Thursday, October 29, 2009

Intro to Lice 101

Wrote this back in October of 2009; my DD was in 1st Grade - Thought it deserved to be Posted:





The phrase "nit picking" will forever hold a different meaning for us.  I believe that it should be feared and revered and only said with a certain pause for reflection and gratitude for the sacrifices made, but NEVER a derogatory term.

I know FB isn’t a blog, but get ready for the story. I need to write for therapy; I am tired of cleaning and I feel like I owe it to the world because no one should make the same mistakes that I did. Here are the Red Flags that I missed (please don’t hold them against me; you have NO IDEA how terrible I feel).
  1. Multiple lice letters came home from school and many of our friends had confirmed cases (although not in my Dear Daughter’s class).
  2. The kids said that their heads itched (I thought it was colder and dryer with the furnace being on)
  3. White flakes on my DD’s head (I thought it was dandruff or her cradle cap)
So yesterday I was helping in my DD’s class and asked her teacher if I could take her down to the nurse really quickly so that I could understand what lice looks like. You know, be "pro-active".  The sweet nurse, showed me that the lice eggs were these little (smaller than a grain of sand) white spots that are stuck to the hair shaft about a ½” from the scalp. My DD had a bunch. I asked her to check me and she found one right away. I took my DS out of class and walked to a Dear Friend’s house to gain supplies…

I opened a bottle of wine, and put Lice B Gone (a natural alternative) on all of us; because my DD is so sensitive, I didn’t want to use the pesticides if I didn’t have to and word on the street is that pesticides are really dangerous and don’t have a great success rate because Middle-class Suburbia has bred a super-bug. Apparently, the lice basically just give you the finger as they brush off the pesticides and drink them to get a really sweet buzz.

Another Dear Friend came over to help me know what to do and how to pull these little nits out. We started going through my DD’s hair and got at least 30 adult bugs, TONS of babies and 100’s of nits (I know, so gross). I did my Dear Son later and only had 1 adult, 2 babies and a bunch of nits. I only had 1 adult and a couple of nits, although my numbers could be off b/c my DH did mine and although he is cute, smart and funny – he is NOT a lice master. My DH is totally clean (damn him). I did my DD’s hair for hours and felt like I did an unbelievably good job.

We didn’t have Cetaphil in the house, so I then did the olive oil thing (I had a huge jug from Costco and figured what the hell, we aren’t leaving the house anyway). I left it in our hair in a plastic bag for an hour or 2 (or 4 because I couldn’t get to mine). When I combed through it layer by ****ing layer, the lice and nits just came right out on the little metal comb. It was CRAZY. They really just kept slipping off the strands of hair and onto the metal comb. I couldn’t believe how many more there were (believe it or not, I didn’t take a picture).

I washed our hair with dish soap to cut the oil and then shampoo; it was really late by this point and everyone fell soundly asleep onto clean sheets – except me… I am so weirded out by the bug thing that every time I closed my eyes, I could only see these awful little bugs (that look exactly like fruit flies with no wings). I feel so violated. I take pride in my clean house and I feel like the Creepy Halloween Theme has been taken a couple of steps too far.

So it turns out (I am mortified to say it), My DD must have had lice for at least 2 weeks. She had 3 generations of them living on her head. For those of you doing the math, it ended up to be about the same time as the big trip to the local Theater.

PLEASE check your kids or have someone who knows how check them. I feel so bad that I helped spread this by my own ignorance. When I clear this up, I swear myself to the lice education of everyone – I will come over to help ANYONE detect and pull out lice.

A group of us think that we all deserve a t-shirt saying that we survived this…"The Everest of Motherhood". Who am I kidding? I need an all-inclusive in Mexico or at LEAST a spa day.

and yes – I am pretty sure that I would honestly pick swine flu…