I like cold weather. Snuggling with the boys under blankets and watching movies on Snow Days is one of my all-time favorite things to do. We turn on the fireplace, watch the snow fall, and wiggle our toes in our warm, fuzzy socks. There is just something about seeing our little ones in sweatshirts and feeling their warm little backs up against me when we cuddle that melts my heart.
This past winter, though, it wasn’t so much snuggly weather as huddle-together-for-your-lives weather. Freeze-your-snot cold doesn’t even begin to describe it, though I think hundreds of people around here used that phrase more this past winter than they ever had in their lives. School was canceled because of dangerous wind chills, gas and oil companies struggled to keep homes equipped to battle the frigid temperatures, and people started to fear we would never again see a robin or a blade of green grass. Trying to find the silver lining in the icy clouds, I told my husband that at least we wouldn’t have to worry about too many bugs this spring and summer because the cold weather had to have controlled the insect population.
I was so wrong. So, so wrong. The mosquitos now are swarming in epic proportions. I watch as my children are eaten alive just playing outside after dinner. My poor two year old swings his arms and swats like he’s battling some invisible ancient karate grand master. My five year old goes running for the orange flyswatter that he keeps in its own special place on the back porch and yells guttural battle cries just because he wanted to slide down the big slide out back, “but the bugs are in the way!” I have bug bites upon bug bites – literally. If I didn’t know better, I’d think we had measles. Or mumps. I can’t keep those two straight.
Then, we started finding the ticks. We don’t have any animals in the house because of the allergies that plague this family (that may become fodder for a future What the Hell?), but we are finding ticks left and right. I thought the two year old was really interested in something he found on the carpet the other day, and when I investigated, I found him poking at a crawling tick. Thank goodness that one never made its way onto him! But, just the sheer thought of those damn bugs makes us all squirm. I hate that our five year old examines every bug he comes across, just in case “IT’S A TICK!” This seems to be the only phrase he consistently screams at the top of his lungs, and he’s only been right once; much to my chagrin, he belts that out every time he sees a bug outside. Ugh!
We’ve taken all of the necessary precautions against these bugs, but we are fighting a losing battle. We’ve even tried smoke bombs, as per our five year old’s adorable request; it helps when you can buy them from that big warehouse store in bulk quantities. Alas, all of our defenses are futile. So, we suffered through mind-numbing cold this past winter, and for all I can tell, it made the bugs spring to life with a vengeance. What the Hell?
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