(Written sleepily on Tuesday, 5/17)
In the literal sense.
Day 30 SUCKED. I plan to insert as many parasitic references as possible into this entry.
Yes, I missed one. I thought I had done a good job checking myself for ticks. But late last night I was in the shower and using my loofah on the backs of my arms. It hurt, and I decided to stop ignoring the fact that the back of my arm had been stinging a little for a couple of days. So I looked at the soft, inner part of my upper arm and there he was. Bastard.
I'd love to say that I'm not going to gross you out, but... well... I plan to. Part of the fun. I don't gross out easily, and I was saying, "Eeewww". I had been beating up on this tick with my loofah, which caused his bite to start bleeding. So when I first laid eyes on my passenger, he was covered in blood with his nasty little feet scrabbling madly, but with his head buried stubbornly (and completely) in my arm. Shit! How could I have not seen it! I have never missed one before. I have removed lots of ticks, but always with a casual flick because they hadn't really dug in, yet. I was mad at the thought that this fucking FREELOADER had been sucking my bodily fluids for two or three days! And catching a ride to Utah as well. I took a pest across state lines.
OK, time for the chorus to chime in about all the ways to neatly dislodge a tick... At work today, I heard them all (most of which I have already heard many times before). The hot match trick... the Vaseline trick... the nail polish trick... But my logical, let's-try-a-hot-match self had left the building. There was just a wet, naked dumb person staring at this bleeding parasite. Hatred boiled within me. I grabbed a tweezers and pulled...HARD... (those guys are tough!) until he came off. Leaving his head behind. Of course. On close examination, I can see how these little geniuses do it: they grab on with hook-like outward-pointing pincers, essentially stapling themselves to their host.
I was reduced to knocking at the door of Si's "apartment" in the wee hours, asking him to "Check my scalp! Check my scalp!" I also presented him with a needle and invited him to excise the tick-head. He tried while I bit my lip, to no avail.
I'm thinkin' it will work its way out on its own, if I'm careful not to let it get infected. I will leave it for a little while and we'll see. I called the doctor to see if he had any thoughts. The nurse said, "Well, as long as it doesn't get red and sore, it should be OK to leave it." I looked at my red, sore arm and said, "OK!" That's mostly from Si's excavations, anyway. So now I can say to all of my friends, "Wanna see the tick-head buried in my arm?" That is the up-side...
Today remained (shall we say) draining, throughout. Nathan woke up with a tummy ache and needed to stay home. I had overdue library books. I bumped my thigh on a metal chair arm at the airport yesterday and it shaped up to a big, nasty bruise. I got my first bill for counseling and, since I haven't used any of my deductible this year, counseling is very expensive. I have a session with her tomorrow, but then I think I will need to stop.
I told Mark that our prospective replacement for him had fallen through. He told me that he still had to leave, anyway. In two weeks.
I did not linger at work, as I often do. I want to try to get more sleep! I walked in and Si expressed mock concern at my prompt arrival. I was SO EARLY! Was everything all right!? Had my boyfriend dumped me?
Does he really think that I'm hooking up with guys every night after work? I thought, but did not say, that staying late at work spared me these late night "conversations". THAT is what I'm hiding from. I do frequently date this blog on Tuesday and Thursday nights...
After tonight's conversation, I wish that I had just stayed in the shelter of my office until late. Instead, I am snuffling and feeling guilty, selfish, self-centered, and all the usual adjectives. I don't mind the little jabs at me personally very much. It's the stuff about my parenting that really hurts. In fifteen minutes, I can go from feeling like a fairly good parent to feeling like I neglect them and am ruining their lives forever. Then I come upstairs and sit on the edge of the bed and feel the truth of this; and I think, "He is right. I have been a bad, negligent parent." When I tell Si that I feel bad and that I have taken his words to heart, he gets mad.
Turns out that this isn't about the day-to-day stuff of parenting. When he was telling me that I fail to put the children first, that I am being selfish, he was really talking about the financial settlement. If, at our next meeting with the mediator, I'm not willing to accept the deal he's putting together for me (which is the best he can manage), he might not be able to keep the house, which he is trying to do for the sake of the kids. THAT'S how I'm a bad parent. Or I will be? If I don't accept his offer?
Mmmph. So the parenting conversation is really meant to set the stage? Am I being psychologically primed to accept a bad deal? This is good strategy: nothing will hurt me more than feeling like an incompetent mother. If I can see it for what it is, can I resist it? Or is it true? Am I going to force Si into selling the house? Perhaps I am the evil, bloodsucking parasite. I should tell Si: just burn my butt with a match end or smear me in Vaseline. But puh-leeze cut it with the bad mother stuff.