You know that term “don’t let the bed bugs bite”? Well I hadn’t thought about it too much until recently. I didn’t even know that bed bugs were real! You can see where this is going can’t you? And it’s all because I decided that our oldest son needed to learn a lesson. Stupid parenting.
Back in May, Mr 8 (Aiden) decided that he would watch his iPad all night after everyone had gone to bed. On a school night. He found his hiddenbymommyanddaddy iPad in the dark despite being visually impaired. Being visually impaired comes in handy when he is trying to get out of doing homework, but apparently not an issue when you want to find your iPad in the dark. Little bugger.
I got up the next morning to find Aiden still asleep. Usually an early riser Aiden had obviously eventually fallen asleep in exhaustion in the early hours of the morning and was in no state to go to school. But I sent him anyway. In tears and dead on his feet. This was a teachable moment. A lesson to be learnt. A time to step up and parent.
As he left the house dragging his feet and in tears I quickly emailed his teacher and appraised her of the situation. Securing her support and knowing she wouldn’t take any rubbish from him, off I went to work. Not long after that I got an email from his teacher saying he had already been in tears and she had asked him if he had learnt his lesson. Sweet. Parenting going to plan.
A little later that morning I received the following photo from the teacher with the comment “the struggle was very real. Asleep in the library”. Feeling that the lesson was well and truly learnt, I arranged for him to be picked up from school…….
For the past month, Arran has been suffering from itchiness and driving me mad with it. He gets into bed and starts tossing and turning, moving every two minutes, making it hard for me to get to sleep and stay asleep. I have been dreaming about having my own bedroom (more than normal!). Then in the morning he complains and talks about the itching and that he feels like he is being bitten. There has been no sympathy on my part. I have been putting the whole situation into a man-flu bucket.
And then last Sunday night he decided to take his leg-scratching turn-tossing self to the spare room to sleep. Hallelujah and praise the lord. And then I woke at 1am scratching my legs and feet and realised with horror I was being bitten. Turning the light on and throwing back the covers I discovered bugs. Of all different sizes. And when I squashed them they were full of blood! With Arran gone from the bed they had moved on to biting me!
The bed bug exterminators were called. It turns out the biggest infestation was in Aiden’s bed, closely followed by Charlie’s. Not sure why they weren’t covered in bites like Arran and where did they come from?
See that photo above with Aiden asleep in the school library? See that cushion he is lying on? The day after the iPad incident Aiden had an itchy rash all down one side of his body. We didn’t know what it was but sent him to school anyway. The school nurse tried to send him home a couple of times over the next couple of days but I wasn’t having it (ongoing parenting at work right there). Eventually I worked out the itchy rash was from the cushion. What I didn’t know was that it was bed bugs. Until this week.
So my parental lesson cost $450 in extermination, plus a replacement mattress for Aiden, antihistamines for Arran and Aiden, anti-itch creams and additional power and water bills in washing linen and countless nights without sleep! All because I wanted to teach Aiden a lesson!
Sigh. Stupid parenting. But he has never tried to find his iPad in the middle of the night again.