Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Mosquito Days of Summer

I think we're in what might colloquially be called the "dog days" of summer. It's been an unusually warm week, with unusual humidity, an energy-sapping combination. And then to add injury to lethargy, along came swarms of mosquitoes. I'm surprised that the wretched level of mosquito-ness didn't arrive earlier in the summer, as wet as it's been around here. But we suddenly hit plague level about a week and a half ago, where even a solid soaking in repellent didn't keep the critters at bay for me.

When I go out to the garden to harvest (beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers!) I put on lots of hot clothing -- jeans, long sleeves, a hat. In this weather! but that's the only thing that helps the Deet enough to keep me from being sucked dry.

Fortunately Joy isn't quite so susceptible, and doesn't get bit much if she's got on a good coat of Off. It's more important for her, though, because she doesn't have the self-control to keep herself from scratching the bites. So if she gets bit on the legs, that translates to open sores, and then she has to wear long pants to keep herself from further injury. In this weather!

One thing that's been very nice in this weather, and that's been swimming at the public pool. Last summer the weather just did not cooperate, plus it was a challenge to keep tabs on Rose while keeping a constant eye on Joy. We only made it to the pool a couple of times all summer. This time around, we've been to the pool three times since last report!

The most recent pool run was this evening, just me and the girls. A warm humid day, but the pool felt wonderful, and the mosquitoes apparently don't venture that far out over chlorine or something. Rose has gotten so self-sufficient, now that she's gotten so much better at swimming and is willing to do the slide on her own. This evening she ran into a friend from last year's after-school program, and they had a happy time together.

Meanwhile, Joy was building on her breath-holding skills. Last time I reported that she was voluntarily submerging and popping back up. This time she was going under for 2-3 seconds at a shot, and was propelling herself down to touch the red line on the bottom of the pool that marked the 3ft depth. Swimming! and experimenting! She also made some forays where she tried to sit down on the line rather than put a hand on it.

I still have to watch her like a hawk, because I want to be aware when she goes under. Also have to try to catch her if she's going to fill a swim-diaper...

No quarter yet, by the way. But the laxative is working -- got to look for that coin four times today. And I did find a pink sequin as a consolation prize.


Big Daddy said...

The pink sequin reminds me of a funny story about my daughter (the "typical" one). When she was around three of four she came running into the bathroom saying she stuck a black bead up her nose. After working with the tweazers for an hour or so, a yellow bead popped out. To this day, I'm not sure what happened to the black one. We've been lucky that our son hasn't swallowed anything unusual (yet). Considering the speed at which he eats, it's probably inevitable. I'm sure the quarter will come out soon. I think?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you 'missed' the real 'prize'.

Reading about your girls' new independence and skill at the pool warms my heart! I, too, have to DEET-up for outside work, but we do not have plague-level here. For only the past 2 years I have using a yard fogger around the pool before swimming. Otherwise they buzz my head - nerve-wracking!


JoyMama said...

Big Daddy - knock on wood, we haven't had any up-the-nose incidents with Joy (yet), but about 5 years ago when my typically-developing Rose was three, she inserted a Kix up one nostril. Fortunately she had learned to blow, and was able to blast it right out once she calmed down enough to try.

Barbara - I don't think I missed the prize yesterday, but it is entirely possible that I (or Lynda at daycare) missed it in an earlier production. Sigh.

Lynn said...

I love searching for buried treasures :P

We are having the same mosquito plague down here in Chicago...un-f'ing-real. I've never seen them so BAD. And don't even bother try that new Off clip-on thingy...totally worthless.

Anonymous said...

oh, the things we find in their output. today rhema's was lit up with (what i think were) pieces of bright orange crayon. hope you find the quarter - i'm thinking you might have missed it!