Friday night, 9 p.m.
The Husband is on realtor.com, attempting to buy ridiculous plots of real estate. Every few minutes he shouts, “Look! Eight acres of beautiful land! And the house on the property only needs a new roof, walls, electric, plumbing, floors, and mold remediation! It’s a dream investment! I gotta make a call…”
I am watching Jumanji (okay, watching The Rock), eating grapes (okay, drinking wine), and texting everyone in my address book that my husband is trying to buy a field the Children of the Corn wouldn’t live in.
My son, who was probably researching how to say Bad Mother in Japanese, comes into the room and throws his leg on the bed. “Guys, I need you to stop what you’re doing and look at something. It’s bad. Really bad. And it hurts.”
I sigh and pause on The Rock’s smoldering eyebrow, thinking I am about to see a blister or an ingrown hair. Instead, my son pulls up his pant leg and exposes what appears to be a black hole in his thigh. I throw the remote at the Husband (“Hey, you closed my browser, now I lost the realtor’s contact info!”) and escort my kid and his gangrenous leg into the bathroom for better light.
I see what it is. The world stops. At least, it does in my head. On the inside, I’m all ‘Okay. Your kid has a tick attached to his leg. A disgusting insect is burrowing into your precious angel’s skin, but you can handle it. Any minute now, The Rock or even your own mother will show up and tell you what to do to save the day. Just breathe and relax and wait for someone to help your baby.’
It seems my outside consciousness does not reflect my inner Namaste. “IT’S A TICK HOLY SHIT THERE’S A TICK IN YOUR LEG SOMEBODY HELP ME WHERE IS MY PHONE ASK SIRI WHAT TO DO I’M NOT THE GD CROCODILE HUNTER HELPPPPP!”
Unfortunately, my child has memorized the Dangerous Creatures Dictionary (in which ticks have a splendidly illustrated entry), and my hysterical outburst is contagious. “A TICK?! I HAVE A TICK ON ME? AM I GOING TO DIE? TICKS AND FLEAS ARE CARRIERS OF DISEASE. DEADLY DISEASE. GET IT OUT GET IT OUT GET IT OUTTTTT!”
Apparently this is enough to bring the Husband out of impending real estate debt and into the bathroom. As he tells, it, he found me sitting on the closed toilet, tweezers in one hand and my phone in the other, hyperventilating and muttering about matches and Lyme and ambulances. Meanwhile my son was jumping up and down in front of me, asking how long he had to live. The Husband spoke to me like a true hostage negotiator and said, “Why don’t you hand over the tweezers and walk over here? That’s it. Nice and slow. Let your son sit down, he needs to stay very still while I do this. Good, good. I’m going to pull it out now, okay everyone?”
This has some sort of trance-waking effect on me, as I realize I don’t need The Rock to save me – I have a Husband! Wait. My Husband is about to remove a parasite from my child’s body. If he screws this up, I will throw him out so fast the divorce papers will give him whiplash. And paper cuts. Lots of paper cuts, so that he can never eat salt and vinegar chips again. I wonder if my lawyer can just white out the name on my first divorce decree and put a new one? Seems very efficien—- “DONE!”
The disgusting creature was out. My baby was free. The Husband sauntered back to bed and was on the phone with a realtor before I could even type WebMD into my browser to see if we needed to go to the hospital for Lyme Intervention (son) or a hug (me) or a sedative (definitely me). My son, who moments ago was at Defcon One, looked at me and said, “I’m glad that’s over. At least it wasn’t a flea. You should read about how disgusting those are. I would have died for sure. Hey, Mom? You don’t look so good. Why don’t we go in the other room and practice Savasana? You need to relax.”
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