Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Real Mommy Wars

No, this isn't a commentary on the latest op-ed by some disgruntled SAHM/working mother/lizard trainer/etc. This is about something more important than whether the answer to the analogy "working mom: goldfish crackers :: SAHM :  ________" is "hemp hearts" or "mung beans." This is an essay on something very close to my heart ... or rather something very itchy on my ankle. This is about the eternal warfare between two kinds of mothers: human and mosquito.

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?


  1. Cockroaches, for sure. They don't bite? I hope? Are the mosquitoes as attracted to the kids as they are to you?
    Just move. To Colorado. Where your house might burn down.

    1. Graham gets a lot of bites so he may have the same curse. And Nate woke up with a cockroach on his face a few nights ago. GAH.

  2. Hello! Cockroaches, is that even a question?

  3. I would rather be dead than spend any amount of time in a room full of either. So then, I guess I would prefer that my dead body be coated in a diamond-strength shellac and "given" to the mosquitoes. Enjoy, suckas.


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