Okay people. This happened. A mother’s worst nightmare. Well, maybe there are worse things, but you’d be hard pressed to find them.
But for your information, I waited months to post about this so no one would decide not to hang out with me for months so as not catch the bug. Literally.
Not that I kept it a secret. Actually, I’d say I was very open about this thing.
It all started when a bug crawled out of my girl’s hair. Seriously. Except I think we were in denial and both of us grown ups decided it wasn’t a louse, just a random bug that jumped on her head.
(Oh please. When do you find a random little bug-that-looks-like-a-louse on your kid’s head that’s not actually one? But hello, who wants to really admit this).
Later that night I couldn’t get it out of my mind and so I looked up a picture and sure enough, lice.
So then another friendly bug crawled out while I was doing hair and I shivered and confirmed the situation and OF COURSE kept my girl home from school.
(You may think that at this point I had to rush out for lice treatment, but being the paranoid mom that I am, I was already stocked with the stuff because I DO FREQUENT LICE CHECKS. I didn’t realize this was weird until I started telling this story to some other moms who freaked out because they never do lice checks. Why am I like this? My poor children. I’m like a momma monkey who digs through her kids heads every day <well not every day but…> because nobody wants an OUTBREAK)
I called the nurse like a good mom and you know what she told me? And I quote, “The school has a ‘no lice’ policy but not a ‘no nit’ policy, so if you don’t see anymore bugs you can send her to school and do the de-nitting tonight.”
Are you kidding me? How do you know that none of the nits will hatch at school and also, isn’t this how my kid got lice IN THE FIRST PLACE???? Luke thought the policy was completely fine because sometimes you can’t absolutely be sure you’ve gotten all the nits but at least you are working on it. But I wouldn’t dream of sending my kid to school full of nits. You can count on this momma to get rid of them and burn them as soon as possible.
(I didn’t burn them)
Anyway, really and truly, the actual lice, come to find out, isn’t really the nuisance (I guess unless it spreads through the whole family, which in our case did not happen, thank God!).
You wanna know what the nuisance is? Standing over your kid’s head with a tiny comb and glove covered hands outside in the sunlight while your child wiggles and squirms and cries and believes you’re the worst parent ever and can’t do it anymore and begs to be done and shifts her head wildly so you can’t find where you are and you have to start all over again. Yes, that’s the real problem.
All the while you are trying to calm the kid while at the same time saying things like, “Whatever. It’s not like I wanted to spend my day picking bugs out of your hair and breaking my neck in the meantime,” or “Back in the olden days they just shaved off their kids hair when they got lice. Is that what you want?”
Compassion is not my middle name in these situations.
And then you realize the dumb comb that’s provided is actually not fine tooth enough for the tiny dirt like nits and so you end up ripping off the gloves and using your bare fingers, which in the end makes you feel like a monkey after all. Hmm.
Ah. But that’s not the end. You have to check for these suckers everyday, and of course I made the whole family do the lice treatment, and of course I checked ALL of the kids every day for like a week and of course I made Luke dig through my hair several times because my head wouldn’t stop itching–a mental thing I think.
(Luke being the doctor actually sent me real medical papers explaining that some people get psychotically itchy after de-licing family members)
So then, it took me FIVE days to do allllll the laundry in the household. I’m not exaggerating.
But even after the whole thing, I will say I don’t want it to happen again, but really? It was maybe better than the stomach bug, because at least everyone feels healthy and you have to do the same amount of laundry.
And as much as I felt like not telling anyone, I shared it with my whole community group because aren’t we supposed to be in community and do we really have to keep these things a secret? Who cares! If I’m gonna suffer and grimace and worry and freak out, so are they. (just kidding. sort of.)
I think maybe we need T-shirts that say “I survived lice.”