For the last few months we’ve been dealing with a series of fun household issues that happened in exactly this order:

1.) a Mama possum decided to sublease the crawlspace underneath our house, without asking first. She moved in just in time to nest and give birth to 5 babies.
2.) We hired some nice gentlemen to relocate this family to another home. These men swore that “home” was not a euphemism.
3.) We never heard from the family again, but they were gracious enough to leave behind a farewell gift: fleas.
4.) Our hyper-allergic, 13-year-old dog became infested with the farewell gift.
5.) I lost my ever-loving mind.
6.) We had the entire house and yard bombed with who-knows-what.
7.) We sighed with relief and got back to our lives. Until…Zoe the dog got an awful stomach bug and we learned that she was, once again, covered in a shitload of fleas.

That brings us to yesterday, when I had to pile all three kids PLUS a geriatric, flea-riddled, diarrhea-prone dog into the car to make a trip to the vet. Imagine my enthusiasm! Once home, and with $200 worth of advice and pills, I had the following conversation.

“Mom, is Zoe going to be ok?” Doodlebug asked.

“Yes, she will be fine. It’s just a stomach thing and we’ve got the pest guys coming out again tomorrow.”

“Is this our fault, Mom? Did we not take care of her well enough and that’s why she’s sick?”

Isn’t she a little young to feel mama guilt??

“We are doing the best we can, sweetie. And no, it’s not our fault–this just happened, that’s all. A series of unfortunate events. Think about it…is it my fault every time you get a sore throat?”

She smiled.

“Doodlebug…the words you’re looking for are “No, of course not Mom!”


  1. As much as I miss Mollie-dog, I do not miss the continual fight against fleas.

    And I love that Doodlebug just smiled at your question.

  2. Too cute. Sorry about the fleas, though. They skeeve me in untold ways. That’s one selling point about Colorado … practically no fleas.

    While in NYC, I was completely paranoid about bed bugs too. The idea alone makes my skin crawl.

  3. Oh dear lord. Some weeks/months/decades are just sent to test us. As I like to say in those moments, “It’s ALL material for the book.” Good luck with the next round…

  4. I’ve had to give Dot Z four baths in the last two weeks because her tag rattling scratching was keeping me awake. The good news is I’m guessing she didn’t get them at the beach after all.

  5. I don’t know who’s cuter–the dog or the girl. Except I know the dog has fleas. That gives your daughter a leg up.

    I like that you said shitload. But you probably could’ve guessed that.

  6. An unfortunate series of events. Seems like I have a list brewing like that every.single.week.

    Oh the smile on that girl. Oh the smile.

Leave a Reply