Call me Ishmayohead

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?
Me: Nooooo….
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.


  1. Melisa

    Mrs. Otto Lastname? Seriously?
    Just kiddin’…that did crack me up though.

    When we lived in Florida it seemed one kid or another always had lice. I lived in fear for all 3 years we were there. Doesn’t seem to be as big a problem here in the desert heat.
    *knocking on wood*

  2. Cele

    I remember when my kids hit grade school de-licing seemed a constant process. The girls would itch at the word lice. One night I came home from work to find they’d both washed their hair with flea shampoo (which if you’ve heard in the news lately is a bad no no.) But they never had an out break again. God I’m glad those years are over.

  3. ScottsdaleGirl


    HI! i will be skritching the ENTIRE REST OF MY BODY THE REST OF THE NIGHT!!!

    Damn it.

    *scribbles in mental notebook* Do not read Mir on Thursdays, because she will make you cry ORRRRRRRR scratch.

    It’s lice, it’s normal shit, you’ll be ok and so will the chilluns’. *HUG*

  4. Anna

    Ick, I remember those elementary school days. Fortunately, mine are teens and up and the lice are too scared to dare invade their personal space.

    PS..Tell Chickadee and Monkey they are lucky, when ours were in elementary and got the one call from the school my farmer father-in-law suggested his old time recipe. Pine tar, not that would be so much fun to comb thru hair.

    I am so scracthing my head. It is the word lice. Kind of like yawn, reading it necessitates an action.

  5. Steff

    Maybe it is time to give Monkey a summer hair do!

    Everything is itching me…

  6. amy

    I know this is probably completely a nightmare but just think — what if it had happened last weekend right before you were getting married?????? There is a God is all I can say! Also I would cut Monkey’s hair.(I know you did not ask for advice so sorry if it is unwarranted). I heard that is the one thing that really solves the problem. It will also prevent Chickadee from having to cut hers since it was more likely Monkey who brought it home, and he probably has a more serious infestation — if you nip it in the bud, it won’t spread (so I hear).

  7. becky

    yeah, i used to have almost waist-length hair. the combing with that little tiny comb was no fun when lice went around. what could you do? it was kindergarten and they stacked all the nap rugs together. it was bound to happen. but? not fun. at all.

  8. Tracey

    I’ve had the similar crises of lice. Too many times. You get rid of them, then they pick them up again. I have spent a fortune over the years on lice treatments that don’t even kill them! Now I use no name brand cheap conditioner. It suffocates them for a good half hour, and you can comb them and the eggs out.. Alcohol is also good. For you. I need to drink my way through the treatment processes… All I can say is that if I had a boy, his hair would be short, short, short. I just got the youngest’s hair cut back into a bob. One big plus is nit checking time, it’s not so bad to comb through – that said it is still a gargantuan task.

    I have heard that the vacuuming and stuff is overrated – they have done tests on linen, and even kids’ hats, and while the lice are in the hair, they found none in the hats, or sheets.

  9. LadyBug Crossing

    Eeewww… I feel so bad for you. When the kids were little, I worked at their nursery school. Someone got them in the facility – I took my two home and put enough lice shampoo on them to make them glow.

    Then I bleached my entire house… sheets, towels, blankets – you name it. My house was so clean it squeaked!!

    I hope you got them all…

  10. Brigitte

    I don’t care what the studies say, Tracey, I’m still totally squikked out by the public helmets they make you wear at the batting cages!

    And I know lice are common and the treatments are there for them, but I’m not sure what I dread more: their sheer disgustingness, or having to clean EVERYTHING, possibly multiple times.

    At least, like Amy said, it didn’t happen LAST week!

  11. Sara

    I’m sorry for the grossness that is a lice breakout, but on the upside, the title for this post is possibly one of the best ever. I’ll be snickering and uttering it under my breath all day.

  12. Katie

    Ugh, poor Mir! Let’s stare at your pretty shiny wedding ring for a few minutes.

    I’ve heard blow drying helps. Something about the dry heat. Good luck to you!

  13. amanda

    Oh dear. Nothing kills the lingering wedding bliss like an infestation of creepy crawly buggers in teeny tiny heads.


