Okay, so you might guess that I wouldn't be the first to sign up for a camping trip and you'd be right. In fact, one of my favorite, self-deprecating jokes comes to mind:
What's a J.A.P.'s idea of camping?
I'm just not a big fan of bugs crawling on me, especially mosquitoes and ticks. Oh and cockroaches too. (Recall that I grew up in South Florida, where those buggers, also called Palmetto Bugs, fly. Really.)
I am a mosquito magnet. No matter what type of repellent I put on, they find me and they bite me. And then my job, which I do better than almost anything else in the world, is to scratch and scratch and scratch.
I only recall getting a tick once, but it still haunts me. When I was little, my dad used to take us on nature walks right to the edge of the Everglades. One fateful day, I came home and had a piece of dirt on my leg. Only it WASN'T DIRT. It had legs of it's own and it was moving while it was buried in my thigh. Ugh. Still talking about it in therapy.
So, the challenge for me is to not pass my extreme discomfort onto Zander. As I've mentioned, his preschool is wonderfully nature-based. His teacher recently asked that we be sure to check for ticks nightly since the children spend so much time in potentially tick-infested areas.
The other night he didn't want to take a bath, which I said was fine, but that we had to check him for ticks. I did my best to make them sound benign -- likened them to mosquitoes -- and said "everybody gets them" at one time or another. We did some internet research and looked at photos. So far so good, although he had a small boo-boo on his toe that he kept telling me was a tick.
This post was brought to you by the Disease Carrying Insects Program of the Fairfax County Health Department, who sent me this lovely brochure in the mail yesterday: