Written by Emily
Well, ladies, you’re out of the running. I’m sorry. Not only did my performance this morning seal the deal for my Mother of the Year award, I think I’m a shoo-in for the next several years.
This morning while I changed out of my dad’s old threadbare PSU sweatshirt that has become my favorite sleepwear (come on, say it with me: sexy.), I made a discovery that would alter the course of my morning routine. Staring at me by its ass-end and wiggling its legs to burrow further into my belly flesh was….Archnida Acari Parasitiformes. That’s right. A tick.
Now here’s why I deserve special recognition today and for eternity. I didn’t lose my cool. I didn’t faint or see the room darkening around me. I didn’t scream or freak. the. heck. out. I knew my children were all up soaking in the too-early-to-be-awake sunshine.
I walked downstairs with my shirt held under my chin and announced, “I am trying to remain calm about this.” I simultaneously pointed to the giant tick boring further into my midsection and sucking my blood through my abdomen.
My husband tried to grab that sucker, but it was in too deep. My children crowded around the two of us–the tick and me–cheering like fans at the Coliseum. My son’s commentary, “Wow! That’s never coming out” and “Ewwww. Look at its legs moving around.” and “Oh! I think it’s trying to get deeper!” was just what I needed to remain calm. This coming from the boy who screams like he’s losing a limb if he gets a splinter.
When it was confirmed this bad boy was not going down without a fight, my husband and my mom started running around like Keystone Cops.
First, we doused him with detergent. No good. He stayed and luxuriated in the spa treatment. My main squeeze thought if he literally lit a fire under his rear, the tick would move on. When he approached me with a burning match, Chloe’s eye’s became saucer sized. It was just fire safety month after all, and she was pretty sure putting a match to a mother’s stomach was in the “Not Safe” coloring pages. I saw her wondering if it was time to stop, drop and roll. That was not going to work. While my man went to get the Vaseline to suffocate the beast, my mom slathered a lump of butter on my belly like she was preparing a Thanksgiving turkey. I think I heard the tick laugh. Next up, a gob of petroleum jelly. We waited for what felt like days. When it looked like that tick was loose, I demanded my mother grab him until he let go. I think that flies in the face of tick removal strategy, but I needed this thing out of me. It was him or me, and I chose him. I pinched my skin, held my breath and my mom pulled the tick until my skin stretched to the next county or the next room (add that to the list of benefits of birthing three children).
Just as my boy was thinking of names for his new tick pet, my skin ricocheted back into place, and my mom stood holding the demon spawn in her paper toweled mitt.
This scene that happened before Noah even went to school is why I’ll humbly accept my award with my hand over my midsection as though I’ve been impaled in a jousting match. I mean, I pretty much was.
And it is as a result of this scene that I will say things like, “Are you taking Noah to school? I mean, I did have a tick in my stomach today.” And “I probably shouldn’t push the vacuum, you know, the tick wound might seep.” And various renditions of the same. None will work, of course, but when you narrowly escape the grips of a parasitic, blood-sucking creature, well, you’re willing to try anything.
It is now 2.5 hours post incident. I’m sure my children’s teachers, all of their friends and most of the school faculty is aware I had to undergo major surgery to remove a tick from my person. I can only hope they told everyone how brave I was. I can only hope I have become the legendary mom who stared evil in its face and laughed. But if they omit the stretchy belly skin detail, that’s enough really.