  14. Kerry

    Our foster kids arrived with the worst head lice EVER. We did the standard treatments and it didn’t seem to be good enough. I found out about a new treatment that was supposed to work the first time and be non-toxic. It worked much better then the chemicals.

    Then we met with the doctor who happened to see my foster kid’s sister (not in my care) the day before and he said she had the worst lice he had ever seen, her scalp was all infected, just awful. So I called the foster home and asked if I could have her for the weekend (for the record, I don’t know what is wrong with me!) to get rid of the lice.

    Here is the treatment: (and I did not do a 24 hour, just about an hour and it was fabulous. Also, the plastic combs worked better for us, and I would suggest a recomb in a few days even if you don’t see anything). Coat the hair in cepaphil soap. Then blow it completely dry (on the hottest setting you can). Let it set for 24 hours, then comb it all out. Dipping the comb in a solution of hot water and tea tree oil between swipes helps as well.

  15. Auburn Gal Always

    I’m itching too. gee, thanks!

    Yes, blowdrying helps.

    I had them in 4th grade and cried for 3 weeks over the SHAME OF IT ALL!!!

    I think the mayo on your hair and the grease running down your neck and the gagging and the offering to the lice gods is the FUNNIEST thing I’ve read in months!

  16. Carrie

    Poor Mir! Poor Monkey and Chickie!
    It’s going around my classroom this year (one child has missed 12 days!), so my hair is in an old lady bun for the protection of my head and family. But I itch constantly and make the nurse check me 2 or 3 times a week. My nurse highly recommends vinegar in addition to the standard treatments. Also, olive oil. But not at the same time, unless you are also making a nice salad and need a little dressing.

    Bet the mayo made your hair so pretty and shiny!

  17. cce

    Nothing can sparks my OCD like headlice. I’m still itching after the scare

  18. cce

    Oops, didn’t close the link, sorry. We had our own lice scare awhile back and I felt similarly insane.

  19. Summer

    I did the mayonnaise on the hair thing in college — not for lice, noooo, but because I’d dyed my hair to hell and back and I’d heard that mayonnaise was an A-1 top notch conditioner. I still remember standing in the dorm showers, frantically washing and washing my hair, hoping that my hair would soon lose the smell of Salmonella Picnic.

    Ugh. It was disgusting. I’m going to file away that tip about slathering the hair in conditioner, just in case the boy ever brings home something other than homework from school.

  20. EverydaySuperGoddess

    The conditioner, and thorough comb-outs every couple of days for a good two weeks, are what worked for us.

    Goop up their hair good, especially at the roots, and then comb, comb, comb.

    My sympathies.

  21. kaleigh

    Okay, I’ve fought, and won, the lice battle. And my girlie was violently allergic to the stuff at the drugstore.

    Get a bottle of massage-grade castor oil. Get some essential oils: tea tree, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, clove, geranium, lavender (I used a combination of those). Mix up about 1/2 cup of the castor oil with 20-30 drops of the essential oils, and drown the kids’ heads in that mixture. Leave overnight, the next day, etc. It drowns the lice and the nits won’t stick to their hair.

    Lice LOVE LOVE LOVE hair that is CLEAN and DRY. Dirty and oily? Hate. That’s your goal.

    I also hear that the straightening iron/curling iron can cause some serious lice damage. Burn the suckers too!

  22. MomCat

    I’ve heard the blowdrying cure works, too. Kinda disgusting, thinking of ‘cooking’ all those nasty bugs right into your hair. Eeeeeeuuurrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhh. And a few shudders.

    Also, I heard that a stiff gel or paste hair dressing discourages lice. I think they can’t get to the scalp. Maybe you could persuade Monkey to spike his hair for awhile? There is a great product called “Mud” and one called “Dirt.” He might like that. Tell him it’s cool. He could do a Louis from Meet the Robinsons. hairdo! Just a thought.

    Mayo get past this new crisis quickly!

  23. jenn2

    If you have never seen the South Park where the kids are checked for lice, you must find a way to view this! It is freakin’ hilarious.

    And let me say, I am so very sorry. My head is itching in sympathy.

