It’s been a week reminiscent of Biblical times.

We’ve been visited by angry, man-eating insects, had run-ins with flying fur balls, and been struck with near pestilence.

Let’s work backwards, shall we?

Last Friday, my daughter’s daycare provider sent an email to parents with the announcement that several children had come down with the COXSACKIE virus, that it was highly contagious, and to check our kids for fever and blisters.

Sure enough, when I arrived home after a day working, I checked little B’s temperature. 102. And when I peered in her throat with a flashlight (a minor victory in itself), I spied several dreaded pustules of blisterdom.

“Coxsackie?” my mother yelped, when I told her about B’s latest affliction. “Sounds like something you pick up in a whore house.”

Not quite.

In fact, Coxsackie is named for its location of origin. The disease was first discovered in Coxsackie, New York, in 1947.

Remind me never to visit.

Photo courtesy:

It resembles foot and mouth disease, and in severe cases, can cause dehydration and excessive blistering. Luckily, Miss B’s case was mild, though we still canceled a trip to the wilds of Vermont in case she developed the full-blown plague. Which she didn’t. Phew.

Though days later, on Monday, while hiking with the boychild at Chase Woodlands, a Trustees of Reservations site, we had a run-in with a man-eating insect. Though ticks aren’t formally defined as man-eating insects, I think they should be, because they bloody well burrow into your skin and suck your blood, and if that isn’t man-eating, then I don’t know what is.

Upon entering the hike, we saw a sign that basically said, “Beware: Tick area.” Eager to hike, we put our fears aside and sprayed ourselves copiously with anti-bug juice before setting off.  Through terrain that was very grassy.

So of course, what did the boychild pick up, upon post-hike bug check?

Image courtesy of Texas A & M University

You guessed it. A tick.

The little fucker.

Luckily, it hadn’t embedded itself in my son’s tender skin yet — I managed to remove it with the edge of a key right as it was burrowing it’s evil little head into the back of his leg.

Lyme Disease terrifies me. Living in the Northeast, I feel like we live under constant threat, much like the pervasive presence of global warming and Monsanto. Ach. Another thing to worry about!

Not to mention bees! Those cute, stripey insects who are supposedly becoming extinct, thus threatening the existence of our entire food chain!

Yesterday, my sweet little girl, back at daycare with the other pestilence survivors, got stung by one of these endangered, honey-making fur balls.

I know you’re cute and all, but stay away from my daughter!

Still, my little B was a total trooper. And no anaphylactic shock, thank Christ.

[An aside: I say the word Christ much too much. I am not a particularly religious person, so don’t know why I’m prone to taking the Lord’s name in vain. The boychild is always commenting on how frequently I utter the words “Jesus Christ”, like a madman in heat. Must stop.]

And little did I know that the remedy for a bee sting is…wait for it…meat tenderizer.

Courtesy of

Yes, this relic of the 50s, when mixed with water into a paste, is apparently fantastic at removing venom from bee stings.

Who knew? I certainly didn’t, but am imminently grateful that the incredible woman who run’s my daughter’s daycare, does.

You know, it amazes me what we mums and dads can experience in a week. We take on the plague, remove man-eating insects, and tend to our wounded children.

And though I’m always initially freaked out by this kind of encounter with sickness/creatures who harm us — I come through the other end stronger, more grateful for my children and their patience with my I’m-learning-to-be-Florence-Nightingale ways, and just plain thankful for  their overall good health.

How ’bout you? Any encounters with sickness or woodland creatures so far this week?