Nobody likes me, everybody hates me…

… guess I’ll go eat… oh, geez. I can’t even say it.

Whenever one of the kids is having a “woe is me” moment, as befits my loving maternal style, I often suggest that the afflicted one go eat some worms, because that’s what one does when life is so unfair and tragic, right? (Acceptable alternatives to suggesting a feast of slimy limbless creatures: Asking where the sad one lost their tail, or inquiring as to the tragedy of their lean-to blowing over.) As you might imagine, my ministrations are deeply appreciated by my offspring. FEEL THE LOVE! Obviously I am usually able to make everything better with my helpful suggestions.

Well. I don’t know about YOU, but we were hoping for a relaxing weekend here at Casa Mir. It had kind of been A Week, and all I wanted to do was sleep and chill out and just maybe let everyone unwind a bit.

But that didn’t happen, and it’s because my kids apparently took my advice.

I mean, sure, when I’m giving REAL advice, no one listens. But try to throw a little humor into the mix, and BAM, compliance. Of course.

I’m speaking, of course, of the eating worms thing. Because nothing says Saturday night like, “Ummmm… Mom? Can you come here? Are there supposed to be living things in my poop?”

Really not the relaxing weekend I ordered, is my point.

There was some investigating and some consultation with Dr. Google and I was able to ascertain that one of my darlings did indeed have, um, invaders. Pinworms, to be precise. (No, I’m not linking you to any giant pictures. You’re welcome.) And everything I read assured me that I should not be alarmed! Because they’re very common! And not terribly dangerous! And look, there’s even over-the-counter medication available for it, so no need to sit around late on a Saturday night trying to decide whether or not it merited an urgent page to the pediatrician!

Otto was kind enough to go out to buy the meds, while I alternately kept reading up on it and tried to soothe my freaked-out kid. (“I don’t want there to be worms inside me! Whyyyyyyyy meeeeeeeeeee?”) (Answer: “I’m not sure, honey. Let me think. Did your lean-to blow over? That’s probably why.”)

I read conflicting suggestions on whether or not to treat the whole family. About half of what I read said: “Highly contagious but easily treatable! Treat the entire family as a default!” The other half said: “No need to treat the entire family, unless there’s a recurrence!” So I read everything I could and thought about it very carefully.

Because, on the one hand: It can be asymptomatic, and there’s a decent chance that at the very LEAST, both kids have it, and maybe us adults, too. And on the other hand: Why take medication unnecessarily. And then if there was a third hand—which in my mind’s eye, there totally was—WORMS! ACK! WORMS!!!!

I made an executive decision that we were all going to take the meds.

Otto struck out at the first store he visited, just missed closing time at the next two, and finally hit pay dirt at the fourth store. He came home triumphant with a container full of something called Pin-X.

The dosage is done by weight, so we consulted the chart and doled out chewable orange wafers to everyone. We all stood around in the kitchen and started chewing.

“Yum!” said the kids.

“This reminds me of something,” Otto said.

“Me too,” I said.

“I think it’s the chewable vitamin C I used to take as a kid,” he went on. I nodded in agreement. “That kind of yummy orange stuff? That’s what it tastes like.”

We all chewed in happy silence for a few more seconds.

And then the aftertaste kicked in.

You have never seen so many people scramble for water all at once. I thought there was going to be a throwdown right there in front of the ice dispenser.

So THAT was fun.

Everyone had showers and clean sheets and that was the lead-in to my “relaxing weekend” of doing ten loads of laundry and vacuuming the entire house (pinworm eggs are sticky and live forever and can be inhaled!) and OH BY THE WAY, that Pin-X stuff has a chance of side effects.

Let me put it to you this way: Otto and the child who is not confirmed to have worms were perfectly fine. No problems whatsoever.

But the kid who definitely has worms and I have had… ummm… side effects. Stomach-wrenching side effects.

On the bright side: Pretty sure I lost five pounds this weekend! Wooooo!

But on the other hand: I am now irrationally convinced that I was indeed infested as well (even though I had no symptoms), because why else would I have the same symptoms as the afflicted child UNLESS it was somehow related to die-off or something? Maybe we two are just DELICATE FLOWERS? Yes? Please??

Last night I dreamed of worms. Everywhere. I opened the washing machine to move the bazillionth load of laundry and thousands of tiny worms spilled out. I woke up in a cold sweat.

What I am trying to tell you is that my lean-to TOTALLY blew over this weekend. Dammit.


  1. Otto

    I took your lean-to. The other child and I are living in it until the worms are dispatched.


  2. Lori N

    Oh lord, I had those as a kid. My sympathies. She treated the entire household as well. Fingers crossed it’s a one time event!

