Friday, May 12, 2006

An Insomnia Report tribute to mothers...

A few years ago, my health insurance company sent me a book explaining all sorts of common illnesses and the best ways to get rid of them. Here is a quote from the chapter on “Pinworms”:

Pinworms are tiny, threadlike worms that infest the digestive tract...The worms live in the upper end of the large intestine, near the appendix, and travel to the outside of the anus to lay their eggs.

The egg-laying almost always occurs at night and usually causes the child to scratch the anal area. When the child later sucks a thumb or licks a finger, the eggs are ingested and the cycle begins again...

Anal itching, especially at night, is the most common symptom of pinworm infection...If you suspect pinworms, it’s easy to find out for sure in your own home and at no cost. Go into your child’s darkened bedroom 30 minutes after bedtime and shine a flashlight on the child’s anus. The light will make the worms move back into the child’s anus. If you don’t see the worms after checking for 2-3 nights, it is unlikely that the child is infected with pinworms.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a passage anywhere that so beautifully and concisely conveys the sacrifice of motherhood. Mom: she’ll comfort you, discipline you, read to you, inspire you, nurture you, nourish you, and–if she absolutely has to–she’ll also stay up until the middle of the night to shine a flashlight up your ass. Scaring away the disgusting butt worms, that’s just one more thing that we ought to give thanks for this weekend.