That Time We Found a Tick. Or, That Time My Kid Nearly Got Eaten By A Monster. Whichever Title Works Better For You

Before yesterday, I thought ticks were gross. I had a rather rational level of disgust for  them, but didn’t think much of them beyond “Shoot, I am about 7 decades behind in putting flea and tick stuff on the dog, I should get on that…”

And then yesterday happened.

My kids become practically feral once the temperature reaches 40 degrees. Yesterday was no exception. I saw them for approximately 6 seconds after school, and then the front door slammed in a whirlwind of blonde hair and discarded school supplies.  Eventually, I wrestled the girl-child into a leotard, and sent her off to dance class with a friend. An hour and a half later she returned home, plopping down on the couch next to me as she excitedly started to tell me about her dance costume.

And there it was. As my daughter mimicked the layout of a tutu, this THING was doing it’s own little dance through her hair, it’s 7.5 million little legs waving disgustingly as it stumbled through her curls.

“And it has a red apron and a skir….”

I calmly interrupted my daughter.

“GET OUT OF THE HOUUUUUUUUUSE! It’s in your hair, it’s in your hair, go into the yard, GET OUT, now, now, now! GOOOOOOOOO!”

Once outside, I reacted to the tick like a mature, rational adult. This entailed swatting wildly at my child’s head with a paper towel, yelping like a hyena.

Once satisfied that the beast was removed from her head, my daughter wanted to look for it. Pointing to minuscule dots on our front walkway, she yelled, “I see it!”

Not wanting to alarm her, I refrained from telling her that the tick was slightly larger than those dots.  Somehow, I don’t think “No dear, the bug in your hair was the size of a small chihuahua….” would have gone over so well.

I glanced up from monster hunt just long enough to catch the eye of our neighbors adult son as he gawked at me in bewildered amazement while getting into his car. I am pretty sure he left to submit the paperwork for my Mother of the Year nomination. I mean, I clearly handled that situation like a BOSS.

Since that ghastly, Cadillac sized beast attempted to scalp my kid (well, I shouldn’t jump to conclusions. I guess he could have been trying to French braid her hair. But, for the sake of my fear mongering little story here, let’s just agree that he was a monster out for blood, mmmmm-kay?) Anyway, I digress. Since he hitched a ride on my kid’s head, I have been itching non stop. Every piece of hair that touches my arm is certainly a tick. Wind blows? Tick. Strange creaks that I used to attribute to the house settling? Monster sized ticks. Door bell rings? Polite ticks. They are everywhere. My Facebook feed was full of articles and comments about them. Texts and messages came flooding in. Friends began finding traveling hairdresser ticks in their own hair (perhaps in solidarity?).

Nothing bad actually came of our tick encounter. Well, except for the fact that I may itch my own skin off. But, who needs skin anyway?

In all honesty, the giant monster tick population this year is apparently a gazillion times higher than it usually is. So, be aware. Check yourself, your kids, your pets, and be careful answering the door in case they are going door to door selling whatever the heck ticks sell. If you need to learn proper tick removal techniques, I will be starting a class soon titled “Smacking Your Kid On The Head With A Paper Towel Like A BOSS. Tick Removal 101.”

If there is a silver lining, it is that I am now hyper aware. And that my pets have been flea and tick treated.

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