Friday, May 23, 2014

And Then There Were Lice. daughter has lice.

We were in Lola's buying some salsa when I saw the telltale head scratching. I shouldn't have been surprised given the amount of notices coming home from school lately, but still. Nothing prepares you for 'the scratch'.

In short order we were home, having commandeered the upstairs bathroom, where we spent the next three hours poisoning, washing, rinsing, gelling, combing, hunting, more combing, more hunting, hand-picking, washing again, rinsing again, and then blow drying before bed. During breaks from all of this, Evie was the picture of patience and hung out in the bathroom reading Charlotte's Web while I vacuumed, stripped beds, bagged stuffies and pillows, and ran seemingly hundreds of super-hot loads of laundry.

When I was back on task, one slow-going section of hair at a time, Paulie took over with the vacuuming, laundry, and then bed re-assmbling. He brought up a drink for me and a bowl of fresh berries for Evie, and us gals had ourselves a good ol' time hanging out on that hard tile bathroom floor. Evie found the patterns it made on her butt especially amusing. Me, not so much.

Let me just say this, in case you haven't had the pleasure of dealing with this situation yet: Lice are total assholes.

They spread like wildfire among the innocent "let me brush your hair!" set and cause havoc in perfectly well-meaning households for the next several weeks. Especially if the affected child (if you're lucky, it's just one) is bouncing back and forth between mom's house & dad's house. This just turns it into one big clustermess of 'Round and 'Round We Go, Where the Lice Will Stop, Nobody Knows!

Let's all brush each other's hair?! Fuuuuuuuck NO!!

IF they ever stop, no one knows, either. Just when you've congratulated yourself on the huge task of clearing every motherfucking louse and scraping every goddam nit out of your kid's hair, you'll find another of one, or probably both. Maybe you'll even be on the very last section of hair, beginning to unclench your jaw in preparation to breathe a sigh of relief, and you'll find a louse that miraculously seems to have survived all of the poison you just soaked it in, what the what?! And it's just (albeit super slowly) toodling along, pooping out eggs as it goes. DEAD!

So you do the whole head over again, just to be sure, as your neck and back make snap, crackle, pop noises from perching on the bathroom floor for so long.

You put your kid to bed over two hours late, go downstairs and try not to cry while you shove a cold burrito into your face and your boyfriend sits there watching you, trying to cheer you up but failing. You ask him to get his best reading glasses, hand him a headlamp, and ask him to check your hair because, after all, you do lay head-to-head next to your daughter every night, singing songs and doing the usual bedtime banter before she falls asleep.

He checks you out but seems more interested in how many silver hairs you have and therefore predicting how soon it will be before you go completely grey, as well as telling you, again, that when a single hair goes from white to brown to white (like several of mine do), it's a sign of early-onset Alzheimer's. Not terribly helpful. Especially since from the second you discovered the lice in your daughter's hair, you suddenly began feeling like there were bugs crawling in yours. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen.

Luckily I'd (back to first person now, heh) made plans to get together with an old friend the next evening. We haven't seen each other in a really long time, but I was pretty sure she'd be cool with my plan.

As it turns out, she wasn't terribly into the plan after all. Hm! I gave her my whole "lice are super fun friends to have!" sales pitch, too, but she wasn't having it. 

At the end of the day (meaning several days later), we're all clear, keeping a close eye out for those pesky relapses - so many eggs! HOW DO THEY MANAGE TO LAY SO MANY EGGS?!?! - and carefully avoiding braiding each other's hair for the rest of our lives. 


  1. Unfortunately I have heard and seen this story too many times. There is a great product on Amazon or that not only kills lice and nits but prevents them from coming back. Try The Nit Nanny Products.

    1. Thanks Lisa! Ordering this just to keep on hand in case this nightmare ever returns - ugh. Always happy to have a personal recommendation!

  2. I know what you mean, all too well. The whole family panicked when my youngest daughter got lice as well. It was pretty hard too deal with because I had to make sure that all the sheets, pillow cases and blankets were laundered, fresh and lice-free. Good thing there are a lot of shampoos and medications to treat to get rid of them, which are safe for both the scalp of an adult and a child's. I'm sure you can find some online, just in case it happens again. Good luck and take care! :)

    Marguerite Lindsey @ CLC