  3. Emily in IL

    Yep – had those as a kid – what a nightmare. The whole family was treated that time, then my brother got them – so we all got dosed again. I don’t recall the after taste, but I do recall the ‘orange flavor’. I hope you got all those buggers and no one else picks them up.

  4. Mamadragon

    One of my earliest childhood memories is of the bad dreams I had after taking pinworm medication. I can still visualize the giant worms that invaded my dreams. I was two.

    I have far too much experience with pinworm medication and in my humble, completely uneducated opinion on the topic – the worse the side effects the worse the infestation. Sorry, Mir.

    On the up side, maybe you’ll be somewhat less tired now. Pin-X FTW!

    Also, have everyone take a repeat dose in a week. Trust me on this.

  5. getcha

    my brother and I had them too … only I don’t remember taking a chewable medicine … it was more of a deposited one, to the source … shudder

  6. Beth

    @getcha…I had the same medicine when I had the worms…ick.

    Mir…sorry to hear that your entire family had to take that medicine. And also sorry that your relaxing weekend died a slow slimy death. ick again.

    Otto — that is JUST WRONG. You should be helping vacuum the house so Mir doesn’t pick up any of those worm eggs in her delicate system.

  7. Midj

    We got them while I was pregnant with my second child. The non medicated home remedies were quite amusing. One included a garlic clove to the…source… Ahem… Anyway, we made it through only to get lice a few years later… Joys of parenting, I tell ya! I agree with the repeat dosage advice. Make sure you kill all those little suckers…. :-/

  8. Aranda

    I remember having them as a child. My fathers cure was to eat 2 raw cloves of garlic. No one liked me
    for a few days.

  9. getsheila

    All I can say is, uh, euw.

  10. elz

    Ugh Blech ugh and Yuck. I can barely handle lice and they don’t live forever with sticky eggs. I would have ripped that house apart; maybe ordered new curtains, furniture…ick. Yuck. Blech. Hell of a diet though!

  11. Megan

    ughughughUGHughugh. And ew. And – can I say how deeply grateful I am* to have somehow missed this one? Missed lice too THANK GOODNESS because I hand-to-heart just about DIED when the dog got fleas. Also I tried to convince my husband that EVERYONE goes to a hotel for the week if a child says ‘hey! There’s a tick on Mulligan – oh wait, never mind, it fell off.’

    *I’m knocking on wood, crossing fingers and anything else crossable, and throwing salt liberally over BOTH shoulders as I type. Any other bogey-chasing techniques I can try because I SO don’t want any arse-biting irony hanging around my house, thanks!

  12. StephLove

    We had pinworms earlier this fall, well, my 4-year old did and we all took the medicine. Washing everyone’s sheets and pajamas and towels every few days in hot water for 2 weeks was a pain. Also, we informed her school but in a discreet kind of way and avoided copping to the being the one when everyone was talking about it in the parking lot. And then my little one announced she had worms at Circle Time and it was all over.

  13. Aimee

    EWWW. Hope you got rid of ’em all!

  14. Karen R.

    Yuk! And my sympathies. Food Grade diatomaceous earth may help with that, in a less toxic way. It may also be useful for bed bugs. Here’s hoping for a speedy cure with minimum obnoxiousness.

  15. Pamela

    One bright side: I think it’s great that the affected child came and told you. I had pinworms more than once as a child, and I would never, ever, ever have told my parents. Ever. I just waited to die. So I know you have to want to see this silver lining, but you can take this as evidence of a great parent-child relationship.

  16. liz

    I had them as a kid and was totally freaked out.

  17. Lucinda

    Ahhh, the joys of childhood. You managed to make it through without pinworms? Consider yourself lucky. I had them a couple of times as did my sister. Ultimately it was probably the day care we were going to where we picked them up. I remember being paranoid for YEARS about getting them again. Sorry to hear you all had to deal with it.

  18. KMayer

    one of my earliest, most horrifying memories. We were camping. In a pop-up. Still recovering some 40 years later. ew ew ew ew ew.

  19. alicia

    I’ve had them and I would much prefer the orange flavor over the nasty “caramel” flavor PINX was when I was a kid. Ick. Hope you are all hanging in there – and I second the recommendation that you all take another dose in a week.

    Good Luck!

  20. Ann from St. Peter MN

    I am having a Conniption of Ick for all of you as I read your entry today.

  21. Brigid

    I only say this to make you feel better, and not in a “I have a worse story than that”… One of my roommates in college had a seizure 10 years after we graduated. Turns out she had a parasite IN HER BRAIN that had been there SINCE WE LIVED TOGETHER. Happy ending, all is well, but she was the person who squirmed the most at anything wormy or buggy.

