Not to belabor the point that Texas is really, really different from anything my children have ever experienced, but I wanted to relate a novel incident that Hannah and Logan found excruciating, painful and maddening. I figure their new found misery is good for an amusing anecdote . That doesn’t make me a bad mother…it doesn’t!
It all started Friday afternoon when we went to Gramma’s house for a quick “hello” before heading to the pool. Hannah and Logan went outside and ran through her overgrown back garden while Mom and I visited sedately in her air conditioned house. It had been raining recently so the weeds had gotten over 6” tall. After about 15 minutes, Hannah came inside complaining she felt itchy. I told her to wash her hands, arms and face to get rid of the pollens and allergens that were aggravating her. She reappeared a few minutes later damp and miserable. She was still itchy. Now, I KNOW there isn’t poison oak, ivy or anything of that ilk in my mom’s yard, so I was sure it was from running in the tall grass. We left and went swimming, itching forgotten for the moment.
That evening, Hannah and Logan were scratching like hound dogs, so I looked at the aggrieved areas. Small, angry welts were visible, and I explained to Hannah she had gotten mosquito bitten. She insisted I make the accursed itching stop. Immediately. I told her that I had nothing in my arsenal of over the counter drugs to keep bug bites from itching, but we would go in the morning to buy some anti bug-itch lotion. Right after breakfast, we went into town (that's a 45 minute drive folks) and asked the chemist what we could use. She showed us some topical lotions that I all but snatched from her hand and busted open right there. I applied this heaven sent solution liberally on both kids to relieve their hellish torment. OH. MY. SWEET. HEAVEN! Do you remember the Wizard of Oz scene where the Wicked Witch gets doused with water and it acts as an acid, melting her flesh and bones? This anti-itch stuff had the same effect on the children. “IT BURNS!! IT BURNS!!” they shrieked as they thrashed about agonizingly on aisle four. From then on, there was that tortuous deliberation: “do we scratch endlessly or sting momentarily for some relief?” By Sunday, both kids had scabs where their numerous bug bites were. Can I tell you how attractive that looks with bobby socks and a skirt? Sunday night, Hannah begged to know how long the itchy torment lasted. I assured her that by the end of Monday things should be much better.
Here we are, Wednesday evening; the living nightmare commonly called mosquito bites has passed. Hannah counted 18 spots on her legs and arms that were causing all her agony. Logan can tell you about the "bug wif wings" that he doesn’t "yike" because they eat his blood since he’s so yummy. We have a clear understanding that we should not play in the tall grass and to always use insect repellant before spending time outside, a new but important preparation now that we live on planet Texas.