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Note: I was just saying to my wife a couple of days ago how I tend towards sappy and unfortunately she gave me the look that said she agreed…

Mosquitos in San Francisco? I’m still in disbelief. The evidence however proves otherwise as there’s been a mosquito, well several to be more accurate who’ve been terrorizing my family during this warm spell when we’re inclined to keep our windows open. Unfortunately not all of our windows have screens to keep pests out hence our dilemma.
Personally I don’t mind a few mosquitos. Having grown up in the midwest followed by a three year Navy stint in Key West where mosquitos are the unofficial state bird, these puny California variety seem very easy to deal with especially as there’s only ever one at a time to deal with. But easy for me doesn’t translate to a child born and bred in SF or better stated, my daughters simply do not tolerate these minibeasts.
Having never been overwhelmed by thousands or mosquitos on a sweltering hot windless Florida evening, Caroline and Liz, freak out in the presence of one persistent, I’d say ninja level scout. Sheer pandemonium ensues during the effort to stamp out this one mosquito. You’d think they lost an arm or something.
I try hard not to roll my eyes or minimize their feelings. I try to take it seriously. I now realize I’ve sometimes acted stupidly. What I hadn’t taken into account is that Liz, my youngest, has uncontested, Prime, Grade-A blood combined with ultra soft skin. Mosquitos love her. One morning I marveled at how one little San Francisco mosquito could do such incredible damage. I’m talking big red welts on her neck and arms that looked as though she has an extreme allergic reaction to mosquito venom. So I built another screen for the girls bedroom and thought we were good. But not more than a month later her worst fear (and mine too) was realized when one of the little bastards bit her upper eyelid!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone bitten on the eyelid before but the effect on Lizzy’s face was horrifying. Her eye became 95 percent swollen shut turned various shades of pink, red and bruise-blue. Almost a quarter of her face was swollen and almost unrecognizable. Our poor little porcelain skinned, blond haired, blue eyed ballerina looked as though she’d gone a couple of rounds with Gregor McConnor. Of course we washed her eyelid as well as she’d let us; between whining about the pain and whining about receiving first aid I’d have to say she’s a tough patient. Fortunately she was more accepting of the cold compresses we applied and therefore calmer. This all happened on a Friday night so Amy and I figured we had time to work with the injury but regardless of what we tried, including antihistamines, there was little change come Monday morning. If anything it looked worse as the bruising was even more evident.
Liz, like any 10 year old is self conscious and her WWE face lead to a lot of conversation among the elementary 4th and 5th graders. Add to that her fifth grade teacher asked her in front of the class if she had pinkeye. She wasn’t a happy camper when I picked her up and she made it clear ballet practice was definitely out of the question so we walked home and resumed the cold compresses which seemed to help at least temporarily. The next morning Liz showed up at breakfast with her blond brushed hair framing a pair white rimmed sunglasses; Hollywood ultra cool.
She wore the sunglasses again on Wednesday but past that they were too much to deal with for a ten year old so that by Thursday morning I found myself picking them up from the middle of the living room floor, a common deposit area for unwanted or discarded items. All systems have returned to normal.
It’s another warm evening here in the city and I’ve got our 2nd floor duplex totally opened up to cool it down. All precautions are in place. But as I’m involved in the endless task of moving dishes around the kitchen I somehow managed to trap the stealthy varlet in the steamer right there under the glass lid; little proboscis and all. I’ll check on him again in the morning but the early release it’s looking for isn’t likely to happen.


Very entertaining piece, though obviously not so much for your besieged daughter. Hopefully cooler weather will provide respite.

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