Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Of fleas and failure

We have fleas.

Yes, fleas. As in the jumping bugs that live on cats and dogs. As in fleas that bite. As in disgusting. In our apartment. We have fleas.

A week ago I picked a flea off my baby girl. Fleas?!? In MY apartment?! Where did they come from? How did this happen? (Answer: a stray cat gained entry into our building). I couldn't sleep, I wouldn't set Anna down, I didn't know what to do. I was absolutely paralyzed. I just wanted to flee (ha) to my sisters in Vancouver, but I was terrified that somehow I would infest her house too.

Our sense of urgency combined with the exterminators unavailability caused us to tackle the fleas ourselves. We spent hours dousing our entire apartment with (completely benign and safe to humans and pets) powder, moving furniture, sweeping, vacuuming, etc. It was a tremendous amount of work and it will take a couple weeks to fully, completely, eradicate every last one. Until then I spend an hour each morning cleaning our floors since Anna spends her days crawling over every last inch of them. And although there is nary a trace of fleas, I remain paranoid - and itchy.

Somehow these little critters have managed to make me feel like a failure. I feel so dirty, so helpless, so gross. I have failed as a mother, wife and house-keeper.

I am slowly gathering my wits together.

We are not dirty people. It is not our fault. Anna is not going to contract some awful disease. I am not a bad mother. It will be OK. I am not a failure. I must accept that this time I am simply a victim.

They are just fleas. They will not hurt us. But my pride - my pride is a different story.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

oh girl, i'm so sorry! what a total pain. my little brother gave me lice in highschool, so i know a fraction of what you must feel as far as feeling dirty when you know you aren't! boo!