Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oh, No! It's Ringworm!

But not on me. On Son #1. Oldest Child who puts his hands into everything and then into his nose, and for the finale, into his mouth. Nine-Year Old who is clearly made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails and anything else that crawls around on the ground.
            At first it looked like a scratch on his face, on his right cheek. Then it started getting bigger. This is his second battle with ringworm. The first time I was grossed out because of the name. I wasn’t concerned about getting it myself. This time, I’m frightened. I don’t want to lose mat time!

            Don’t come near me!” I find myself screaming scaredly as he hurtles his body at me, a jumble of arms and legs, no telling which of his body parts will make contact with me first.
He crawls into bed with me every morning before sunrise, but now I kick him out.
“You’ll get ringworm on my pillow!” I say forcefully, but not loudly enough to wake Husband, shattering all images of me as that unconditional-loving mom, hugging her child whether he has a skinned knee or lice are popping off his head. I do not want to lose mat time!
Son #1 is disappointed at my hands-off policy. “But Mom, how did I get ringworm?” he asked dolefully. Really? I think to myself, How did you not? You are like a sewer rat! Instead I said,
“Well, honey, perhaps it’s your tae kwon do. Ringworm can be spread on the mats.”
“No, Mom. That can’t be it.”
“Why not?”
“My face doesn’t go on the mat! Only my feet.”
“Really? You never sit on the mat?”
“Well, yeah, I do.”
“And do you pick your toes on the mat?” I already know the answer to this question.
“Yeah, sometimes.”
“And your feet touch the mat, right?”
“And then you put your hands, which have just picked your toes that have been on the mat, to your face, and possibly into your nose and mouth?”
“Mom, I don’t think that’s it.”
He may be right. He may have gotten it some other way. He was not a martial artist for his first bout of the old r-w. (That was near his ear.) But I am not passing up a chance to give him reasons to keep his hands out of his orifices.

Tonight at the church potluck, the barbecue chicken legs came out and Son #1 ran over to them and stuck his ringwormed face in the dish, millimeters away from the drums, hair brushing barbecue sauce. “Ack!” I scream. “Get away from the legs!”
“But I want to smell them!” he insists. He grabs a leg and takes a big bite of it, then smears the sauce across his face with the back of his hand to “clean” his mouth. When Son is finished, his face is covered in barbecue sauce, and his fingers have been licked clean and wiped on pants (or passersby) countless times. Husband sees Son’s messy face and moves to wipe it. He cleans away the sauce from most of Son’s face, but strategically leaves the sauce covering the patch of ringworm. Nope! No ringworm here! Only barbecue sauce!
If I get ringworm, I don’t think I’ll be able to use the sauce trick to keep me rolling. Until Son #1 is fungus-free, I will keep The Bearer of the Ringworm at a safe distance.


  1. I gasped out loud at the title. Glad it's not you!

  2. Many times, I am very, very glad I don't want kids. This is one of those times. Children are gross. ;)

  3. If you do get it, apply a bit of bleach to the area. It really does work.

  4. @Anon: thanks for the tip. So far, no fungus.

    @slidey: How about Uncle Slidey? I can drop them off at your place next time I'm across the Pond. (You can say 'yes' relatively safely; I've only been there once and that was 19 years ago.)

  5. Heh - meeting you would be cool, but I can do without the children. ;)

    I've probably mentioned it before, but I spent about 8 months looking after my niece when my sister wanted to try going back to work. Lovely child, but seeig how much it took put me off having my own even more.

    Very happy being Uncle Slidey: all the fun of kids, after which I'm able to give them back to the parents. I can then enjoy a wonderfully uninterrupted sleep, while they can look forward to being elbow deep in poo and the odd snatched moment of rest. ;p

  6. LOL! This post cracked me up. Your son sounds like an adorably gross kid (typical; my little cousin and nephews are the same way).

    Just wanted to stop in and say that I've read through your blog a bit and really like your sense of humor about it all. I'm 27, female, just had my first MMA/BJJ class last Tuesday, starting regularly from tomorrow, and as the only girl in the no-gi class, I've been checking out a lot of different female BJJ bloggers to see what they have to say.

    Personally, I have no qualms about grappling with guys. I grew up with a brother (couple years younger than me) and spent a lot of time hanging out with the boys because I was a tomboy, so I didn't feel remotely awkward about getting on my back and having some tall athletic guy all over me. My main concerns were (and are, for the upcoming classes this week) - 1) As a newbie, am I going to be holding the others back? They've had 5-7 classes now, which isn't a lot but they've stilled learned much more than me already...will they be put out by having to spar with the newcomer? 2) While I feel perfectly at ease getting up close and personal with guys, will THEY be uncomfortable? I hate to grapple with someone who's going to be stressed out and distracted, wondering if they need to go easy, if I'll get pissed off if they accidentally grab the wrong place, etc. even though the answer to all that is a resounding no. I don't want them to feel like they're wasting a session training with someone that isn't "on their level" or that they can't roll with properly. So at the moment, those are the two issues on my mind.

    That said, the first session went really well. The guy I was with was really nice (only had a few classes himself before), didn't seem to be uncomfortable once we got started, didn't treat me like glass, and I joked around a bit and made him and the instructor laugh a few times so that might've helped. But I don't know what tomorrow will bring, who I'll get paired with or how they'll feel about it. I refuse to overcompensate by being an overly competitive brat, but I also feel like coming into an all guys class, there's an extra pressure to just be one of the guys and not stand out as "the girl" (and the new girl holding people back at that). Nothing so far has given me cause to feel that I won't be accepted but going into something new, there's always a level of apprehension. I'm sure I'll have a better idea of where things stand after this week but in the meantime, your blog has been a lot of fun to read!

  7. @slidey: I did not know you really were Uncle Slidey! That's awesome! Well, then, you don't need my slimy brats clawing at you. BTW, kudos to watching your niece for 8 mos. That's real upstanding of you.

  8. Welcome, dreamrequiem. Glad you are visiting.

    Your two main concerns were exactly mine when I started, and honestly, I can't say they've completely gone away. I still sometimes feel like the consolation roll. I still wonder if the guys are uncomfortable. One of my newer classmates out and said he was last week. I was kind of glad he admitted it. He said he wasn't sure how hard to go. One of the other guys was like, "I never feel that way with her. You'll get used to it." So, everyone's different.
    Congratulations on your first class. I know when I started I wasn't sure of my social presence, either. I defaulted to not being one of the guys, and not being one of the girls, but just being a "student." I decided on this approach from reading the other lady blogger perspectives. I didn't want to be the "girl," and not be taken seriously, but also know that no matter how well I fake it, I'm still not one of the guys. I look at class from an academic perspective. It probably helps that I'm a lot older than most of the people in class, too.

    Keep me posted on your progress. I'm excited for you!

  9. @Shark Girl: Heh - I'm Uncle Slidey twice over, as I also now have a younger niece (though I haven't had the same close connection, as that I haven't spent months looking after her).

    I relished the opportunity to look after the first one, exactly because I don't want kids. That way, I could still get some understanding and experience of what it's like to raise a child (albeit in a very limited sense), despite never intending to have one myself.

    If nothing else, my time as a manny has really helped when friends of mine start talking about their own babies. Lots of them have started sprouting sprogs, which I guess is unsurprising, given I'll be 31 years old in about six months. ;)

    @dreamrequiem: Welcome to BJJ! :D

    Are you going to be shifting your website towards BJJ as a result? :D


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