Working Mum: My own little superhero
By Tabitha Ronson
At first I thought it was simply a cut on the back of Master A. I wondered how he had come by it but didn't think very much beyond that.
My boy getting strange wounds is par for the course.
The next day, while bathing him, the mark seemed bigger, redder, a little swollen even, so it deserved closer inspection.
My first reaction, the inner kid still ever present in me, was to want to run away and vomit. Then the protective, practical mum part of me kicked in. Right, how best to deal with it? The "it"? A tick, happily buried in Master A's skinny little back, getting pumped up on his blood.
My grandparents had a small holding when I was growing up, often their pet dogs and cats would pick up ticks from the long grass, so I was familiar with these ghastly blood guzzling little critters. How on earth Master A managed to play mein host to one, living in the city as we do, though is beyond me.
The priority was to get the insect out.
I rooted through my make-up bag for a pair of tweezers. Fortunately, as a woman forever tweezing and plucking excess facial hair, I had plenty from which to choose.
Then it was how I was going to break the news to Master A he had a parasite, head firmly buried in his skin, feasting on his fluids.
"A tick! ... What's a tick? ... Cool! ... Can I see it? ... Does this mean I'm going to be like Spiderman and have special powers? ... I'm going to tell them all at school I'm Tickman! ... This is so cool..!"
It went better than I had imagined. My boy was living out his dream of superhero powers bestowed on him by an insect.
After psyching myself up, and performing with the skill of a surgeon at Papworth, I prised out the poppy-seed-sized interloper - head intact.
Yesterday, Master A proudly took the tick (dead, of course) into school with him for his weekly "Show and Tell" session. I understand all his classmates now want one.
Working Mum, still marvelling at the joys of being a parent.