Did you know that only female mosquitoes suck blood? Males prefer the bouquet of flower nectar, but females need the protein in blood to create their spawn. So when a filthy mosquito is buzzing dangerously close to my little Ruby, she is baby-hungry in more than one way. Meanwhile, I want nothing more than to obliterate every mosquito in the state of Texas by the sheer force of my maternal rage.
|Who hates mosquitoes? This girl.|
It's no secret that I have a hate affair with mosquitoes, which is funny because they can't seem to get enough of me. On family camping trips as a child, I would get as many bites as the rest of my six family members combined. A month ago I got twenty bites in as many minutes spent outside talking to my neighbor. Not five minutes ago I got three bites across my ankles, courtesy of the mosquito wench I initially failed to kill because I was holding/protecting my newborn and so couldn't use both my hands to hunt her. It isn't impossible to kill an in-flight mosquito with one hand (indeed, I've done it many times), but it is more difficult, especially when mobility is restricted by something like holding a baby. You'll note my earlier use of the word "initially" ... once Ruby was securely nestled somewhere safe, I handily killed the still-lurking mosquito and wiped her corpse (mingled with my freshly-harvested blood) off my hands and onto a flier from LA Fitness, which sits beside me as I type.
|It's like "Where's Waldo," but the red stripes aren't so neat.|
Complicating matters is another protein-related issue, a lingering side effect of pregnancy known as "floaters"--little chunks of protein (collagen, specifically) that float across your retina and make you see little dark spots darting around in front of you ... kind of like how a bug would appear. This wasn't so bad while I was pregnant with Graham, but this last time around I've been in southern Texas, where I'm always expecting to see a bug, whether it be a cockroach skittering across the floor or a mosquito zipping by in the air. So I've been constantly jumping and jerking around like a crazy person, thinking I'm being ambushed by bugs.
So the war rages on. The mosquitoes are determined to mother their spawn, and I am determined to protect myself and my children from their blood-thirsty advances. Sometimes I lose the battle and itchy red bumps rise on the soft skin of my babies, and sometimes I have to wipe crushed mosquito bodies off my palms. And they ask me what I do all day ...
Would you rather sleep in a room full of mosquitoes or cockroaches?