Country living, Just for laughs

All in a Day’s Work

Okay, it’s been awhile. My short break from the blog turned into a lengthy hiatus. Let’s just pretend it hasn’t been so long. I’ve missed all of you, and if you have missed us, make sure to thank my husband for encouraging me to get back at it.

This particular true story captures very well what my life is like right now.

It starts with a big mom fail. Well, let me back up. It starts with an unfortunate discovery which I am using to excuse the big mom fail. It was the day of my 8 year old’s school play, “The Last Dinosaur.” I was finally (finally!) doing a deep clean of “the big girls’ room,” where we have a bunk bed for my two oldest (my 8 year old and 6 year old), and the toddler bed for my 4 year old. My wise husband warned me about getting myself wrapped up in a big project when I would need to take care of play-related details and be ready to leave for school. I didn’t listen. I was waiting for my daughter’s “costume” for the play (her school shirt and black leggings) to be finished in the dryer when I pulled the toddler bed away from the wall…and discovered mold along the baseboard. Yuck! I was so dismayed, especially since we already had a mold problem fixed on the adjacent wall. I felt at that moment that I absolutely could not leave it, so I cleaned it up and only delayed us a little while.

Many of you know that we live 45 minutes from our Lutheran school where our two oldest are enrolled. We were halfway there, fighting traffic due to the start of summer construction season, when my husband turned to me and asked, “You did bring the costume, right?”

Oh, nooooo!!!! Of course it was sitting in the dryer. There was no way we could turn back in this traffic. She would be the only kid up there without her school shirt! This would be such a calamity. She would be so upset. I was a terrible mother.

I said a quick prayer and started scrolling through past text conversations on my phone, ignoring my 13 month old who decided to start protesting loudly her confinement in her car seat.

I needed another mom to bail me out, big time. Sadly, I scarcely know the other moms at school, due to a combination of living so far from school, my husband being the kid transporter, and covid. Which moms would be coming to the play who also would likely have a spare school shirt that would fit my daughter?

Thankfully, I was able to connect with another mom in my daughter’s class, who brought a spare shirt and pair of leggings. Whew!

We picked up my 8 and 6 year old from afterschool care, and raced to Culvers, where we were meeting my parents for a quick dinner before the play. The costume problem was settled. And how bad could the mold problem really be? Heck, if we lived in Bible times, we would have to demolish the house. From that perspective, replacing drywall was no biggie. I led everyone to a back corner booth, feeling I could relax a bit.

Or not.

“Mollie, you need to take a look at this.” My husband was walking toward the booth, holding my 6 year old’s ear. “I have a scab on my ear,” my 6 year old announced. Oh dear. My husband pulled back her ear to reveal…a tick firmly lodged on the underside of her little earlobe. Oh NOOOOO!!!

Stuck at a Culvers 45 minutes from home with a school play starting in an hour!

Tools!!! I needed tools. Frantically I pawed through my purse. My hand landed on slim, hard metal. Oh, my spare Tweezerman tweezers! Ultra sharp. These are no cheap-o drugstore tweezers. Thank you, Lord! I glanced around the restaurant for anything else that might be of use. Mayo packets!! Why not? I grabbed a handful.

I steered my 6 year old into the restroom.

“Sweetie, I’m just going to get that scab off for you. No worries. It will be over quick.” Except it wasn’t. No matter how hard I squeezed, the horrid creature would not release. I have some experience with tick removal (one of the few but truly revolting downsides to living in the country) and I definitely wanted to get him off intact. Time for the mayo. I had read that vaseline smothers ticks. The mayo was worth a try. I squirted on a big glob.

Now we needed to wait. My sweet girl was still under the illusion that I was picking off a scab, and she was holding up well. Even so, we both could use some stress relief. Just then “Footloose” came on the restaurant speakers.

“Come on, let’s dance!” I told my daughter.

We twirled and spun in the restroom, ignoring the other women coming in for the usual purposes.

I was washing off the mayo when my mom popped in.

“Well, how is it going?”

“I’m still trying,” I said, pinching hard once again with the tweezers. “It just doesn’t want to let go. Hmm, didn’t Dad get ticks off us by holding a cigarette to them?”

“Oh, that’s an idea.”

“We need a smoker.” I peered around the restroom at the several other women, entering or exiting stalls, or washing their hands. “Anyone smoke?” No one did. Nor did anyone in line for their butterburgers and custard mixers admit to being a smoker. We checked.

My daughter was now crying. “I’ll never get my scab off and be able to eat my ice cream!” she wailed.

This needed to get done. Another quick prayer went up. I squeezed harder than ever and pulled.

Success! The vile parasite was intact. I took a picture for identification, though I was sure it was a dog tick, not a Lyme-spreading deer tick. I doused my daughter’s earlobe with my Thieves disinfecting spray, hugged her, and told her she was sooo brave.

After the play, which was wonderful, I hugged my oldest, and told her she was amazing.

All in a day’s work, friends. And it’s still the best job in the world.

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