Somewhere in the last 5 years, my definition for what is gross has gotten pretty narrow. With Birdy, I was all, OMG, she can’t be on a floor that isn’t sanitized and spotless. What if she finds a grain of sand? Are our floors organic!?! With The Professor, it was more like, Eh, Birdy ate sandbox sand and survived. His shots are up to date, right? By the time we got to WTWhammy, I’d relaxed so much that Identify the Mystery Object in the Diaper had all but become a polite parlor game reserved for fancy dinner parties. WTFather once presented me with a dirty WTWhammy diaper containing pink-glitter, pieces of green crayon, and a price tag that read CLEARANCE $4.47. It was impressive. Parenting CHANGES you.
So it wasnt that surprising that I shrugged off Birdy’s first LICE LETTER. Hand, Foot and Mouth phone calls didn’t faze me at all. I have a reputation for being the mom who doesn’t care if your kids are slimy on play-group day. No rash, no fever, no problem is the WTFamily motto.
And then ..
Something happened last week that shook the foundation of my very identity as the laid-back mom:
A woman on one of the parenting forums I frequent posted that she was concerned because some littles with whom her little was playing had been diagnosed with pinworms. She wanted to know what that might mean for her little. And of course because I
can sometimes be an assclown don’t always know about common illnesses and conditions, I got all sancti-mommy-ous and was like, What?!?! Do you live in Cambodia? WTFellers?!? Then a few other moms chimed in with things like, Oh hey! Its normal! and No worries! Lots of kids get them! And I was all Yeah. IN HAITI. Don’t lick that! hahahaha.
I’m sorry that I was a total judgy assclown. Because: Google.
That’s right. I Googled. Learn from me. Dont do it.
FOR THE LOVE OF RED-SOLED SHOES DO NOT GOOGLE IMAGES OF PINWORMS.
When I regained consciousness, I
set to work making breast milk and coconut oil enemas for every living creature in our home did what I always do when Im totally horrified by something child-related: I called my sister. (She’ll always be my baby sister, but she has almost a decade on me when it comes to gross/weird/WTFellers kid stuff. That, and she lives on a farm and likes animals and nature and works in the medical field. So she knows all about disgusting weird things.)
Me: Quick. Emergency.
Mo: Whats wrong?!?!
Me: Are pinworms a real thing? Because I have never heard of a kid having worms except for like, random kids in Red States who swim in like Lake Poopapalooza or the kids in the Sally Struthers commercials with the Sarah McLachlan music. Or Cambodia. I’ve heard you can get worms in Cambodia. Its the climate or the fish or something.
Mo: OMG. Seriously? Sarah McLachlan is the animal abuse commercials. Sally Struthers is kids in Africa.
Me: I can’t argue about depressing commercials right now. I need to know if normal kids in the normal UNITED STATES OF AMERICA have ASS WORMS!!!!!
Mo: Yes. Pinworms are a real thing that real kids get in the United States of America.
Me: You’re a liar.
Mo: Nope. Really. It’s a thing. It’s actually more common than lice. Like somewhere around 10-30% of kids have them at any given time.
Me: SHUT YOUR MOUTH THIS IS NOT A TIME FOR JOKING. I AM IN CRISIS HERE.
And then that betch laughed at me.
Mo: Why are you asking? Did you get a letter from school or a phone call or something?”
Me: No. I just read about them on a mommy board and people were trying to say that they’re common but you know, INTERNET, and then I Googled and freaked out because Birdy LICKS EVERYTHING because GIFTED .
Mo: That’s not good. But it’s good that you haven’t heard about an infestation at school. Not that you would. No one admits that their kid has butt-worms. You know you have to keep an eye out for them even if you haven’t been notified they’ve been exposed, right? It can cause issues with pooping and itching and bed-wetting and stuff. Im serious. Make sure you check them and watch them for itchy booties. Especially Birdygirl. You have to watch Birdygirl for sure.
Me: Really? Why? Because she’s in preschool?
MO: Well, that too. But mostly BECAUSE THEY CAN TRAVEL AND INFECT HER VAGINA.
And then I died.
Okay, not really. What I did instead was Google prevention, treatment plans,
confirm that we had enough fire coverage in our home-owners policy, research everything from essential oils to dog food and made a Target run for Scotch Tape, matches, a Nate Berkus pillow, some coffee pods, a new lip gloss, some Nutella, a box of wine, and some flashlight batteries. I decided I was going to check the kids for them that night because there is no way I would ever sleep again knowing there might be butt worms in my home I’m totally committed to whatever it takes to keep my littles healthy.
I told WTFather of my plan as he was packing for a business trip. He was just as super helpful and supportive as one might expect.
Him: Yeah, good luck with that.
Me: I’m serious. This is a thing. I have to do this!
Him: How does one check for pinworms exactly?
Me: I have to look it up to make sure I’m doing it right. They come out of their little booties to lay eggs at night. And theres something with Scotch Tape and chanting and burning sage and stuff.
Him: And WHY are you doing this again?
