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3:43 p.m. - 2011-04-10

"Because I was afraid of worms, Roxanne! Worms!"

Actually worms don't bother me, except for the proverbial half of one in a bitten apple. What does bother me are ticks, stink bugs and my child's blood. And yesterday had all three.

The tick was on Princess's face. She's reasonably obedient when being groomed, even lets me fiddle with her feet, but tick removal is a challenge. She just has too much fur. I don't want to yank out a big clump of fur along with the tick, but Princess has yet to understand the principle of: sit still and it won't hurt. A veteran of the tick wars, she sees me coming with the tweezers and goes into a frenzy of wriggling and dodging around. Ugh, speaking of tweezers I had to use my eyebrow tweezers yesterday. They are now the Official Tick Pulling Tweezers and I shall get new ones for my eyebrows. Dunno what happened to the old tick pullers, they disappeared into the ether along with the key to the tool shed, one of my polka dot socks, and all of the linen tea towels.

Stink bugs. Gads, I know my house's infestation isn't near as bad as some folks' to the south. I saw a news story last year that this one family in Maryland had to shovel millions of bugs off their porch every day! The woman said she's gotten used to stink bugs crawling out of her purse and clothing. GAH!!!! I will never become that blasť about the damn stink bugs. Worst for me is my bedroom seems to be stink bug headquarters. Two nights in a row now I've woken up with one crawling on me! EEEEEEEK! They're forever trundling along my bedroom drapes and occasionally even inside the dresser drawers. When crushed the stink bug stink isn't too awful, nasty leftovers gone sour and strange in the fridge are far worse, but I can't bear stink bug stink anyway. It's so pervasive. And the crunch when smushed is far from satisfying, it's too loud, too crunchy. Blech.

Wolf took a header in the backyard yesterday. I never did get a straight answer about what exactly he was doing. Smashed himself up something wicked though. Both legs scratched and lumped with bruises. The calf of his right leg had a couple of scary gashes. Not deep or wide enough to need stitches, thank goodness, but ugly and worrisome nonetheless. He also took a hard clip to the face, his right cheek has a purplish bruise with a light scrape across it.

To make it all worse, he snuck in and tried to clean himself up on his own. He said later he didn't think it was a big deal and hadn't wanted to bother me. Ouch. I admonished him and made sure he understood that my taking care of him was NOT a bother, it's my job. If he wants to save me some grief he could clean his damn room without my using a cattle prod to get him moving, however- blood and bruises whether he thinks they're no biggie or not DO require my attention.

So I got him cleaned up properly. Bandaged that which needed bandaging. Disinfected him from head to toe. Set him up in front of the TV with snacks and such. Made him take an Advil. Gave him hugs and a cheery finger wag of mock exasperation and walked off laughing.

Then came in here and cried until my nose bled.

I am able to play Calm Cool Collected Mom when required. Assessing damage, rendering first aid, holding bowls to vomit in, able to drive to the doctor's or the ER and answer questions sensibly. No shrieking, fainting or running around in demented circles. At least not in front of the children. If Mom is flipping out it just makes everything way scarier and upsetting. Kids need Mom to be chill. At least I've always thought so. And it does seem to help everyone involved. Hysteria solves nothing. I've been lucky in that after age 6 or so that neither of my kids have been daredevils or terribly klutzy. Healthy as horses too. I see my tax guy, Herb, far more often than I do the pediatrician for illnesses and injuries. But I'd have to be a heartless beast not to freak out a little when my baby is hurt. I guess moms whose kids ride skateboards and play contact sports become inured to seeing their kids bloody and missing skin. Not that they are heartless beasties, by any means, it's just that familiarity must take out some of the trauma. Or maybe they do like me and flip out in private. All I know is I don't want to get used to my boy sporting road rash and black eyes. My ambitions for Wolf to have a free range childhood go to pieces when picking bits of gravel out of his bleeding bod.

Wrapping my kid in surgical gauze and wishing it were cotton wool instead. ~LA

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