  24. Beth Reid

    My SS spent a lot of time scratching his head last weekend, and I kept checking his hair in feverish paranoia. So far I haven’t seen any creepies, but this post reminds me why it’s not paranoia, just good sense to check a scratching kid. Good luck getting rid of them!

    On the up side, if they act up in public, you get to tell them, “Stop that, you lousy kids!” and if someone reprimands you for insulting your children, you can calmly point out it’s the literal truth.

  25. Zuska

    Ugh! CurlyGirl had mild case of lice infestation last year, and the only thing that made the experience amusing was that she was “honored” that the lice “chose her head.” She viewed the whole thing as a great big science experiment, and considered it more interesting than icky, so at least I didn’t have to calm HER down – I just had to keep myself calm as I went through all the lice removal steps.

    We did the store bought stuff once, then the school nurse had to inspect CurlyGirl’s head the next day and she (the nurse) showed me what I should be looking for…as if! I was not convinced I’d be able to do a good job – I really never SAW many lice in her head to begin with, so I didn’t thinks I’d do a good job spotting their nits. So to play it safe, every second day for about 2 weeks I doused her hair in olive oil and wrapped it in cellophane. Gee, her hair looked terrific – and we never saw another louse!

  26. Jo

    My 7 year old had lice two winter’s ago. We did the Rid treatment and then I “tried” to comb his hair with the nit comb. His hair was so fine and since it is blonde, I could tell I wasn’t getting it out good enough. I put a #1 on the razor and shaved his head. Quickest solution for boys in my opinion.

    Actually, shaving the head/cutting your hair is the quickest solution. When I was in basic training several girls including myself got lice. I had hair to my butt at the time. We couldn’t get rid of it. I kept having them cut my hair until it was gone. I had a high and tight before you knew it.

  27. Sheryl

    Dear God, please mightily smite the Woulda family’s lice, Amen.

    I hope the treatment worked, because I remember Melissa’s lice fest, and those suckers are hard to get rid of.

  28. MMM

    Be sure you ALL treat again in ONE WEEK or you will get it again. Apparently that’s how long it takes for the eggs to hatch.

  29. Genevieve

    Oh, I’m so sorry Mir! How rotten for this to happen while you’re showing the house! My huge sympathies.

    I’ve heard about the blow-drying — someone is inventing a device that lets you “cook” them with something like a blow-dryer but more intense, which would totally obviate the need for the chemical treatment, but it’s not approved for sale yet. But blow-drying helps, on the same principle.

    Glad the ex was good about helping check the kids and clean the house!

  30. Karen

    One question: are lice transferable through the Internets? ‘Cause my head itches all of a sudden.

  31. Susan

    OH I wish you could see the face I am making. Because EEEEEEEWWWW.

    And Karen, I have been itchy since I heard about this yesterday, and my only contact with Mir is through the Internets. Gah.

  32. Shining

    You know, my oldest son came home from daycare when he was 3 or so with Lice. And I had nice thick, down to my butt long hair. Yep, you guessed it, I got it. And I even ended up with the strongest prescription medication money can buy. What finally stopped them? A bottle of conditioner thrown on my head with a plastic cap for an evening. Much better smelling than mayo and less messy. ((HUGS)) Pretty One.

  33. Mrs. Dub

    How cool would it be if you could shoot poisonous darts at lice?

    Mr. Monkey would like that, I’m sure.

  34. Aimee



  35. LeeAnn

    Went thru this myself (or rather my daughter had them). The lice shampoo doesn’t kill the nits, completely. You have to pull the eggs off ALL of the hair. Forget the shampoo and oil the kids hair with olive oil (only because it smells better than regular oil) and then sit down, in from of the TV, watching movies or cartoons. Then you get to spend the next few hours looking at every shaft of hair for nits and removing them with your fingers, because they are really stuck onto the hair. You should do this for a few days. Good luck.

  36. Kristen

    I was OK with the lice. It was the mayo that threw me over the edge.

  37. Laura B

    I agree with LeeAnn- picking the nits with your fingers from each hair shaft is the only sure-fire way to prevent reinfestation. And make sure your ex washes bed linens at his house too. If Monkey had a bad case he’s had it for a while. I speak with the sad voice of experience.

