Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The way my little girl bounced down the street, delirious with delight, you'd never know the reason was a tick bite.

The little sucker (the tick) burrowed into that sweetest morsel of a belly during a class trip in the woods. After lunch, apparently, Li'l G bounded out of the restroom shrieking about what she assumed was a spider on her tummy. The teacher identified it as a tick, removed it and then circled the area with ballpoint pen so I would know where to check for Lyme disease symptoms.

It seems that the drama was substantial enough to be savored the rest of the day. When I picked her up, I could swear my girl was channeling Ramona Quimby (the exquisitely funny and lovable show-off from Beverly Cleary's children's books). Li'l G buzzed with titillation, from all the attention and from the thrill of being the first kid at school in this particular danger (perhaps better yet for being highly improbable danger).

She cheerfully chirped all the way home about her brain feeling funny, about feeling achy and feversish (skipping all the while). Her shirt jerked up to show the scibbled circle to all. To any passing kid she recognized, she hollered, "I GOT A TICK BITE. AND I HAVE THE TICK RIGHT HERE. WANT TO SEE?"

Yes, the school had packed the tick for me to take home, in case I wanted to take it to a laboratory to have it checked for disease. I didn't want to, though having the option did boost my natural insecurity about how I'm supposed to handle these matters. I ran it by the pediatrician the next morning and got the green light to throw away this creepy wannabe pet.

I don't know how this would have been handled in the U.S. But I did noticed that the tick seemed possibly to have been wrapped in the cellphane packaging from a pack of cigarettes - and I'm pretty sure that would only happen in Europe.

A kid like this, you just know will be trouble - full of 50 times the energy of an adult and the source of inadvertant and sometimes intentional mischief, but also ceaselessly entertaining and lovable. Just like my daughter.

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