Now’s this for a bad day? I almost get the cops called on me and my daughter could have gotten lyme disease.
With one minute remaining to get to daycare on time I discover the only thing filling the space where H’s booster seat usually sits is a smorgasbord of crumbs, small toys, and juice stains. H stayed with my parents for the last couple of days and the booster seat never made it back out of their car.
I debate whether to stay home. But I pay for daycare whether T is there or not and I have promised H a girl’s breakfast out. I decide to take the risk. It’s a two-minute drive on back streets and H is tall for her age. She is, of course, securely buckled in. My plan is to ask at daycare if they have a spare booster seat. Which I do and instantly wish I hadn’t. The answer is no, and if we see you leave with her without a seat we’ll have to call the cops. Mandatory reporters.
My heart drops. I suddenly feel like a criminal. I’ve never done anything like this in my life and I never would have if I didn’t think my child was safe. After a momentary panic I realize H can still fit into T’s carseat. Ten minutes later H is safely – and legally – buckled in a new booster. I silently bless Walmart (which I won’t own up to it again if you ask me) for being so close and so cheap. But for some reason I still feel blemished, as if, just with a glance at me driving by, a cop would know my sin.
A hour or so later, H is parading around half naked, various scarfs and oversized shirts draped this way and that. Sitting on the couch I have an eye-level view of her belly button, which in normal circumstances, despite its curly-q cuteness, I would not have noticed. Now, I know my child is usually a tad grubby, she plays hard, but I laugh when I see she has dirt in her belly button. How on earth? I call her over so I can do the mom thing and extract the offending dirt speck.
But it won’t budge. Bewildered, I dig at it a little harder – it suddenly becomes a challenge like a stubborn black head or a deep splinter, and as my poor family knows, both of those impairments bring out the evil conqueror in me; vanquish the perpetrator no matter the consequences. So, I’m trying to grasp this strange dirt when I realise what I’m looking at… a tiny, disease-carrying, uninflated balloon that’s buried its arrow of a head in my child’s flesh ready to gorge itself with her blood. Argh!
A call to the doctor assures me the lack of engorgement means the tick hasn’t been attached long enough to create any trouble. Only after 24 hours can they transfer lyme disease. With a quick tug with the tweezers I rip the beast out and all is well.
And all this before lunch…