I got two words for ya…

HEAD LICE.  Yes, that is correct. 

Phone call last night, from the mom of one of Emma’s best buds…with whom she had spent all of last weekend.  She and her friend had managed to pull a double sleepover!  Friday night at the friend’s house, Saturday night at ours.  Gave me a chuckle, because I had a vivid recollection of pulling the same thing on my mom many times back in the day…But I digress.  Back to the phone call.

Friend’s mom (FM):  Hey, I’m sorry to have to tell you this (Phone calls should never start this way.) but we found out that “Susie” has head lice.  I’m so sorry.

Me: Daaaang!

FM: So, she’s been treated and I think we’re okay, but I just wanted to call and let you know.

Me: Thanks.  So, what should I be looking for? (I have NO experience with the head lice).

FM: Well….(and she proceeds to give me some “lice spotting” tips)

And she goes on with the lovely details.  Apparently, “Susie” (the names have been changed to protect the innocent) has had lice for a while and they didn’t know.  And Susie’s mom said that none of the rest of the family had it.  So I was hopeful.

I call my sister-in-law who lives in town.

Me: Hey, Pat.  Do you have any experience with head lice?

Pat: Why yes I do.

(We both crack up.)

Me: Good then maybe you can give me a clue.

Pat: Oh my gosh, I’m starting to itch!! 

So the conversation goes on.  And she gives me some helpful hints and I decide to err on the side of caution and pretend like Emma has lice even though I don’t “see” anything crawling around on her head.  Unfortunately, I don’t keep any Rid X around. 

Meanwhile, I am ITCHING like crazy all over!!! 

Me to Emma:  Hey, Em, did you use Susie’s hairbrush this weekend?

Em: No, why?

Me: Did you know Susie has lice???

Em: (casually) Yes.

What???? And she didn’t think to mention it.

Me: Um, okay….  Well, I’m going to need to look at your head. 

Em: Why?

Me: Maybe because you spent 2 nights sleeping side by side, in the same bed with a person who HAS lice???

Em: Oh….( 10 second delay and then…) MOM, I don’t have LICE do I???

Me: I don’t know….

So, I get Emma in the tub and give her head a good going over.  Don’t see any evidence, but for good measure, I quick, grab the brush and comb and throw them in the trash.

Then, I go to Emma’s room, (I’m like a madwoman!!) Strip everything off her bed.  Comforter, sheets, mattress protector, pillow cases and pillow protectors, decorative pillows, and any stuffed animals on or near the bed or that might have had contact with the said lice carrier.  Meanwhile, I’m just itching away…frankly, I am itching while I type this right now.  I schlepp bedding to the laundry room and pick up her jacket along the way.  Shove them all in the washer and turn the water setting to HOT, and pour extra detergent in and get that sucker cranked up.  Okay, so we’ve got that going.

Next, I grab a bunch of garbage bags.  At the suggestion of Susie’s mother, I bag up all the decorative pillows and  stuffed animals that can’t be washed, and double bag them.  Supposedly any lice eggs will die when closed up for a week or so.  This includes Emma’s beloved “Webkinz” because all 4 of them slept in the bed with Emma and Susie and all of Susie’s Webkinz. (Perhaps not everyone is acqainted with this phenomenon. Let me explain:  Webkinz are little “beanie baby-like” critters that you can “adopt”  {read:  Puchase for $12.99 at your local Hallmark store} and then go to the website and interact with them online.  It’s ALL the rage around here.) Okay, good, now we’ve got that taken care of.

Next, I go back to the bath tub and check her head again.  Still, I don’t see anything.  Or at least I don’t think I see anything….then Emma’s off to bed, but she “can’t get to sleep”.  I think she’s a little freaked out by all the LICE talk.  Well, what 8 year old wouldn’t be???  She eventually drops off to sleep after Daddy scratches her back for a little while.

This morning I still don’t think I see anything, but I bought a new brush and comb and a bottle of Rid X!   Just in case!  We’re gonna nit, er, I mean NIP, those critters in the bud! 


“The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”  ~Erma Bombeck


Filed under Kids, Parenting

3 responses to “I got two words for ya…

  1. Joell

    Thanks for the encouraging words about the LICE….ewwww.
    I\’ve been hearing some stories!!!!!!!  So glad we\’ve been given the all clear! WHEW.

  2. Tiffany

    I feel bad for you guys.  I remember having lice once in 4th grade!  I remember feeling so embarrassed and my DAD is the one that had to pick me up from school.  I just remember him wanting me to put Rid-X "down there" and I told him NO!  Talk about wanting to crawl under something and DIE!  🙂  Luckily it only happened once.
    About the van… I LOVE (and I can\’t stress that enough) my van.  I actually had a brand new Lexus IS 350 that I traded for it.  I was kind of sad to let it go, because it was such an awesome car, but there wasn\’t enough room.  And, we have been considering trying to get pregnant this Summer.  I love the room and I love all the features.  I actually found a 2006 model with only 4400 miles on it.  So, we got a great deal!  Plus, Honda\’s last forever!
    Good luck with the lice!
    Hugs – Tiffany

  3. Sanne

    Man do I feel for you!  My daughter brought them home from school 4 times in 3 months…I thought I was going to crack!  Each time she got it from the same girl…I finally put in a nasty call to the school and fortunately the girl moved…whew, but of course not before giving us thosy nasty little critters as a going away gift!  One more time and I might have shaved my kids head…LOL!

I always love hearing from you! :-)

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