Few times in my life have I felt like a social pariah. There was the time I was visiting the apple orchard with the kids just after having Tess and discovered I had hemorrhaged and had blood running down my legs. And the morning that Grant got a sucker at the pediatricians office and then ran with it, falling and causing a def con three alarm throughout the office. But I think this takes the cake. This taking my kids to the salon for haircuts and discovering head lice. I thought it was peanut butter from lunch. Have to think that still in order to keep my skin from crawling. This is the grossest thing we’ve ever encountered. Finding it on a Small was bad enough, hours spent treating and combing them all (“I don’t care if you aren’t itchy, we are a family and we’ll do this together”) but then the obsessive thoughts got the better of me late late and I made Dan check my head.
This is Vinnie. I’m sorry if this grosses you out people, but you should have been tipped off by the name of the blog. I’m officially disgusted by myself. Have combed my own head until my scalp is literally bleeding. Dan tried to do it, but he doesn’t have the stomach for that kind of work, setting off a snarky comment from me. I birthed four of your children and you can’t comb the nits out of my hair? He suggested I just go get my hair cut short. It’ll grow back, he said. I tried to inform him calmly that the health department prohibits it. At this point my rising hysteria took over and I think I may have blacked out for a bit. When I came to I was full of questions like, Why this parasite? Why not worms? The kind characterized by unexplained weight loss and runny stool.
Texting my sisters and mom was not actually helpful. Just sent everyone running for their combs, texting me back pics of things they’d found in their hair. Ummm, I think that’s just part of your dinner mom. No, there are not lice having unprotected sex in your hair. It’s nearly 11, just throw some teeny condoms and cigarettes at them and go to bed.
As of now, we have are lice free. I have eschewed sleep in favor of feeding the washing machine. You’re right Rachel, I should have just hit the laundromat. Sigh. But at least we have this: every soft guy we own is tied up in trashbags in the basement-good riddance. Every pillow we sleep on is in the trash-good riddance. And every piece of bedding is in piles awaiting their turn with the sanitize cycle. I have vacuumed all the mattresses and around the beds, washed every hat we own (except the ones I threw away) and put caution tape over the drawer holding our hair pretties. The kids are all sleeping peacefully without lovies. Without pillows even. On bare mattresses like refuges from a boarding school. We are not messing around. We are on full alert here. We are not messing around.
Today will find us combing each other’s hair and brainstorming ways to make having lice cool. So far all we have is this: Lice: it’s the new black, which won’t probably speak to our target audience of 1-5th graders. Until we come up with a better campaign slogan, we’re taking our cues from the primates. This is our new family hobby.
This is me being real. I’ll pick them, but I’m not eating them.