I had THINGS to do today, and STUFF to say, and I was planning to write about this copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys that I received, too.
[Monkey: Does it shoot poison darts?
Monkey: Is it filled with sharp knife blades?
Me: Um, no.
Monkey: Well then why is it DANGEROUS?
Me: Hey, they have instructions for the best paper airplane in here—
Monkey: COOL! GIMME!]
But none of that matters now. None of it. Do you know why? I will tell you why. I can sum it up in one word: Lice.
Just in case you didn’t catch that: LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE!
Nothing shatters a day’s orderly plans like that fateful phone call from school. “Hello, Mrs. Lastname?” she cooed.
“This is the nurse at Local School. Don’t worry, this isn’t an emergency.”
“Oh, good. What’s up?”
“Well, I’m calling to inform you that both Monkey and Chickadee appear to have lice.”
“Lady, if that’s true, THAT’S AN EMERGENCY.”
My favorite part was when she told me that technically, the children shouldn’t be allowed to ride the bus home. But she was making this little phone call about 10 minutes before school let out. Oh, she’d make an exception just this time (what a sport she is). I had JUST returned from buying groceries, which had already cut into my work time, but when I went to fix myself some lunch I’d discovered we were out of absolutely everything, so off I’d gone. Now I had to hang up the phone, run back out to the drugstore for lice treatment, and run home to meet the bus.
And I had to do all of this with a VERY ITCHY HEAD. It started to itch as soon as the nurse told me the kids were infested and it hasn’t stopped yet.
And lo, the children arrived and they were heavy-hearted. I started barking commands the moment they walked in, so my thinly-veiled freakout may have had more to do with their mood than the BILLIONS OF BUGS SWARMING THEIR SCALPS.
Excuse me, I have to breathe into this paper bag for a minute. Talk amongst yourselves.
So, lucky for me, my ex was supposed to get the kids this afternoon, so I had alerted him to the situation and he came over and helped with Operation Sterilize. By the time he got here, Chickadeee had been treated and combed and I was nearly done combing out Monkey, and you’d THINK that would be the end of the hassle, but if you thought that, you’d probably be someone who never had to do this before. That was only the beginning.
I finished up with the kids and my ex started vacuuming every surface the children have ever touched and I stripped beds and switched laundry and gathered up jackets and pillows and the whole time we were doing this, I kept thinking about how there are two showings tomorrow and I can’t just leave 6 loads of laundry lying around.
At one point I came downstairs and found that my ex had moved the family room couches and was vacuuming up all the crud underneath them. That was awfully nice of him, I guess, except I’m guessing that lice do not hide amongst rogue pop-tart wrappers and broken crayons.
Also I thought about how I didn’t think I’d actually seen any lice or nits on Chickadee, and did I think I’d missed them or that the nurse overreacted? Hard to know. Monkey definitely had ’em, though, proving once again that having long(er) hair may not be all it’s cracked up to be. He was remarkably good for the combing out, and then later, before bed, was very obliging in letting me check his hair again. I found a bunch more nits, even though I’d supposedly combed them all out with that stupid little metal comb a few hours beforehand.
This caused me to run around in anguished circles and cry, but then just combed him out again and hoped for the best.
Tomorrow morning, I have to drive them to school and have them both checked by the nurse before they’ll be allowed to attend class. As if it’s not bad enough that I have to drive them there, if she finds ANYTHING she can tell me I have to take one or both of them back home with me. Which totally foils my original plan of just slowing down in the school driveway and telling the kids to tuck and roll.
There has apparently been an outbreak in Monkey’s class, and a couple of his best buddies were sent home earlier this week. So, fine. These things happen. It’s not as though he’s dirty or was somewhere disgusting; he caught it from a classmate. And Chickadee probably caught it from him. And one or both of them might have given it to me.
My ex checked my head, and then I checked his. We both seem to be clear. Except what if we’re not? MY HEAD ITCHES. MAKE IT STOP. Just to be on the safe side, I drowned my hair in mayonnaise and wrapped it up in a plastic bag. About an hour after I did that, oil started running down my neck and I gagged a bunch and then I washed it off and added a towel to my already warm headdress. This is my offering to the Lice Gods for the lice I do not have and do not want, and I’m hoping it will work.
I should probably consider myself lucky that we got this far without ever having to deal with lice before, but instead I am just completely squicked out.
Also, there is mayonnaise in my ear.