"Tick tock, on the clock, But the party don't stop, no...."
Monday, July 30, 2012 at 09:48PM

"Oops," I say to my husband. "Gotta take the tick outa the fridge. And stick a paper towel in the bag with it."

"It's not a &%$ pet!" he answers.

And I thought I was going to sleep early tonight. Surprise, surprise. 

I am not sleeping enough. And it's catching up to me. Between my son who's got PANDAS and Lyme and my daughter, who doesn't, but who thinks that people are trying to break into her bedroom through her window every night, there's always someone to wake me in the midst of my happiest REM moments. And it's caught up to me. I feel like I've come down with a virus. I even skipped my Sunday bike ride. My happy time. It's bad, bad, bad when one doesn't reach REM-land for nights on end. In fact, I've even begun waking myself up. Beat you to it, kids! See, I'm up, I'm up! Last night, I plotted out the revised first chapter to my book. My brain was in high-gear.

So, smart adults that we are, my husband and I devise a plan. A positively perfect Mary-Poppinish plan that will reward said children if they can (A) go to sleep on time without complaint and (B) stay in their beds without waking us all night. Something that is hard for a child with PANDAS to do. Something that has been hard for his sister to do as well. And while it's sweet to have a child curled up against you in bed, it gets a little old, you know. My husband has joked that our daughter will be in our bed with her boyfriends if this doesn't stop. (And then, in the next breath, he says that she's not allowed to date until she's 65.)

Darling daughter blew it the second night. 2 AM and she was crying for attention. But my son's doing great! I'm so proud of him! He really wants Yogalicious and ultimately, a trip to the Renaissance Fair. Or so I thought.

"I have to tell you something," he told me, tearfully, tonight. "I don't really want to tell you because now I'm not going to get Yogulicious. I've been getting up in the middle of the night and I can't go back to sleep. I didn't want to wake you so I'm going outside."

Out the front door, mother and father...out the front door, in the middle of the night. OMG. The back door locks with a key which I can hide, if necessary. The front door has a confusing lock, but it's no longer confusing to a very confused 11 year old. And I thought the sustained-release melatonin was working. 

Back to square one. "Sweetie, you can wake me. You can even sleep on the floor of my room. But you cannot go outside. It's not safe. Someone might kidnap you."

"Did I lose Yogalicious and the Renaissance Fair?" Ah. The important things in life. Perchance, to be a kid again.

But wait--there's more: "And Mommy? I think I have some gum in my hair."

I part his very dark, curly head of hair to see one very engorged deer tick. My husband comes upstairs with his phone and we google the best way to remove this deadly tick (the method seems to change from year to year.) We get out the tweezers and...

So we get it in the bag, dripping blood. My son's blood. Gross, but what's grosser is what this tick might have left behind. We have to know. We put it in a ziplock bag and I figure I better put it somewhere cold. I open the refrigerator door. No, I don't want to place it with the butter. And not with the bottles of probiotics either. Let's just hide it behind the mustard and soy sauce.

When I post it on FB in the Lyme and PANDAS sites, I hear from my support group friends that putting it on ice isn't the thing to do. These friends generously give of their time to look up labs for me and to show they care. I learn that it's gonna run me a couple hundred dollars just to get this tiny tick tested. And what do we do if the tick has Lyme Disease? After all, my son already has it. Arrgh, the stress, the stress. I will worry about this tomorrow. As I bicycle a gentle 20 miles, perhaps.

My sweet boy is lying in my bed, fast asleep. Maybe we just leave him here tonight. And maybe we don't, considering he takes up most of the space. My husband wonders if maybe these nighttime excursions of his are in his imagination. After all, wouldn't our noisy dog get excited? Something to consider.

I must remember to breathe. And believe. All will be OK.

But tick tock, this party sure don't stop. 


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