Today was one I won’t get back. And do you know what? I wouldn’t want it back, not if it came with a pretty bow and a bag of pralines.
Today was not the reason I became a parent.
Wayne woke up at 6:30 this morning. The alarm clock that was supposed to sound at 6:15 had failed to go off. So, we were up and running late. Already, before Monday had even gotten off the ground.
I know everyone has a different system, but this is the
short longer than nessecary version of ours.
- Get up and rush the kids to get baths.
- At 6:30, they’re ready for wardrobe, hair and
makeup. For better or for worse, Wayne handles that.
- I make breakfast, get drinks fixed and greet everyone pleasantly with encouraging words. I also field questions about why school has to start so early in the morning. I don’t tell the truth, which would sound like, “Damned if I know.” But, instead, tell them how nice it is that they’ll get out at 2:00 instead of 3:00.
- While they eat, we try to round up shoes, socks and book bags. Often, voices are raised and loud questions about the whereabouts of said items are asked. The kids don’t tell the truth when asked why they don’t leave their shoes in the mud room. If they did, it would sound very much like, “Damned if I know.” And that doesn’t sound good coming from little kids. Most mornings, they leave with at least two out of three of these items. Most of the time, but we’re not perfectionists, so whatever.
- Then they scoot to brush teeth and are out the door.
Yesterday was a different matter altogether. As I’m preparing breakfast, Wayne comes into the kitchen with great big eyes and starts questioning me in hushed tones about what lice look like. All I know is that they’re little bugs. Wayne suspects that while drying Mack’s hair, he’s found some.
God help us.
I seriously can’t see without my dollar tree optical center cheaters, so I put my glasses on and sure enough. Bugs.
By this point, I kid you not, my hands were shaking and my head was itching.
Sam had what may have been nits when we looked at his head. My itching got worse. Wayne was looking pretty uncomfortable too.
Adam had no signs of life on his scalp, so we let him go to school. But, had plans to treat him as soon as he arrived home, just as a precaution.
I immediately googled head lice, asked for advice on twitter, and called the school. All at the same time.
That’s an embarrassing phone call to make, let me tell ya! But, I felt like I had to, we are all out of absences. Remember the Disney trips! I didn’t really schedule those with head lice in mind.
I was told that this would be an excused absence and they wanted them to stay home and be treated. (That’s a little nugget I’ll store, just in case hooky looks too tempting on one of those pretty spring days! Head lice=excused absence. Some days pretty weather is worth a little humiliation.) I emailed their teachers, and one of them said she’d had an “incident” on Thursday and that she was worried because Sam was so “snuggly.” To think, we always thought that his affectionate nature was a good thing. Who knew? I’m pretty sure, though Mack got the blame to begin with, that Sam was the originator.
These photos pretty much prove my point. Don’t judge me on the poor quality, they’re just submitted as evidence. He looks like the carrier to me.
The person I spoke with at the school gave me a few tips involving olive oil, vinegar and tequila. (By the end of the day, I was convinced that the tequila is there to anesthetize the mother who is stuck doing this.)
Like it or not, it was battle time.
My husband went to the pharmacy, where he made the humiliating purchases. He came home with an arsenal of head lice combating weapons. Dropped them off with me and then got the heck out of Dodge. Using work as an excuse. The nerve!
I was left with two children, an itchy head and a bug battle to fight. Somehow, when I dreamed of having a family, this was one daydream that didn’t make the cut.
Step one, douse Mack liberally with a lice killing shampoo, most likely a carcinogen that smelled suspiciously like flea dip. It had to be left on his head for ten minutes, according to the bottle, no more, no less. What would happen if I left it for 11 minutes? I felt the need to be super careful, just in case his scalp was to be eaten off, exposing his skull or a thousand other scary scenarios. So, after ten minutes, no more, no less, I added water and then lathered his little lice infested head. While pretending that he didn’t skeeve me out. You know, just so his self-esteem was left in tact after the delousing.
Then we rinsed the
flea shampoo medicated shampoo from his head. And applied egg/knit picking gel. I wish I were making this up. Then I had to comb every hair on this wiggly child’s head with a two-inch wide fine tooth comb. Neither of us enjoyed this one little bit.
Sam on the other hand sat on the edge of the tub watching intently as I inspected every millimeter of Mack’s scalp. I wish it had been a false alarm, but I’m pretty sure it was not. Quite a few suspicious looking things came from his nasty little head.
After pouring over his hair for what seemed like hours, we rinsed it. Then dried it. Mind you, I’m going through lots of towels during this process. After each step, I gave him a new towel, I didn’t want to put anything we’d taken off back on.
Then I poured a bunch of olive oil on his head. Wrapped it in Saran wrap, then put a clear shower cap on him. I gave him old soccer shorts that I didn’t mind tossing. And we started on Sam.
Sam couldn’t understand why Mack wasn’t interested in hanging around and seeing what would come out of his head. Mack had spent enough of his life in a bathroom and was gone. Shower cap, or “lice helmet” as he calls it, and all.
I repeated the gruesome process with Sam, who kept referring to it as a “spa day.”
Whatever gets him through the night.
For good measure, I poured half a bottle of olive oil on my own head, wrapped it in plastic wrap and put on a shower cap.
This whole process took, and I’m not exaggerating, over three hours.
I had a pretty strong feeling that if I picked Adam up in a shower cap, and by some stroke of luck, happened to have a bump up in front of the middle school, that caused me to get the kids out of the car, wearing shower caps due to lice infestation, that Adam wouldn’t like it. So, my sweet mother in law picked them up for me.
Adam agreed upon arriving home and looking at us that I’d made the right call.
Then I did the flea bath/fine tooth comb treatment on him. He was not pleased. I was not either. That kid has a lot of hair.
Once again, Sam enjoyed it. Always seeing the glass half full, he told Adam he was having a spa day. Adam said it was like “spa day at the trailer park.” (Not nice, I know. I’m sure there are wonderful trailer parks, and I’m sorry if you live in one and this was offensive. Sadly, the one we were thinking of, is not one of the good ones.)
I didn’t find anything suspicious on him, so he was allowed to skip the olive oil. Lucky dog.
The other two boys asked for bread an awful lot yesterday. I finally figured out the smell of olive oil was triggering that. Shudder.
Between treating the infested, I used my washing machine’s sanitary cycle to wash linens, and all of the towels that the lice treatment was generating, clothes the kids had recently worn, ect. Then I sprayed it with “bed spray,” Lord help me, and have bagged them in trash bags for two weeks. All of the stuffed animals that Sam wallows on when he doesn’t have a human to hug up with are bagged as well. This annoying precaution is just in case some of the nits survived and hatch again.
We have to do all of this again in seven to ten days. Joy.
I scratch as I type. Are you feeling itchy yet?
Hours passed and I combed the little guys again, washed their hair several times, trying to get the EVOO out. And pronounced them nit and bug free.
Wayne came home, and proved his undying love for me. I have very, very, thick hair. And this man, who promised to love me in sickness and in health, spent the entire night living up to those vows. (This is sickness, my friends. This is sickness.) An entire night, he spent “nit-picking” me. We were like a couple of monkeys grooming each other. I can honestly say, last night, our bathroom was where sexy went to die. After giving me the full spa treatment, I did Wayne’s grooming. And we were done.
We all went to bed itching like son of a guns. The very idea was crawling on all of us.
We checked everyone out this morning and they seemed to be clear. Pray that it stays that way.
Sorry for the length of this post, but if I had to live through it, by gosh, I was going to share it.