CJDaily's Blog

August 18, 2009

A bug-bite by any other word would itch just as badly…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 11:04 am

One upside to my unemployment is the ability to drop everything (or nothing) and go to the beach.  Belle loves the beach like Joan Rivers loves plastic surgery.  She’s addicted—just can’t get enough!  As soon as we park the car and get her in the stroller to unpack all the beach stuff we haul around, she starts hollering “Wah!” and pointing in the direction of the beach.  She will yell this the whole way up the street, leaning forward in her stroller, straining at the belt, pointing ahead like a carved figure on a ship.  And then when we reach the sand and she gets her first glimpse of blue, the volume and excitment will increase exponentially.

“Wah!  Wah!”  It’s hard to write out exactly how she sounds when she says it.  Maybe it’s more like “Wah-uh” but you have to make the second syllable two octaves lower than the first.  If you’ve ever heard my child speak, or just babble at you, you know she has a baby Demi Moore voice, very low and husky. 

So when we get on the beach it’s all we can do to keep her from running straight into the ocean.  She loves the water.  LOVES IT.  All she wants to do is jump through the waves, and demands that we take her farther and farther out.  Doesn’t matter that she can’t swim–she tries to get in as far as she can, loving when the waves practically suck her out to sea.  It all makes me very nervous, and enforces my thought that maybe leashes on children aren’t quite so reprehensible after all.  It’s a good thing Jesse’s enthusiasm for the water matches hers.  I’m more of a sandcastle building, sit at the water’s edge kind of gal. 

Although lately the water has been so warm it’s practically like bath-water, and I’m much more of a fan of getting wet if I’m not freezing my buns off.  Yesterday we convinced her to sit down in the sand and let the waves wash up onto her lap.  If you’ve ever done this particular activity you’ll know that when you stand up, you’ll have accumulated so much sand in your bikini bottom that it very well may fall down, or at least look like you have a giant boulder in your bottom.  However, I thought it was well worth the chafing just to get her to sit still for ten minutes.  Ten whole minutes!  It was like heaven, sitting there on the sand, letting the water wash over our legs. 

My favorite thing to do is watch the tiny little clams burrow under the sand as the water washes back out.  It never gets old; I’m constantly fascinated by them.  We dug a hole for Belle on our vacation last week and poured water into it so she could watch them.  Of course, there was that one moment where I looked out at the ocean to enjoy the view and when I turned around she had a guilty look on her face and a suspicious sand goatee.  I stuck my hand under her mouth and she spat out a nice collection of thoroughly traumatized clams. 

Speaking of our vacation, it was really nice.  I’d say it was great except for one small detail.   Remember a few posts ago I wrote about how I got completely dominated by the mosquitoes in my backyard while trying to blow up Belle’s pool?  Well, my legs were pretty itchy when we arrived, but I was determined not to complain.  I was sure they’d start to heal once I spent some time in the salt water, and I didn’t want to be a downer on Jesse’s only vacation of the year.  My worthy resolve may have worked out too, if after the first night I hadn’t suddenly noticed my itchy bites seemed to have doubled overnight.  I assumed I’d been bitten a few more times when we arrived at the shore, maybe when unloading the car.  It was muggy and we were by the bay, so I resigned myself once more to not say anything.

EXCEPT… the next day I had even MORE bites.  And Jesse, darling Jesse, ever so casually mentioned that when he was changing Belle’s diaper that morning he’d seen a flea.  A flea.

A FLEA!

My calm and stoic resolve instantly transformed into white-knuckled terror.  FLEAS!  More tiny, biting, nearly invisible bloodsuckers?  IN THE HOUSE?  Jesse had already noted with amusement that I looked like I had chickenpox, due to the red welts all over my body.  I was covering my feet with Benedryl lotion nightly as it was, and trying not to claw my legs off in the process.  And now I was literally SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY? 

Jesse had been bitten up too, in the two days we’d been there, but he was convinced that all of his bites were from being in the backyard while using the grill.  He tried to assure me that all of my new bites were from being outside, and I tried not to smack him upside the head for suggesting such a thing when I KNEW that these?  These little tiny red bites all over my toes?  The ones that looked substantially different than my mosquito bites?  Oh no, they couldn’t POSSIBLY BE FLEA BITES!  Not when we’d suddenly been finding them all over the house, and banned one of the couches from being ok to go near, since you were providing a human buffet by simply sitting on it.  But Jesse was SURE it wasn’t the fleas, simply the bugs outside the house–the very outside I so thoroughly avoided, as I was too scared to face the mosquitoes. 

By day three my legs looked like they belonged on an 18th century survivor of the Pox, and I was flinching at every dust speck, thinking it was a bloodsucking insect.  Jesse finally took pity on me and went out to buy a flea bomb, which we set off just before we left for the beach.  Six hours later it was safe to return, and we did, cautious but optimistic.  It seemed to have done the trick, and we didn’t see any more fleas for the duration of the week, but the damage had been done.  Every night we sat on the couch, slathering Benedryl, Calamine, and some plant tree oil stuff on our legs and feet, all to no avail.  The only relief to be had was when we stood in the ocean, letting the salt water soothe our wounds.  Our not-flea-bite wounds.  Even though we googled flea bites and they were described as small, red, often clustered and located on the feet and lower legs, which itched more if they were scratched.  Even though they looked nothing like the mosquito bites, they OBVIOUSLY WERE NOT FLEA BITES IF JESSE SAID THEY WEREN’T. 

So aside from the fleas that didn’t bite and the bites that magically appeared on my legs due to outdoor bugs that somehow bit me while I was safely indoors, WE HAD A GREAT VACATION.

 

(love you Jesse!)

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