Friday, December 11, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a young mother.

Her tale is as follows:

With a spring in her step and a smile on her face she greeted the day happily.

Bathtime for the whole family was an almost daily event. Laundry was done, house was tidy, dinner on the table at 5:30 when hubby walked through the door.

Children were in bed at 7:30 so that dad and mom could spend some time together.

Time outs were given at appropriate times, hitting and fighting were not tolerated, and inconsquential behavior was treated accordingly-it was ignored.

Life was blissful, there were no infectious diseases, or small bugs running rampant throughout the house. Lysol was used when necessary and everything was clean and fresh. Potty training occured with a good amount of ease and everyone slept through the night.

Mom got her hair done every 8 weeks, she exercised, bought healthy food for the family and would have been mortified to go out in public without makeup on.

Grocery shopping was done quite easily, even with 2 children in tow.

Fast forward 10 years.

I'm currently a mess. Yes, that young mother was me. I didn't know it at the time, but life was pretty awesome. As close to practically perfect in every way as a person could get.

Now, currently, this very minute, I am sitting at the computer,
teeth unbrushed,
Henry in just a shirt and underwear because he has already pooped his pants today,
house a mess,
dinner leftovers still sitting around,
piles and piles of clean laundry needing to be put away after days of washing everything in hot water trying to eradicate tiny little bugs in my house,
and yes, my worst nightmare.
Passed on by some unknowing child at school to one of my children. Now we are in the maddening efforts of trying to rid our lives of it.
Spraying, washing, combing, quarantining, picking through hair and walking around constantly on edge and thouroughly grossed out.

Do you know how much hair 6 children have combined? To look through, to de-louse?

Right now I am wishing for 2 things:
1. That I could slap myself 10 years ago for being so smug.
2. That I could kindly ask anyone whose child may ever get lice, to make a pledge now, that they will inform the school(which I did), so that other parents can be on the look out, so that other families don't spend horrendous amounts of time and effort on something that could have been prevented, or at least forwarned.

And finally, do you know how sad it is to have to shave your 3 year olds head because you are so frustrated that you just take the most drastic measure possible? Then only to have him cry"I want my hair back on!"

Please, please, teach your children to not share hats, brushes, coats, scarves or anything else that can pass on the little pests.

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to scour some more.

Post edit: After going through this, talking to the school nurse, and researching online, I have found the following things to be true:

1. Lice like clean hair. They are not attracted to your child because your child's hair, your house, or anything about you is unclean. Only "dirty" people having lice is a myth.

2. Washing with the lice shampoo does not get rid of lice permanently. You must also remove all of the nits(eggs). THe most effective way is by hand. They look a lot like dandruff, but they stick to the hair, they do not move easily. If you do not get rid of all the nits, they will hatch and you will have lice problems all over again.

3. You cannot get lice from someone else simply by touching them. You must share something like a brush(which was the culprit in our case), a hat, a scarf a coat, a pillow.

4. Please don't send your child to school until they are nit free. And please don't let other kids come over until you are sure your family is lice free. I had to make 5 phone calls, plus talk to a couple of people in person to inform them that either their children had been at my house when we were not aware of the problem, or to prevent them from coming over as scheduled once we realized the problem. Plus I had to call the school to inform them of the problem.
-Humiliating? Yes. Necessary and the right thing to do? Yes.

5.Finally, if your child has lice, your own head will itch incessantly. You will imagine tiny bugs crawling all over you, you will dream about it, you will think you see the little critters in every bit of dust, fluff, fuzz or what have you. You will ask your husband to check your head over and over.

I know this can be a normal part of childhood. And I know there are worse things. But some parents pride and worry about telling others is why we're in this predicament. So I'm sharing my agony mostly to educate and to give awareness.

(Now try not to scratch your head after reading this. ) I didn't give you lice through this blog. Promise. :)


  1. First of all, when you run into me ten years ago - punch me too. And tell me to enjoy things the way they are ! Kid free!! (just kidding) Second...I am SOOOOO sorry. I mean REALLY sorry. I've heard it's HORRIBLE! Like, makes you cry -often -horrible. Be patient. Stick everything in your freezer. I just heard of a new treatment that acts like Mayo, but has a chemical to kill as well. Not just suffocate. Here is a link you can laugh at. It took them over a month to get rid of all of them. And then, she just had to keep looking becuase she never quit finding them. It was awful. Good luck!

  2. Amy, this is the lice friend of Teresa's writing back. Yes, you are normal and we are pretty clean. They actually say clean hair is more attractive to them, so I've pretty much stopped bathing my kids all together! Ha ha... I don't know if I put it in my post, but the final thing that helped get rid of it on my oldest daughter who was so infested was listerine and then sleeping with it on her head in a shower cap. The may worked on the middle kid, but not the worst case. Good luck, hang in there, and knock on wood it never happens again. I teach school and everytime I watch the little girls playing with each others hair and laying on each other I cringe and separate them! Good luck!

  3. hang in there. I rue the day this ever happens to us...

  4. Oh man, I don't even know what to say. I am that once upon a time mother right now (though I'm not that neat) and I am humbled. I have nothing to complain about. And I can't even imagine how exhausting this all must be for you. Horrible, just horrible. I'm praying in my head right now.

  5. oh my goodness. we had lice growing up... TWICE. it is the most horrible thing in the entire world. i remember the nasty smell of that horrible lice shampoo, and hours and hours of sitting on the bathroom floor while my mom tried to comb all of the nits out of my hair, and i remember just crying and crying. miserable. HORRIBLE. and all the washing and rewashing of bedding and every article of anything that could possibly have been touched by anyones head. ewwww.

    seriously, i feeeel for you. and i will pray for you... a lot.


    p.s. my head is definitely itching now...

  6. Wow it sounds like when it rains it pours at your house! I am really sorry your having such a tough time. I cant imagine dealing with lice and all that it entails. I will keep you in my prayers that it goes away fast.

  7. I'm. so. sorry.

    So, so sorry.


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