“I think we’ve got a tick in here,” Tracey called out from the bathroom. When I walked in she had her glasses off and was holding them out trying to use them to magnify the beast.
It wasn’t difficult to work out which of our brood was playing host to a parasite – Master8 was nearly in tears, quivering and making incoherent sounds. He screams at the sight of a needle, so this was his ‘holding it together’. It’s difficult to picture him storming beaches or base jumping. I like that about him.
I looked at his shoulder. All I saw was something resembling a teeny tiny scab.
“Come into the light,” I told him. I still wasn’t really convinced. “Where’s our magnifying glass?” I asked everyone and, except for my brave, cowarding lad, got nothing but blank stares in response.
After a quick search of the house I gave up on the magnifying glass, but I had found the binoculars.
“Stand on the other side of the room,” I told Master8. It might surprise you to learn this didn’t work, although from the look on Tracey’s face when she saw it I can deduce it didn’t surprise her.
Shortly thereafter, when it became clear I wasn’t going to be able to see the thing, let alone remove it, I told Master8 to go to the car. Meanwhile, Tracey was ferreting around for tweezers in the bathroom.
“Can I come?” asked Miss9.
“To support my brother,” she said. Given all she’d done by way of support so far was to snicker and point, I highly doubted this. But how do you say no to that? I followed her up to the car.
“I want to support him too!” yelled Miss6 from the kitchen. Same sort of line. Same sort of grin.
“Fine,” I sighed.
Miss3 came racing out of the bathroom, doing her traditional nudie run to the bedroom. Tracey was two steps behind her.
“What are you doing?” she called out to me.
“Taking him to hospital.”
“Because neither of us has eyes good enough to see it and I’d rather be looked at like an idiot for taking him to the hospital to have a tick removed than be looked at like an idiot for taking him to hospital because I left the tick’s body in.”
“And why are you taking the other four?”
I looked behind me. Miss3 was climbing into the back seat, still naked as a jay.
“I go too!” she protested when I removed her. Although it came out more as, “Iiiiieeeeeeeegooooooooooowaaaatooooooooooooooo!!!!!!”
“Yes, you can come,” I assured her. “Just get dressed first.” I looked at Tracey. “You coming?”
“Not on your life,” she grinned. She’d done the math. “I’m putting the baby to bed and having a bath.”
So we set off: possibly the largest contingent of people ever assembled for the accompanying of someone to the removal of a tick.
When I walked up to the counter in the crowded emergency room I realized how daft I was going to sound, so I found myself virtually whispering through the gap in the glass.
“Hi,” I said. “I’m really sorry about this but my son has a tick and I can’t see it.”
There was a moment’s silence as she probably ran through the list of current broken bones, stopped hearts and victims of horrible chainsaw accidents occupying the rooms behind her and then counted to ten.
I always look like a bit of a tool when I get to the emergency room, but it has nothing to do with what I take my kids there for.
“Your child’s name?” I got it right second time. “Date of birth?”
This is where I tend to struggle.
“Your child’s date of birth?”
“I’m thinking,” I told her. It really doesn’t help to put me under pressure when I’m trying to picture my Gold Lotto form.
Now I looked at her like she was the daft one. I mean, if I struggled with the first two questions, what hope did I have?
“Bring him through here,” she said, perhaps more wearily than the early hour of the evening might suggest.
I told the cheer squad to stay where they were and Master8 went in to get weighed. From the look on his face you’d think I’d asked him to scrub grandma’s feet. In what is possibly the quickest turnaround time in my history of taking kids to hospital, the nurse decided to remove the tick as well. I suspect they just wanted the five chairs back for more deserving patients.
“I’ve just got to show the doctor so he can confirm the heads there,” said the nurse. “I can see the head. I don’t see how your father couldn’t.”
I wanted to respond with, ’cause I’m going blind.’ But I let it slide. Given the triage pecking order, she’d just saved us about two days in the waiting area.
When Master8 and his entourage arrived home there was much jubilation and back patting. Except from Miss3, who wanted us to go back to the hospital because they forgot to give Master8 a sticker.
As I sat down to write this blog, I noticed Master8 sitting at the coffee table with his ‘blog’, furiously scribbling away about his latest adventure. He’s given me permission to print an excerpt:
Today I went to the hospital because I had a tick. I freaked out. I just panicked to the death of it. The last time I had a tick I was about one or two so I think that’s why. My mum says that I was more brave when I was one. I just said to her, you mean I was more of a chicken because that is impossible for a one year old to be be more brave than an eight year old. I mean, I should be braver than that.
Then there’s the messaging between Tracey and her sister which I later discovered on our mobile.
How big was the tick? her sister wanted to know.
1mm? 2mm? Bruce will tell you an inch. He often gets inches and millimeters confused.
I think I’ll be able to handle the next tick we get here in the Devereaux household, I just need to buy some tweezers for the first aid kit. And a magnifying glass, of course.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes,
Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’