The "L" word that every parent fears. The "L" of nightmares and the heebie-jeebies. The one thing guaranteed to make your skin want to get up and crawl right off your body scooping off your hair from the top and using it to sweep up behind you. And you support the decision. Sounds like a good idea.
Here it is: lice
aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh run screaming nooooooooooowwww!!!!
Back in the fall of this school year, I answered the phone to a school nurse giving me a lengthy description of my child's head. In her description, she said things like, lice and nits and in her hair. The nurse must be an experienced one because she yammered on and on and barely gave me the opportunity to breathe let alone tell her how wrong she had to be. Because my children do. not. have. lice. ICK!!!! I know lice, ok. I have seen them take over a home and stop paying the bills. Lice chasing becomes a full time job for the whole family. And now there are immune lice. They don't care what toxins you soak them in. They will have friends over and stay up all night playing loud music and not even invite you.
As I tried to politely inform her there was no way this was happening, she continued to talk.She said that she found nits, which are evidently the dead carcasses of eggs that hatched into babies. Babies that then apparently walked away. She said they were a few inches down in her hair so it appeared that Genea had had lice in the past that was treated, and left some nits.
Mmmm, no. Rest assured lady, that did not happen.
I would definitely remember.
I said well, Genea is adopted and only came to us last year. We hadn't cut her hair at all at that point. Must have been with the other family.
Mmmm, no, she said. Had to be in the recent past. Oh. ICK!!! So lady, what you are telling me is that some kid with a festering head transferred vermin to my little girl there in your school. Nope, I don't think so. Didn't happen.
MMMMmmm, ok , she said, you'll have to come and pick her up and treat her. She told me, she could not find any living bugs anywhere on Genea's head but we have to assume they are there, get the extermination supplies and treat her just in case some were still hiding. Having a party behind the left ear or something.
Ohhhh, man..... this is not good. I think she is serious. Awwww. Oh hell. For real. Now I am starting to think through the immediate future. I have Teena of course. I will have to get in the car to get Genea, teaming head full of insects and all. Do lice enjoy upholstery I wonder? They will all have to be in the back of the car together. No other way to do this. Then I realized not only was I stuck with this hot mess, I was functioning as a single parent that day as The Husband coincidentally scheduled himself a late night at work. VERY suspicious isn't it? Very.
So I am trying to figure out the logistics of this. I will have to go to a store to get the lice killer and manage these kids at the same time. Naw, they couldn't possibly want me in the store, could they? So I went to the drive thru pharmacy window and asked through the bank tubes, "can you sell me some lice killer here?". "No," she says "we're not allowed to do that", with a snot in her tone suggesting I had asked her to do something illegal. Ugh. You are not that important you twit. Fine.
Take the straps off my kids out of the car and into the store we go. Wouldn't you think something like lice killer would be right at the door? No. No signs pointing to "exterminate your kids head here" either. I got all the way across the store to the medicine aisle, and I can't find anything. Ugh! So I asked the Pharmacist on the inside. I would have been discrete, but her whole department had annoyed me from outside. So I loudly inquired as to where the lice remover would be. The Pharmacist recoiled, recoiled, mumbled something and pointed at the next aisle. Then she turned away and bolted around the corner of the drug shelf. You know, I think she had a lot of nerve to recoil. I mean, this woman hears about genital warts and moldy toes all day every day. She hangs out with noses of slime full of bacterial mucous every day and she is gonna run around the corner, with an attitude, about my little dead bugs?
Ok so I finally find the lice killing shampoo. Only there are like 5 different kinds. Well what the hell do I know about what I need to do here!!! This one comes with comb, this one you gotta buy the spray separate, etc. I am trying to compare prices and levels of pesticides, ounces to the bottles when I said to myself, Self, is this really a place you think is important to economize and find the cheapest one? No, Self, no. So I bought the biggest one with the most supplies. Genea and I, we spent like 19 hours with the shampoos and the combing and spraying the mattresses and washing potentially infested bedding and clothing. Ugh. And they were gone.
I still don't know where they came from. I know for a fact we never treated any. How they died is a mystery. As I have said, strange things happen in this house. If a plague of lice were to take over the government, it would be Genea's head that killed them off. I have been told, the lice do prefer clean hairs and straight highways. Genea's crazy rock star hair must have been too confusing ha ha. However that is an 'urban myth'. Lice love hair. Hair hair hair.
"I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!"
Please credit the above song lyrics "Hair" from the musical play and movie titled, "Hair".
My only other major experience with lice was when Teena was about 18 months old. Her day care had a lice scare. Now, Teena didn't even have hair until she was 3. but we brought her straight home anyway, and I had The Husband strip her down in the driveway and leave her clothes outside. I think her little dress is still out there. I scrutinized both of her hairs for several days but she remained clear.
This actually happened early in the fall. I started this post at the time but was too traumatized at the time to finish. It isn't the worst thing in the world. Lice happens. I would just prefer it not to. Not my idea of a good time!