Thursday, October 10, 2013

NO Again the LICE NOooooooooo

Last year around this time we got a call from the school nurse that the girls had lice.

This was OHMYGODNOOOOO the worst thing ever EW EW EW a new challenge for us, but we burned everything calmly and methodically took care of the problem.  There was a lot of laundry and cleaning and combing for nits.  It was a nightmarish schedule crippling disaster time consuming and inconvenient, but we took care of it.  I figured we'd had our encounter with lice and we could cross that off our life list of gross things many families deal with.

But then this year the itching started. 
We've bagged the stuffed animals and stripped all the bedding and treated the heads (which this time included mine EW EW EW).  Ian consulted the CDC website and we are going by their recommendation to treat everyone again in nine days to completely interrupt the life cycle of the little buggers.  Whee.

I will say, though, the second time around (depressing as it was to have to repeat) hasn't been as bad.  Lice are puny.  I think if I could see their legs wiggling I would be far more freaked out by them, but they just look like long, grey specks, and they don't move fast.  The idea of them was worse than the reality.

And hunting for nits can be oddly soothing.  My primate nature kicks in and digging around on my girls' scalps becomes practically a bonding experience.  We have a system now of setting up my laptop in the bathroom and we watch Cupcake Wars or I Love Lucy while I work through their hair with a nit comb.  It's still not exactly pleasant, and I would prefer we watched things together while folding laundry instead, but time being close to my kids is time being close to my kids, so meh.

How does anyone handle a lice crisis as a single parent?  When I found a louse on my own scalp I was able to make my husband sit down and comb my head, but I can't imagine who else I would ask if he weren't around.

I suggested to the kids that I could make them lice costumes for Halloween and they would be the scariest things at the school dance in a few weeks.  Can you imagine?  Lice in the school!  Everyone runs screaming!  It would be awesome.  They, of course, balked at the idea, because they view Halloween as their chance to become the animals the long to be, and none of them fantasize about being lice.

My only fantasies about lice are imagining hearing on the news that gosh darn, the poor things couldn't find enough heads to lay eggs on one year and they are now extinct.  Oh well.  Them's the breaks.  (And then I win the Nobel Prize for kickboxing.  My inner life is a rich tapestry.)

We've also been passing around pink eye and a cold.  We're a close family (apparently too close), but disgusting.

How are you?


  1. ugh, lice... my personal worst nightmare. When I was 12 I brought home lice from an away soccer tournament in Canada and my sisters didn't speak to me for weeks. This was somehow MY fault and treatment back then was awful. We all have the thickest, long hair making the nit picking so much fun. Hope the pink eye and colds clear up too :( Hang in there!

  2. The fall my daughter brought home lice from her Girl Scout sleepover was NOT a happy time. Much wine and chocolate were consumed...good luck!!

  3. Ahahahaha I'm sorry I'm not laughing at your misfortune, just your reaction which would be very similar to mine. A notice went home at my kids' daycare once about how "a child" in the daycare had lice (apparently they have to notify everyone) and I freaked out and started frantically washing everything but luckily, we didn't get it. I fear The Lice. I don't think it's possible to get through parenthood without an encounter. Good luck!

  4. Claire coming home from her first day at Makalapa Elementary:

    Claire: Know what my school if famous for?

    Me: No, what?

    Claire: Headlice!

    Me: Great.

    It's not a catagory I see in the No Child Left Behind reports, but maybe it should be.

  5. Oh my itching scalp!!!!

    We had the year the lice wouldn't leave between fourth and fifth grades. UGH! You're dealing with it with grace and humor and that's about all you CAN do.

    Hang in there. May the tea tree oil be with you. Hit their heads with the hair dryer too--it supposedly kills the nits.

  6. This brings back so many memories, ha ha ha! I grew up with a sister, who is biologically my cousin, and oh my gosh, I used to get so mad at her because she'd bring lice home. But what I really loved about this experience (if there is such thing as love for lice epidemic in our household) was just sitting there in the living room, having my aunt or mom comb through my hair, and massaging tea oil into my scalp, and I'd do the same for my sister. The process was probably tedious, long, and boorish for whoever was tyring to erdicate lice on our heads, but I enjoyed the fact that we were sitting together bonding over this. Very primitive bonding, I'd say. ;)

    Anyway, I am sorry that you have to deal with that, and I hope this gets resolved FAST.

  7. Ack, ack, ack. One of my greatest fears about the school years is lice. I had it twice growing up and that was more than enough exposure for me. It is heartening to hear that it was at least a little easier to deal with for you the second time (on an emotional level, at least). I wish you the best in kicking out those little buggers for good.

  8. You know, Kory, your comment about single parenting really is true. I checked my kids a million times last year and fortunately we dodged that bullet all year. But I don't believe anyone ever checked my head. I will call you if I need a check! Haha!
    Hoping yours go away soon, don't reappear, and don't come my way :-P

    1. I will totally go through your hair with a nit comb if you ever need it. We'll just marathon watch some show on Netflix and make a night of it.

  9. I'm quite certain your dream of lice going extinct was a gross exaggeration. You likely meant to write "extirpation from Milwaukee" or some such. Never should we root for the extinction of a species, whether it be Homo sapiens or Pediculus humanus, for we cannot predict the ecological outcome. Or the potential loss to our future ability to understand the medical and evolutionary lessons offered by bygone beasties.