Friday the 13th started as most others did. The chipper chimes of my phone’s alarm annoyed me from my slumber. I begrudgingly turned on the shower and began the start of another day. This morning, in addition to being unlucky because of the date, would prove to be another busy day between schools, shopping, yard work (we expanded my garden an extra 5×20 ft), and doing some stuff for the website. At least today there were no volunteer hours or field trips which seem to take a valuable chunk of my day right out from under me.
As I lathered my hair, I thought about yesterday’s field trip to one of Delaware’s State Parks, which truth be told was more like a swamp, with Joey’s Kindergarten class. Although it was a rather short trip, just under three hours in all, the kids managed to squeeze in a lesson on the importance of trees, a quick craft, a walk through the nature center, a walk around a pond (swamp), followed a trail into the woods and finally grabbed a picnic style lunch.
When I dressed Joey that morning I put him in long pants even though the temperatures were forecast to climb in the afternoon. I choose similar attire, and as we walked through the woods and I spied patch after patch of poison ivy, I knew I made a smart decision as far as the apparel was concerned. Although, I did forget hats. Aside from the fact that ticks (and Lyme’s Disease) are prevalent here, I would have preferred an extra barrier between my head and any other creatures. I also skipped perfume and lotion, yet still managed to come come with no less that a dozen mosquito bites. I’m hoping not to be the state’s first confirmed case of West Nile Virus because I saw some of these massive blood suckers as they began feasting on my flesh. These winged beasts looked like something out of the Jurassic Period.
Anyway, I was ready to jump out of the shower when I remembered another day warm temperatures laid ahead so I broke out my shaving cream and razor and began shaving my stubbly legs. This daily shave (above the knee even) was really the only bad thing about warmer weather that I could come up with as I went up the back of my right leg and did a half turn to reach the upper part of my thigh. Just because it’s not an easy reach I looked back to be sure I covered the massive area. last thing I need is a tuft of leg hair sticking out of the back of my shorts (although it might camouflage the cellulite at least).
Ah, I had missed a spot and as the razor took the hair and cream away I saw a tiny black spot. I brushed the spot with my finger and it was smooth and slightly raised but didn’t come off. As I contorted further to inspect this freckle perhaps, it moved…and when I say it moved, I actually mean the spot crawled.
I opened my mouth to scream but no sound escaped. I then proceeded to leap into the air, however, with my body already oddly contorted I slipped and began falling out of the shower. I grasped at the liner which stopped me from tumbling out of the tub but it did tear right through the plastic where three of the rings were. That was the furthest thing from my mind though. I needed to find the creature that was on my leg. I calmed myself as best I could and tried to re-assume my previous position. I was too panicked to hold that twisted position so I quickly sat in the tub and flipped my leg over.
It was there, through the unrelenting spray of water still coming from my shower head, that I saw the tick positioned inside a dimple just south of my right ass cheek. Oh the horror! The tick had just begun to bite, and perhaps my fatty thigh, although most likely appeared delectable to the tick, was not as easy to grab so I was able to pull him off with little effort.
Being a large child trapped inside an old Mom’s body, my eyes welled with tears as I washed the tick down the drain to his watery grave. Oh, were they all over me? Where had it come from? My afro? Not caring about the time, I rinsed my hair and repeated my earlier wash. About half way through my wash I saw another on my arm. “I’m infested!!!” I cried out to no one.
This tick was even easier to remove and unlike his friend had not bitten me as of yet. “See you in hell,” I told the blood- sucker as I sent him to the same watery grave as his friend.
Needless to say, I’ve been freaking out for more than a day. My hands are constantly feeling my scalp for any abnormalities (I know, I know. The real abnormalities are beneath my scalp). I feel buggy. I feel gross. I have a growing hatred of nature. I’m left wondering what will kill me first- the Lyme’s Disease or the West Nile Virus? Then this morning I pulled a tick off of Jake who didn’t even attend the trip. It had bitten him right on middle of his chest. I’ll be checking his chest and my ass for redness and or red rings for the foreseeable future, and if this creepy crawly feeling doesn’t go away I may end up shaving my head.