Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bad buzz

A little bug was spotted last night taking a breather on our wall. And all at once, a storm blew up.

"Mosquito!", we adults cried with one voice, before - as first-time parents and second-time grandparents are wont to do - wildly overreacting.

Mum lunged after the insect with a viciousness she usually reserves for queue-jumpers, litterers and child rapists. Pa called for blasts of toxic insect repellent in every room, while Sonny's visiting grandmother twittered aloud everyone's unspoken fear: That, somehow, a mosquito would penetrate our defences and - the audacity! - sting our almost-six-weeks-old son.

Oh dear. Might that not leave an itchy bump on his precious skin?

Several dead mozzies later, we could look back a little sheepishly on our conduct. Admittedly, we find ourselves in a part of the world where deadly pathogens are transmitted by winged nasties with sinister names like Aedes (which, to supply your useless factoid of the day, means 'odious' in Greek). But since our apartment rises fairly high - and our condominium management mandates regular applications of insecticide - mosquitoes, flies and the like seldom enter. Last night was an anomaly. And as for the chance that a random mosquito should also be the bearer of scary diseases, well... we've admitted to being paranoid at times.

But there's more to this. What you seldom encounter, you fear the more. Pa remembers the time in his childhood when the hum of the mosquito was part of the standard symphony of the evening, and when murdering a fistful of the critters before supper was par for the course. But time dulls the memory, presumably.

Also, of course, it's never quite the same when it's your own little one that is in danger, however remote. And so do we all sometimes lose our perspective: It is not often enough that we reflect - in chuckling at the absurd antics of others - that there, but for the grace of God, go we.


Ruth said...

Reading your blog and loving it! I enjoy your writing style, and you're doing such an amazing job of capturing early parenthood with insight and dry wit!

Cloudsters said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, Ruth.