It was inevitable. I knew we couldn’t escape its clutches forever. The dreaded four letter “L” word: lice.
ALL FOUR OF US.
Lawd ‘amighty. It was no barrel of monkeys, I tell you, what with the lice and the hurricane and the fever virus that followed it (translation: a LOT of days with antsy, bored children at home instead of school). But I learned a few things from having lice. Here they are in no particular order of importance:
- There is angry. Then there is step-on-a-Lego angry. And then there is lice rage. I’ve not found the thing that brings an unbridled rage like lice decontamination. Forget about the hair. The house clean up should be a sentence handed down to convicted felons. I guarantee that recidivism rates would plummet. Holy Gain Flings! If it wasn’t nailed down, I washed it. If it WAS nailed down, I vacuumed it. If it wasn’t washable, I put it in a trash bag on my patio. I DID LAUNDRY FOR THREE STRAIGHT DAYS Y’ALL. I’m talking like 20-25 loads. Insanity. Oh come to think of it…you know what may have been a step above lice rage? Broken-washing-machine-with-lice rage. There would have been a Baker Act up in here.
- Speaking of insanity, I learned that my husband knows just exactly when I am going to lose my shit in an historic fashion. He knows precisely what might send me clear over the edge. He swooped in and nervously said, “here…let me take some of that laundry to the wash-and-fold for you…” with a look of terror on his face as he bolted from the house. And then he later retrieved the clean laundry without so much as one mutter under his breath about how much the bill was. For better or worse. He totally gets me.
- It is much less of a PITA for a boy to have lice than a girl. A quick jaunt to Great Clips and a $10 number one clipper job–boom–crisis averted. I never was as close to pulling a 2007 Britney Spears shave job (meltdown and umbrella attack included) as I was that day.
- My children use FAR too many blankets. They have the gall to just use as many blankets as they please and toss them aside without a care in the world. Well, no longer, my friends. We are on a strict blanket rationing program. Never again will I wash 17 blankets because they have ALL been used in the past 48 hours. Forts are hereby banned forever.
- Our stuffed animal addiction has reached A&E Intervention proportions. Get Candy Finnegan on the horn, stat. “Your addiction to stuffed animals has affected me in the following ways: I spent $75 on black garbage bags to decontaminate the lice infested stuffed animals just from your bed alone. We have spent so much money on stuffed animals that you may have to use Beanie Boos to pay for your college education so keep the tags on for eBay selling purposes. If you do not accept the help that is offered you today, I will no longer be able to pack your lunches or come to your school concerts”. It’s time for some tough love and a trip to Goodwill.
- There is no greater love than that for the woman who laid down the life of your head lice. You can’t put a price on that kind of service. Well, yes you can…$525 for three clean heads. Best money I’ve spent in a long while. Hands down.
- I don’t give myself enough credit for my own patience and restraint. Apparently, a nit comb has the same effect on my children’s heads as alligator jaws. Based on their crying and whining, one would think that searching the hair for lice stragglers (I may or may not have done this obsessively) caused them intolerable physical pain. There was definitely alcohol assisted refrain from digging those tiny comb/alligator teeth into their oh-so-delicate skulls when they bemoaned the sheer agony of it all. (Insert eye roll). They have no idea how dangerously close they actually came to great bodily harm at the hands of the lice police.
- I need to work on my triceps. My arms were exhausted by the effort of washing peppermint oil out of my hair and checking it with that God forsaken comb. Apparently Orange Theory isn’t geared toward prolonged upward arm extension.
- Just talking about lice and reliving the horror of it makes my head itch. Your head itches now too, doesn’t it?
- There is a ridiculous shroud of secrecy surrounding lice. But there’s no shame in my game. It ain’t crabs people. It just means that we have extra clean hair and my kids like to hug a lot (that’s what I’m telling myself anyway). It’s too late for me, but SAVE YOURSELVES. If I can spare one mom the pain and suffering of lice, then my job here is done.
So, take note, my friends. Go out right this minute and stock up on tea tree and peppermint oil and cross your fingers. And if those little a-holes get in your hair, give a shout to my girl Erin at the Lice Out Lounge. ‘Cause ain’t nobody got time for head lice. That I know for sure.