Me: VAGINA! VAGINA! VAGINA!
Him: *blink* *blink* *blank stare*
Me: Where’s your Maglite?
Him: For what?
Me: ARE YOU NOT LISTENING?! I have to check YOUR CHILDREN for butt-worms.
Him: It’s on my tool bench. I love you. Gotta go now. You’re crazy.
Me: You love my crazy. You know I’m totally taking one for the team here. I’m pretty sure butt worms falls on the daddy-side of the list of parenting responsibilities.
Him: Yeah. Sure they do. Have fun inspecting our children’s holy places with my Maglite. Let me know if you find any FART NOODLES.
He’s all mine, people. All mine.
Further Google research was not reassuring. I found endless sources of information; all of it alarming, none of it reassuring. One site, The Poop Report (Seriously. They describe themselves as “An intellectual poop site. A salon.” Someone with a dark sense of humor could get lost in there FOR HOURS) described the Fart-Noodles’ life cycle, stressing that the eggs can live on objects for up to three weeks. THREE WEEKS. A search for home-remedies taught me that drinking large amounts of alcohol makes your body an inhospitable host, which, quite frankly was the first good news I’d heard all day. So I decided that some alcohol was in order because OMG and because prevention. A Youtube (DONT DO IT.) video explained how the little devil-creatures come crawling out of the little poopers each night to get some fresh air and lay up to ELEVEN THOUSAND eggs. I was about 2
bottles glasses into the evening by then and the thought of little mommy worms prairie-dogging out of my littles’ exhaust pipes left me in a fit of giggles. I was ready.
WTWhammy was the easiest target, you know being 15 months old and totally in love with his mommy. I tiptoed into the boys room, pulled down his PJ pants, aimed the flashlight and took a close look. Right at the moment where I was pretty sure there was nothing there, The Professor sneaked up behind me, put his ginormous yet unnervingly stealthy noggin beside WTWhammy’s head and screamed MOMMY?!?! NOOOOOOO!!!!! WHAT DOIN TO WTWHAMMYS BUTT?!?!?! NO MOMMY NOOOOOOO!!!!!!
I’d like to tell you that this went well. That WHWhammy slept through this, I maintained my composure and all was well in the universe. But that would be a lie.
The moment The Professor started screaming, WTWhammy woke up from a dead sleep to find his pants down, diaper off, mommy giving him the bad touch while holding a magnifying glass over his wide-open booty cheeks and shining a flood light into his butt hole. All of this while his big brother was screaming and attempting to flee the scene as though someone had said Candyman three times in a room filled with bees.
Just when I thought I was going to maybe attempt to regain control of the situation, Birdy banged the door open like a Sorority House Mom busting an underage boozefest and yelled What in the world is going on in here?!?! What are you people doing? It’s the middle of the night and SOME PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP!
You know, because she’s 30.
Oh, hi, Birdygirl! It’s ok. You can go back to sleep, honey. I was just checking WTWhammy’s butt for worms.
The look on her face let me know that I would have leverage forever and ever and ever; which made it all worth it.
Enter: Total. Mom. Fail. I broke. It wasn’t possible to hold it back. I tried. I failed. But the absurdity of the whole situation was too much. I sat down on the rocking chair and shook with the kind of laughter that is silent and causes tears to fall.
Birdy took this as a sign that the three of them had finally been victorious in their battle to break me. She looked at me like I was CRAZY, threw me a WHAT IS YOUR ISSUE?!?! stare, and calmly led The Professor back to his bed. The Professor, having recovered from the trauma started chanting Butt Worms! Butt Worms! Whammy’s got the Butt Worms! While jumping on his new big-boy bed.
Birdy looked at me, put her hand on her hip, shook her head and said, What were you thinking? Was this a good idea? Did you forget to think things through to the end, mommy?
Again, because 30.
This made me laugh even harder.
She was not pleased.
I composed myself, picked up WTWhammy, who by this time was laughing with me and yelling Funny! Funny! Funny! Worms are funny! I pulled WTWhammys pants back up, tucked the boys back in, kissed them on their sweet little disgusting heads, and walked Birdy back to her room.
I tucked her in and apologized to her for waking her up. And then, because I wasn’t going to waste this:
Me: You know when mommy tells you not to lick things and to wash your hands after you potty?
Me: Well, I do that because if you don’t do those things, Mommy will have to come into your room in the middle of the night and check your butt for worms.
Birdygirl: Mooooooommy. Stop teasing me!
Me: I’m not teasing! If you don’t stop licking things, you’ll get worms in your butt. They love little kiddo booties! Especially the booties that belong to kids who won’t eat their dinner or who get out of their beds at night.
Birdygirl: Now I KNOW you’re teasing me!
But I’ve decided that unless one of them starts scooting across the carpet like my grandma’s Chihuahua, I’m not going in for inspection. I’m leaving it to the professionals. Like my sister. Who owes me a sleep-over or ten. Don’t tell her my plan.
Sleep tight, dont let the Fart Noodles bite.