Lice ain't nice

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Two weeks ago Friday, we went to lovely party.

There was wine and Wii and children running about. There was laughing and hummus and delicious cupcakes.

All good and wonderful things.

On Monday morning, I was in the office while the host of that party received a phone call from the school of his children.

He, not being a native English or French speaker, turned to the office after he hung up with the school.

"Is your daughter OK?", I asked solicitously.

"She has fleas?", he stated - somewhat puzzled.

I stared at him. My teacher instinct kicked in. "Lice?", I offered. "She has lice?"

"Yeah, thats it - Lice"

My head began to itch. Instantaneously. In fact, I suspect some of you are itching simply READING this.

Then, I recalled my impossibly curly haired child rolling on the floor with his long blonde straight haired child. The same long blonde straight hair child who spent quite a bit of time in my lap as we giggled and watched her brother and Emily play Wii.

Then I thought about my spouse. With his dreadlocks. And his natural hypochondria.

Oh, Shit.

I offered to check his daughter at the office. I have expertise in this area. Years of teaching and living in child care centers makes you a savvy lice spotter. I have calmed many a parent down as I showed them what they were looking for, what to do, what to use, how to comb the eggs out. Reassuring them that it was not do to a dirty home or dirty child - quite the opposite, in fact. Lice LOVE nice clean heads - best real estate around, and WHO doesn't want to build their home on the best real estate available?

Sure enough - there they were. In full, lice-esque glory. Doing their lice thing.

And theres me. Staying calm. Trying not to itch my head. Trying to think of how I am going to break this news to my husband who is perpetually coming up with new diseases what he is sure he has. Trying to figure out a way to let him KNOW ( since I have my late class and won't be home until 7:30 or 8) but not make him lose his shit and begin some kind of bleaching extravaganza.

In hindsight, I shouldn't have left the message on his cell phone. But oh well.

The good news? We seem to have been spared.

The bad news? Terrance keeps checking my hair. Because he doesn't know what he is looking for, he spends the whole time making dire air sucking in noises as he pulls out lint and other NOT LICE stuff from my hair. And let me tell you - nothing makes you randomly itch your head than the suggestion that you Could have lice.

In fact, you are all scratching right now - admit it.

13 Baleful Regards:

Awesome Mom said...

Of course my head is crawling. I had a bad case of them when I was a teenager. I took them with me on a trip to England with my grandmother. Nothing is more embarrassing than being a foreigner looking for lice treatment. I could feel them crawling on my head as they died.

Shannon said...

We got a note from my daughter's school over two months ago saying that someone in her class had had lice and that we should make sure to check our kids' heads. My head is STILL itching! And every time I think I'm past that some blogger has a lice experience and posts about it and I start itching again! Thanks!

biodtl said...

I never thought about them until my son got them last year. Then his siter got them and there is nothing quite like trying to get a 2 year old to sit still for some nit-picking. We got rid of them (or so we thought), but 2 weeks later they were back. It was a nightmare.

So yes - I am scratching.

Fraulein N said...

Gah. Yes, I am itchy right now, even though I've never had lice.

(Knock on wood.)

Madeleine said...

Scratch, scratch.

My daughter's school has a lice check a few times a year. I often volunteer to go help because 1) I had them as a kid, so I both know the misery and know it is not a Character Flaw and 2) I go through my kid's head at length once a week. There is no need to take out her braids, please, no. And yes, I always start to feel itchy as soon as I get in line to pick up the bag of sticks and the gloves.

I was told by a child care worker once that curly hair is less susceptible, because the lice legs are adapted to hair with a round cross section, and very curly hair has an oval cross section. This page at UCDavis backs up that theory:
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7446.html

So I put this one in the "benefits" column when contemplating my biracial daughter's curly curly locks. And it should be reassuring for Terrence as well.

adil said...

Ok, I'm not sure this is true, but I've always been told that black people (with stereotypically, "black" hair) don't get lice. No one in my family ever got them, even though we went to school with kids that got 'em all the time. I think it has something to do with the shape of the hair shaft (flat as opposed to round). Anyway, if my theory is correct, at least Emily and Terrance should be safe.

Mitzi Green said...

yes, itching like a crazy person. thanks a bunch. as if the fact my home is infested with Multi-Colored Asian Lady Beetles (not ladybugs) wasn't enough...

Kimberly said...

I totally admit it.

You could always pull turn about is fair play with Terrance, but I'd make sure you like the Vin Diesel look before going that route.

gurukarm said...

"In hindsight, I shouldn't have left the message on his cell phone. But oh well." - *snort, chortle* hahahaha!!

:-)

Lisa said...

Yes, I was scratching my head.

Gah! Lice. Gah!

jen from boston said...

I would be running to the bathroom every 5 minutes double checking, and then checking Mike, and then checking me. The OCD of picking and checking would go into overdrive.

Jules said...

About 10 years ago, I was at my sister's house. My nephew was scratching his head with a strange look on his face. As a joke, I said, "What's the matter? Ya got lice or somethin'?" and then looked at his head and OMG, he had lice. My sister almost threw up when she saw the look on my face confirming that my joke was in fact a prediction I had no intention of making. ...And the bleach fest began! Good times!
Jules
House of Jules

Just lil o me... said...

My stepfather, the biggest ass around, walked up to one of the boys (who had just gotten a buzz cut) at my daughters school. He rubbed his head and said something nice about it being graduation, etc - so me, feeling the need for revenge, made the no no face and mouthed "LICE" at him. You have never seen someone drop his hand and RUN for hand sanitizer. He scratched his head the whole rest of the time!! Yup, I'm an evil bitch, but if you people only knew what he put me & mom thru, you'd agree it was deserved.

 
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