tic tic…tic?

Here is this week’s column.

There are two things in life that do not frighten me.

I’m not afraid of bugs, and I’m not afraid of blood–but only when the two don’t meet.

The other day they came together with a creepy crawly vengeance. Holy freaked out mother of Rex.

I was up in the bathroom fixing my hair when Rex (5) came in.

“Mommy?” he said, “There’s something in my hair.”

I casually looked at his head and saw a little bur; I tried to grab it.

It stuck. Like, screwed into his scalp stuck. In one horrible split second, I realized that my son was the victim of the world’s most terrifying, disease carrying, killer insect.


Okay, maybe I watch too much television.

I swooped him up and took the stairs two at a time. Rex started to scream.

The moment I laid eyes on that nasty little bug I became instantly unaware of Rex. I am a mother. A deadly predator had entered my world and latched itself onto one of my offspring. I was determined to kill it, and no screaming child was going to stand in my way.

Now my little Rexy has some very real anxiety issues about the world in general. Perhaps this wasn’t the best response for a child who would already like to live in his bedroom for the next seventeen years.

Amid the poor child’s screaming terror, I dumped him in Jason’s lap and grabbed the computer. “We’ve got to get this thing out NOW!”

“No Mommy!” Rex sobbed, “I’m okay! I just need a bandaid! Daddy, help me!!!”

I pulled up YouTube and clicked on the “How To Remove a Tic” demonstration. “Okay,” I said, “it says here to grab it by the neck and try not to break off it’s head…”

“No!” he yelled, “Daddy, please don’t let Mommy break my head off!!!”

“Honey,” Jason said, “Just take a deep breath–”

“Lime disease!” I yelled, “We have to make sure he doesn’t have lime disease! Someone, I need to call the hospital, give me the phone–”

“No Daddy!” he cried, “Don’t let Mommy take me to the hospital! I just need a bandaid and I can go watch a movie! Please don’t let her take me!”

Finishing my tic-killing tutorial, I quickly rifled through a nearby drawer and found the appropriate tweezers. Turning to Rex, I slowly approached him with a crazy, bug killing gleam in my eye.

“Okay,” I said with way too much control, “I’ve just got to pinch the neck and pull slowly until it lets go without snapping the head off the body–”

“Daddy, HELP ME! Please don’t let her pinch my head off, please! Somebody, help me!!”

“I need people to hold him down!” I said, looming over his head with the tweezers.

“ARGH!” he yelled, “Don’t let her do it, Daddy! Don’t let her get me!”

Seven seconds later he was tic-free.

In all honesty, nothing, and I mean nothing, has ever freaked me out like that disgusting little bug did. It had screwed itself into my five-year-old’s head and was hanging on for dear life. When I finally pried it out, it took a little chunk of Rex with it.

The moment the bug had been disarmed I reengaged as Loving Mother and threw my arms around my sweet boy.

“You were so brave!” I said, hugging him.

“No I wasn’t!” he sobbed, “I was very scared! You almost broke my head off, Mommy! Why did you do that to me?”

“Broke your head off?” I looked at my husband who was trying not to laugh. “What is he talking about?”

In the future, I shall try to remember that semantics are everything when dealing with the destruction of deadly insects.



  1. Creepy little suckers for sure! Great story! Your local Apoteke will have tick repellent spray and handy tick cards! It’s a credit card sized plastic card with a pincher end and magnifying glass spot for taking those buggers out where ever you may be! Your pediatrician friend should be able to tell you if ticks in your area have been known to be disease carrying this season. We got the kids vaccinated this year just in case. Glad you held it together! Well done!

  2. I am so sorry about the tick. My worst fear. But, this made me laugh and laugh. One of my girls sounds a bit like Rex, although I’m thinking that she would have needed more than just her dad to hold her down in the event of a tick and a raging-neck-twisting-head-snapping mother.

  3. Nice work! Mama bears don’t have anything on upset human mamas.

  4. hahahahahaha!!!! ticks are a regular event around these parts. we use a hot match head, and tick usually releases & backs out on its own. 🙂 in case you’d rather try that (and avoid the risk of breaking heads off), have mr. wonderful isolate the area of concern so you’ve got a straight shot to the little parasite (the bug, not your kid – lol), light the wooden kitchen match, let it do its thing for about a second, blow it out & immediately press to the bug’s head in a down & out manner. good luck in the future.

    as a side note, i’m a get-even kind of mama. so once the tick’s out, with tweezers i pick ’em up, place ’em in a pyrex dish with the tiniest splash of alcohol at the bottom, and light ’em on fire!!! my hubby prefers to flush ’em. but i don’t think they should have the glory of somehow surviving & living (even for a short while) in my septic tank or the sewer!


  5. I laughed so hard when I read this in the Standard Examiner. I am not a mother but I do have a phobia of ticks and always will. They are gross. Super gross. I loved your little boy’s response to the whole thing. I laugh just thinking about it 🙂