This post involves fleas, scabies, bed bugs, hysteria, dog puke, bug bombs, the sanitize cycle of the washing machine, unadulterated violence, and at least two trips to the pediatrician. If you are even the least bit squeamish, I recommend reading someone else’s blog today.
First, my recent boycott of the news notwithstanding, I am here to tell you that I am still capable of being in the know about the most important current events. A good friend alerted me just today about Elmo’s recent and very real brush with death. CNN is reporting that a grown man dressed as Elmo was shamelessly assaulted by a mentally ill person. Impressively, the best part of the story is that Elmo returned fire, launching his assailant into a glass electronics counter. It is unclear to me exactly why a grown man was dressed as Elmo, let alone why he was interacting with customers in an electronics retail store where he was not currently employed to don the suit. It is even more befuddling to surmise why CNN would cover this story. Furthermore, despite my last semi-threatening blog post, and despite any resemblance I may have to the description of “a mentally ill person,” this post is to confirm for you, my dear readers, that I DID NOT ASSAULT ELMO.
Point of fact, I have an alibi. While it may confirm my questionable mental state, it also firmly establishes my whereabouts on or about the time of the alleged Elmo incident as well as my inability to write a blog post earlier in the week.
This weekend Preschooler woke up with an entire forehead bespeckled by the remnants of a ruthless mosquito attack. Preschooler always gets bitten when the rest of us do not, but this was a particularly bad onslaught: grotesque, even. His profile was reminiscent of a caveman’s. I even felt a teensy-weensy bit guilty when I asked him not to rub his lesions on me.
Fear not. The constant complaining about the sores was not the worst part of the weekend. Hands down, the crowning glory was the stench that accompanied us after my mother’s dog threw up in the back seat of my car. As luck and good fortune would have it, I managed to reach back and hoist my purse off the floor of the back seat at the very same moment that doggie went for round two, and dog puke landed squarely in my Kate Spade. I’m pretty sure poochie thought I was simply offering her the most elegant and well-designed air sickness bag EVER.
The rest of Sunday was spent steaming and deodorizing the car.
On Monday morning, after rifling through the closet for a different purse, I noticed there were one or two new bumps on Preschooler. I admit, I wasn’t willing to be overly suspicious on a workday, so I gave him Benadryl and assured his teacher that the oozing welts on his head were mosquito bites. He was fine. Anyway, this method worked well for everyone. Almost everyone. For about ten minutes.
When I arrived at my office, my assistant was waiting to transfer a call from Preschooler’s teacher. Teacher explained that another parent had taken one look at Preschooler and instantly diagnosed him with – wait for it …. scabies!
I asked for proof (the lawyer thing again).
Just my luck, some kid’s parent is a physician. I admit, I had no real understanding of what scabies actually was, but it definitely sounded third worldly and infectious, and definitely sounded like something I didn’t want in my house, and definitely made me feel better about lurching away from my own kid’s head wounds. However, it also instantly confirmed (once again) that I would not be in the running for Mother of the Year, 2010.
I promised to retreive Preschooler STAT and paid an immediate visit to the rash-infested office of the walk-in pediatrician. She took one look and reminded me that they call it the “practice” of medicine for a reason (as if I’d never used that one before in giving unclear and/or unsubstantiated legal advice). Diagnosis: inconclusive. But there was a long list of potential causes and varying remedies that included bed bugs, scabies, fleas, spiders, and potentially The Plague.
Let’s just cut straight to the violence, shall we?
After inspecting every mattress and box spring crevice with a flashlight and magnifying glass, laundering and sanitizing every bed linen ever coming near Preschooler, bombing four rooms with assuredly toxic fumes, considering the effect of bug bombs on “accidentally” left behind guinea pigs, replacing all of preschooler’s pillows, losing an entire day’s work, and spending one sleepless night imagining critters crawling and/or burrowing their way across me and my children, I am now plotting my evil revenge against Anonymous Malpracticing Preschool Parent who provided the erroneous panic-inducing diagnosis that made my son the temporary but falsely accused scourge of preschool that he is.
Because, you see, this morning I obtained a final diagnosis from a real live practicing pediatrician. And guess what it is? That’s right: mosquito bites. Mosquito bites with a secondary allergic reaction that looks like more bites.
So, Anonymous Parent, BITE ME.
This bugtacular escapade was only made better this afternoon when I recieved my reminder email that preschool pictures are …. yep, you guessed it. Tomorrow! Yay for school pictures!
In closing, I can admit that I now harbor very real fantasies of recreating the “Tackle Me Elmo” move upon a certain unsuspecting physician who obviously has no idea how fragile the psyche of a military wife with dog puke in her purse can be. I am only left pondering whether disguising myself as a life-sized Elmo will adequately hide my true identity during the assault, without simultaneously and “permanently” scarring the emotional health of the entire Preschool Class.
Signed under penalty of perjury,
The Mom who properly diagnoses mosquito bites, even without a medical degree.