Once upon a time back in 2006, I wrote a post called “Mold, Diarrhea and Escargot,” a detailed and repulsive summary of the grossest and most disgusting day in the life of any Jewish mother, anywhere, ever.
That day has now been eclipsed by a perfect storm of afflictions that probably should win some type of award except that I don’t want it commemorated in any form or fashion. However, if you want to buy me a sympathy drink after reading this, I won’t turn it down.
First, when we dropped the children off at their lovely, green Jewish summer camp, the cursory nurse check revealed three tiny little white blobs on my daughter’s heads. I mean miniscule, tiny flecks that could have been dandruff or remnants from a spitball fight she had with her brother. But when the nurse pointed at them, I knew. NITS. Lice eggs. Lousy. Literally.
I tried not die from shame since I know that having nits or lice doesn’t mean you’re dirty or that you are a bad person. It’s pretty common among kids these days, though I had never had to deal with it before my daughter’s Girl Scout troop has passed them around for an entire year (if there was a badge for nits, we’d OWN it.)
I don’t know how or where she got them this time, but I was not real thrilled to douse her head in chemicals once again. It turns out the poison doesn’t work anyway, because apparently regular lice has mutated into a super organisms that are taking over the planet. I took the nurse’s advice and combed and combed through the girl’s hair with tea tree oil under a bright lamp; I did the same to her brother just in case. And El Yenta Man’s. And mine. We were up past midnight combing through each other like baboons. I didn’t spot any bugs, and everyone got a clean bill of health the next day.
But STILL. We are the NIT family. The nurse was so kind and sweet, reassuring us that we weren’t the only nit family, and that she would quietly check Little Yenta Girl from time to time to make sure those little buggers stay away. If they don’t, I’m sure I’ll get one of those “Hello-this-is-Camp-nurse-it’s-not-an-emergency-we-just-wanted-to-let-you-know” types of calls.
In the meantime, while the kids are enjoying themselves, prayfully nitless, El Yenta Man and I have been even more revolting adventures. After enjoying a lovely childless dinner out on our first evening alone, we returned home to thinking that we would, *ahem*, make the most of our aloneness. Except we weren’t alone.
As EYM went to grab a water from the pantry, he found a bigass rat in there, that was, in his words, “clamboring all over the sugar and shit like Templeton from Charlotte’s Web.”
Again, if shame could kill a person, I WOULD BE DEAD ALREADY.
How. Could. This. Happen. TO ME? My pantry is so freaking clean you can eat off the shelves. I even finally got the Tupperware tub for the dog food.
Except that there was a RAT eating the pistachios, which means I am a horrible housekeeper and all-around terrible balabusta. And basically useless, since all I could think to do was scream and swat at it with the broom.
EYM grabbed the BB gun and started shooting up the place, which meant tiny metal balls were bouncing off the tile floor like we were surrounded by enemy fire in Vietnam. Fifteen minutes later, my beautifully organized pantry lay in ruins and we’d pulled out the sideboard, the baker’s rack and the refrigerator chasing it. EYM had the gun pointed on it as we slid the wine cooler back for its last stand, but at the last minute I begged him not to kill it. I opened the door and it scuttled out, tail dusted in Whole Foods organic flour.
I had just started putting everything away when I heard my husband whisper “Oh no.” He was staring at a long cardboard tube on top of a pile of potential art supplies. The faintest of scratching sounds emanated from it. “Oh no NO NO NO.” He climbed up on top of the sideboard, peered into the tube and screamed like a little girl.
YES OMFG ANOTHER RAT.
EYM actually shot the bb gun into the tube, and this bionic rodent performed the scary ninja feat of climbing UP out of the cardboard tube, across EYM’s feet and out into the dining area, trailing tiny drops of blood on the wood floor. EYM finally cornered it in the girl’s bedroom, but not before ransacking it, pulling the mattresses off the beds, pulling out drawers, flinging finger puppets and toys around the room and turning her room—which yes, I just cleaned and made all pretty for her when she came home from camp without nits—into a war zone that looks like it had been hit with rockets by Hamas. (Oh shit, sorry. Too soon? It’s been a terrible week for so many. Prayers and blessings for safety for all.)
The second rat was not as lucky as his compadre; he died after taking about fifty bb’s (a la Willem Dafoe in Platoon) and couple of butts from the gun. Even though he kills and guts fish, regularly, EYM was terribly traumatized at the violence of it all, and I heard him apologizing the rat as he finished him off. It was really awful, y’all. I still haven’t been able to go in there and clean up her room.
To top it all off, both El Yenta Man and I are suffering from a wicked, weeping, itchy, full body-swathing case of poison ivy, probably from consoling ourselves with too much alone time in the backyarden.
A trifecta of the most disgusting things ever, all in one week. If you can top that, I would really, really like to know.