    Hmm, maybe that won’t make you feel better. Nevermind. *skulks away*

  22. The Domestic Goddess

    Been there, done that, bought the teeshirt, blah, blah, blah.

    Yeah, we had this happen about two years ago. Except affected child was 5yo autistic kid with major food sensitivity issues, nonverbal, screaming, wretching, the works. FUN.

  23. StephLove

    I forgot to mention we took a prescription medicine and it had no side effects for any of us. That’s too late to be advice, unless you’re re-infected….which I sincerely hope you are not.

  24. RuthWells

    Oh, been there. Oh dear. I had NO idea that there’s an OTC med available, though — I have gone through the humiliation of calling the pediatrician each time we’ve had a recurrance.

    (Not that I would call the pediatrian and tell them that boy #1 gave worms to boy #2 just to get another dose of the stuff to avoid the humiliation of calling my OWN doctor. No, not at all. Stop looking at me that way!)

  25. navhelowife

    oh dear. What a horrible weekend for you.
    We just have garden variety stomach flu here. Courtesy of one of the five kids who apparently puked at state band finals this weekend – where my oldest was all day Saturday.

  26. Flea

    Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Now I’m going to have nightmares.

    I can’t talk. When I was a kid I’d eat sand from the sand box. Got ringworms. I’m sure my mother was horrified, though I only remember being fascinated.

  27. The Other Leanne

    I cannot thank you enough for resisting any urge to post a picture. There was an anxiety-ridden time in my college years when I had an irrational fear that I had those darned things. In this house, I have two scratchy and itchy cats, despite regular doses of Frontline, so I have been in the boraxing-vacuuming-laundering cycle for a couple of weeks. I feel your pain. Sort of. Eww.

  28. Ani

    Delicate flowers gets my vote. Definitely delicate flower.

  29. Katie in MA

    Did you forget to tell the boys not to eat raw meat when everyone was over? :)

  30. meghann

    $hit happens. Sometimes literally. ;)

  31. AMANDA

    Ack~ so sorry to hear of this experience. From the comments though, it seems to be fairly common! I’d be concerned about how this happened… and if it’s been spread to the boys who came to your house (or did you all get it FROM the boys?). What about Licorice… guess it’s time to check the doggy poop. :(

  32. Kate M

    Ick – I’m so sorry. I remember our whole family being treated when my brother got pinworms. Good times :p !

  33. Melissa

    Now I’ve added something else to my what-will-we-catch-now list. EWWW. Hope you are feeling better though!

  34. Robin

    Do not believe the remedy instructions if they say you only need one dose. Take another dose two weeks after the first. Even if you have a repeat of the side effects, it will be worth it. Also, let your visiting friends know that they should also probably be treated. If they were licking each other and the TV, they most likely will get them. Plus, you don’t want Monkey getting re-infested at their house. You have my deepest sympathies. Nothing like a case of pinworms to bring out the OCD in all of us.

  35. Leanne

    Mmmmm. Childhood. Threadworms. Combantrin. Chocolate squares for us! One square per person. Brilliant.

  36. Headless Mom

    Oh no. My week sounds like a cake walk in comparison. At least you have a washing machine!

  37. Another Dawn


    That would be my reaction.

  38. tuney

    I remember waking up in the middle of the night with my butt in the air and my mother putting a piece of tape on it. That was the check in those days, apparently. Luckily I was… um… “clean”.

  39. Brigitte

    Eww, Tuney, I got that too (though I was fortunately clean as well).

    @ Stephlove (#13), too funny!

  40. Joshilyn

    GAH! GAH! GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You did the right thing. DOSE EVERYONE. I may have a dose myself, now. Pre-emptively.

    In fact?
    I think you need to take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.
    It’s the only way to be sure. …

  41. karen

    LOL… I love otto, in case I haven’t told you that lately. :-)

  42. 12tequilas

    I don’t get squicked out by the usual bugs and spiders the way you do, but anything that infests, or gets inside the body…::shudder:: Maybe there’s something you can do to prevent the side effects from the second dose you apparently have to have? Like taking Pepto beforehand, or after? I’m just guessing on this.

  43. Cele

    ack only worse than the reoccuring lice infestation from the seventh grade – I thought I was going to have to burn the school down.

  44. Leanne R

    I spent the weekend dealing with lice (which the kids brought back from a week at ther dad’s house grrrrr). Your post makes me feel much better about that. Thanks.

  45. MaryP

    When pinworms appeared in the daycare a few years back (wheee!), the medicine the affected families took was a liquid. Tasted vile, so I was told, but the worst part? It was thick, and exactly the colour of … blood. Can’t imagine choking that down. On the upside — no aftertaste!!

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