Children are filthy beasts. I unfilth-ify them to the best of my ability each night but for the love of Loretta Swit I cannot keep it together entirely. I am just one woman. I am just one woman living in New York City. And there are just way too many people living here in this fair city which has created a pesky pesty situation. Along with all the exciting things offered to us as citizens of Gotham, is the opportunity to have all manner of bugs and insects and rodents and crawly parasitic things surrounding us. And, uh…on us.
It’s kind of just better to not think about it. Usually I try not to perseverate on such unpleasantness. I cannot control it so really, it’s just a much better life to ignore it. I’m a huge proponent of denial and ignorance being potent healthy coping mechanisms.
But then little Mister Smith got a rash. And then Mister Smith got hives. And then Mister Smith got a wildly itchy head. And then Mister Smith got these crazy looking scab/scars. And then Mister Smith got these blisters. And I had five late-night telephone conversations with doctors, three visits with two pediatricians, and two visits with a pediatric dermatologist.
All to come to the conclusion that my boy reacts pretty dramatically to mosquito bites. And the heat. And he might have had a virus. But the path we took to these conclusions included the suggestion that he was being subjected to bed bugs. This sent a frenzied little spark from my soul to my heart to my brain. Not in a good way.
I immediately discounted this suggestion because nobody else in the house was having any bite problems. But even then the doctor off-handedly remarked, “Well it wouldn’t be the first time I saw only one person in a family react to the bugs.” Hey, doc? That’s actually not helpful. I prefer to believe otherwise. Thanks.
So we did a major meticulous sweep of the bed mattresses, bed frames, sheets, carpet surrounding the entire bedroom and found…nothing. Ok, we did find one bug and took a picture of it and sent it to my dad, a world-famous entomologist. He told me to stop it. Stop worrying. It’s not bed bugs. We have common household bugs and maybe I should stop sending him pictures of insects and just relax? Riiiiiiight.
So one bottle of $400 prescription lotion later (I kid you not. FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS for a bottle of lotion and it’s not even a pretty bottle. It’s an ugly plastic bottle. Thankfully we have insurance and only had to pay $75 but that’s still way more than I can even believe.) we are trying to get to a zen-like state and believe that bed bugs are not in our lives, for now. Nor are scabies, chiggers, ticks or flesh-eating ants.
And as I am getting into bed, reading the last of my emails for the day….along comes….dun-dun-dun dun! A message that one of Roan’s classmates has lice, and I should probably check him. And just to prove that all things are relative, I just laugh it off, knowing that dealing with lice is in my own personal toolbox, it is known and manageable and about as troublesome as having a cold. Kind of an imposition, but nothing I’m afraid of. After all, Madonna herself had an infestation of lice in her NYC home. Lice is the new black – anyone can pull off handling it. Bed Bugs are the new more complicated patterns. I don’t know how to deal with them but probably will….one day after being forced to embrace them in my beautiful overcrowded infested Gotham.