P words.
Poison rash! Not one poison rash.
Then, at 38 years old, I was weeding my suburban backyard with my bare hands, and next thing you know, I had scabies. Or at least that's what my doctor told me it was. I found this equally hard to believe since during a previous decade spent sleeping on frat house sofas, scabby European B&B cots, and who knows where at thirteen Grateful Dead shows, I was left fairly unscathed in the way of parasitic infestations. I figured it was all that garlic I was eating. Or maybe it was some other...herb. This time, me and my entire family had to undergo a head-to-toe permethrin treatment, wash all clothing and sheets in hot water, and bag anything bug-friendly - stuffed animals, pillows, the cat - for two weeks to make sure the little mities were long gone and dead fer sure.
Six weeks later, the scabies were back.
I went to see my doctor again, but this time she was on vacation, so I saw her partner:
"You have poison ivy."
"No, Doc. This is scabies. This is exactly what I had six weeks ago, and it's the scabies back again."
"Who the hell told you you have scabies!"
"Believe me, I've worked in third world countries and half-way houses and dens of iniquity, and I've seen and had my own share of scabies, and this is NOT scabies. It's poison ivy."
"Okay. Thank you. I am very glad to have poison ivy."
"You're welcome. Now stop hanging out with hobos."
Just kidding. He didn't say that last part.
So yeah. The tick.
After careful Googling for about four hours and looking at thousands upon thousands of pictures of ticks and reading descriptions, I'm 99.99% sure it wasn't a deer tick, although I promise (to all you moms and pediatricians who read here) that I'll keep a watchful eye for a bulls eye rash and joint pain and fever just in case it is the feared Lyme Disease. I'm also about 99.99% sure that I probably have had a tick on me at some point in my life since the little buggers (heh...fer real) get all bloated and eventually just fall off. I had probably thought it was just an old grape stuck in my hair.
In any case, even if my daughter's tick was just a regular old Dog Tick, I need to keep another watchful eye open for fevers and other rashes. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, as it turns out, isn't just for Coloradonians anymore.
Of course, there are all those other Google Diseases that I'm just going to ignore for now.
Anyway, my hillbilly daughters got a set down and talking to about the non-negotiable necessity of running a comb through their hair more often than on church days and Loretta Lynn's birthday. And I suppose that tick checks and DEET are now a part of my future, damn that Rachel Carson and her DDT paranoia. I mean, really - would you rather have the tick and mosquito populations in check, or seagulls pooping on your car?
Alright, alright, I'll simmer down. I love birds. I do.
Especially lightly braised in cream sauce.
So, bugs aside...
THANK YOU again to the six wonderful bloggers who kept my blog warm last week while I was away.
Blog Antagonist and her harrowing babysitting tale. Ugh...ugh...ugh....even with her magnificent writing, I can't begin to imagine how sick to her stomach she must have felt during that entire episode. When sending my own kids out in to the world, I try to remember that kids are kids and that kids get hurt; what counts is how the grown-ups in charge respond. I think she did marvelously.
Dr. Cason and her harrowing beauty-shop tale. Just kidding, heh. How funny was that story! I read her post before I left and though, holy smokes! - smart, great writer, funny, free antibiotic samples - what more could anyone ask for in a reader and guest blogger? And now I really need to get something done with my hair. I'm feeling a bit...hillbilly. (I hope the hairdresser doesn't find any ticks.)
Mommytime and her post on lying to kids. This post made me think. And I was just back from vacation, my brain was fried, and during vacation I had just spent at least one afternoon lying to my kids and telling them that, no, there probably weren't bears in the woods we were walking through and, no, it wasn't going to rain, and all because I wanted berries. The comments to her post were equally wonderful. I think it's a certain bloggy gift to be able to ask the right questions and make readers feel part of a conversation so much that they are just driven to comment.
Don't you think?
Moving right along then...
My friend Kathy told of her life with three boys and homeschooling and activities, and dang, she should write more! Except, she has three boys that she homeschools and drives all around to activities. If she were to use her spare hour each day to blog, then who would I drink margaritas with after the kids go to sleep? Myself, that's who. And drinking alone is pathetic; drinking with a friend is...networking.
Then there was Cog from Driving the Flies.
And me in a cat suit.
And the rubber.
Or not me. Or was it?
Either way, I'll never convince my husband. He keeps playing the Josie and the Pussycats theme song on iTunes and giving me weird looks.
And last but not least, the lovely and talented Michelle Gagnon and her hee-freakin-larious post on children's books that should come with a coupon for dollars off your kid's first therapy session. I'd like to add The Airplane Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta. Now, there's nothing harmful about this book in and of itself, as long as you're not buying it for a child in an attempt to help that child overcome his fear of flying by getting up close and personal with all the brightly colored and awesome airplanes. While working at the bookstore, I once recommended The Airplane Alphabet Book to a parent who had just such a fearful child, and I told the mom that the Wow! factor of the spiffy illustrations would be enough to get any kid raring to jump in the cockpit. Soon enough, mom and kid were happily perusing the book and Little Billy was pointing and oohing and ahhing at the nifty planes, and I was patting myself on the back for being such an awesome retail employee, and then they got to the illustration of the crashed plane.
To makes things worse, I think the text read something like "Sometimes even the best mechanics in the world can't predict engine failure. Fortunately, the pilot's end was quick and painless and the only passenger was some guy without much of a family, anyway."
Or something like that.
Okay, it was a crashed model plane. Still.
Lost that commission.
Did I remember to thank everyone important? Yes?
Thanks again for keeping house, and thank you to all my readers for making the six fabulous bloggers feel welcome. There are so many great writers out there that I just lurved sharing six of them with you. And I apologize if my tick and scabies and poison ivy stories are making you itch.
I bet Dr. Cason has some free Benadryl samples if you ask her real nice.