Damn nature, either way

We all know by now that I am not really very Good With Nature. I like it in small bursts away from which I can easily get. I like my concrete and my pavements and my tall buildings, actually. I feel safer on the asphalt. Nature is unpredictable. One misstep and you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with a gammy ankle.

On Sunday we went Into Nature, not far from home. We saw deer and found geocaches and got fresh air and the weather was delightful and by the time we were done it was too late to go home and make dinner so we had to go out for burgers and chips. (Fries.) (We still say chips. It’s our one victory over our children’s American vocabularies.)

Opening a geocache box in the woods

Well, feck nature, I said the next morning, as I plucked a whole bunch of pin-head-sized ticks off my son’s body, and one slightly bigger one off my own a few hours later. Fecking deer. Sod off, Bambi.

Deer in woods

Dash is always a magnet for wildlife, and he had been wearing shorts too. That evening I was still combing him – almost literally – for ticks when I noticed he seemed to have met a particularly angry swarm of mosquitoes as well. On his lower back.

That’s odd, I thought.

Then he disrobed for his bath and I found more little welts coming up all over his hips, as if he’d rolled around naked in a hornet’s nest. Very odd. Exactly the opposite of where mosqitoes normally get him, on his arms and legs – though he had a few on his neck and ears too.

By Tuesday morning I was having Other Thoughts about the bites. Like that maybe they were not bites, but a rash. A rash I couldn’t blame Nature for, apart from the regular nature that we have to put up with because it is Us because we are not yet cyborgs. (Oh, how I yearn for those cyborg days.)

I really thought he had chicken pox, and sent him to the doctor, who sent him back with a label saying “Probably Not,” since he’s had all his shots and the rash didn’t look quite right for that. Apparently kids can just get a rash as a reaction to a cold virus, and he had brought a cough home from school last week that we have all come down with after him.

This morning I woke up with a few scattered itchies myself. Since I’ve had chicken pox too (yes, the real thing; they don’t vaccinate for it in Ireland), I suppose this means that it’s very unlikely to be it. Which is good, because I sent him back to school this morning. From a distance, you can’t even tell he looks like a disgruntled mosquito took out his rage all over Dash’s backside.

So I suppose Nature’s off the hook for this one. For the moment. But I’ve got my eye on you, Nature. (Picture me doing that two-fingers-to-eyes movement that indicates menacing watching. I’m like Tony Soprano over here.)

Children and father walking in the woods

7 thoughts on “Damn nature, either way

    1. cmcgrath

      I’ve had both! and yes, shingles is quite horrifying. not good when the doctor tells you the pain medicine is a thalidomide-level teratogen, and when I question why I would want to even put a chemical in my body that causes horrific birth defects, he said “because the pain is so bad people commit suicide.” (I still didn’t take it. just wallowed in self-pity on my sofa for a week and then got up.) and they now have a shingles vaccine…

    2. KTA

      I’ve had chicken pox too. The vaccine is very recent. What I can’t figure out is the exact purpose of the scary shingles ads on TV. I know people who have had it, and yes, it’s no joke, but what are the ads trying to tell me to do? Is it a fearmongering campaign by the company that makes the vaccine?

  1. Thrift Store Mama

    That is freaky scary about the ticks. I should really be checking the girls, because they are outside all the time although we don’t have any long grasses around us and the nature is 1/2 mile down the road.

    One of my kids had that rash with virus thing – totally FREAKED me out at first but I had forgotten all about it.

    1. Maud

      If he wasn’t such a hypochondriac we’d never have noticed the ticks – they were really teeny specks. I thought he was exaggerating till I pulled one off and saw it still moving. Arrgh. (I presume, though, several of them were dead and wouldn’t have stayed on him. The few that did would have got bigger as they drank more blood, and then we’d have spotted them.) But they had travelled up his legs, they weren’t just where he was exposed. I was wearing jeans and the one I got was halfway up my shin. Little blighters.

  2. Joanna

    Aaaaaaaaaagh, it all sounds just awful and I love nature! But listen, the ticks, the rash, it really is awful but I am in stitches at how you told this. Please excuse my laughing at your run-in with the wilds. (PS: Hurray that you say chips!)


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