  38. cary

    My daughter had an awful case of lice when she was younger. Long, course curly hair which took forever to comb. We tried the lice treatments to no avail.

    What finally did it was dousing her hair with olive oil, letting it set for awhile and then combing it with one of those little combs. The only thing we forget the first time we did it was to add shampoo to her hair BEFORE adding water. Took us forever to wash the oil out. We followed the first oil treatment with a second one a week or two later which did the trick.

  39. dana

    Oh Mir…now MY head itches just thinking about it. Dawson’s daycare had an outbreak last year and to be safe I doused us with lice shampoo.

    Ugh. It was awful.

  40. Amy-Go

    Now I am squicked out and my head itches too! So happy I could share your pain…off to the shower!

  41. Katrina Stonoff

    LOL. I SO sorry, I know this isn’t funny at all!

    But we had a couple of run-ins with pinworms this spring, and when we finally cleared them up, my head itched for days. I was just sure that, since we’d done the pinworm thing, lice was next, and it would start with me.

    And…oh, damn. My head’s starting to itch. Gotta go find that comb. Wonder what I’d look like shaved?

  42. Fold My Laundry Please

    To Anna: Just because your kids are teens doesn’t mean that they’re past getting lice.

    I brought lice home when I was 16. The horror of it! I was supposed to be too cool to get lice! Apparently, they were in the carpet of the weight room floor at school and we (the cross country team) would go in there everyday to do sit ups and such after our run. The entire team got them and we all had to do the little comb thing. No fun! And the laundry, oh the laundry! My mom even called and had the carpet cleaners clean every carpet in the house. The school removed all the carpet and burned it to make sure the little critters were gone.

  43. Tal

    Squick is the best description ever. As a kid I had long, coarse, thick hair – and caught lice at least three times in three years. My mum is a school social worker so she was an expert nit checker, but DAMN did those little combs hurt. I was banned from attending sleepovers basically forever (no lie) as a result. I wish I had known about the olive oil back then!

    Good luck with the kidlets Mir!

  44. Jessica

    My mom used to swear by washing the hair in really hot vinegar to get rid of those last pesky nits. It’s worth a shot if the kids get sent home again!
    Oh! And welcome back to reality… do you miss wedding planning yet? ;-0

  45. Casey

    what is it about the very word lice that makes one’s head start to itch? I feel like I need to go take a shower now

  46. Irab

    Unfortunately I have been through this several times recently. We now check the children’s hair every week, and will continue to do so until they move out of the house for college. My head has been itching since last September.

  47. liz

    I haven’t seen you since, what, March? And my head itches now too.

  48. sumo

    So lice don’t like mayo? What about Miracle Whip? Seriously, what’s the science behind the mayo treatment?

  49. Andrea

    I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about “The Dangerous Book for Boys.” It looks interesting and possibly could finish up Father’s Day shopping for us!?! They both love history/weapons/stuff plus it could get my son reading some non-fiction! (I already got an apron for grilling with father/son photo from one of your wantnot deals. It’s SO CUTE!! Thank you!)

  50. Allanna

    The tricks that I picked up when I was student-teaching were to use that Neutrogena T-gel shampoo (it was either once a week or once a month … either way) or to douse one’s hair with hairspray, since it’s not something that a louse likes.
    A lot of teachers swear by the hair dryer, too.

    And my stomach turned with the mayo-treatment. I did that once for conditioning-purposes. Oy. I think I had to wash my fine, greasy hair about four times before I could stand to be in the same room as myself. And I lost the taste for sandwiches for about a month.

    Best of luck, though, Mir. You can get through this! (And I hope the house sells soon!)

  51. Chewie

    Um…are you sure that is mayo? Didn’t you just have a honey moon weekend, Mary?


    *taking notes for when it is my turn*


  52. Heidi

    The video on the Dangerous Book for Boys link is a hoot! I’d say Monkey is in for a LOT of great adventures.

    And lice? Ewww, I can even read through the comments on this one…

  53. Heidi

    AND–I bet Otto isn’t sorry to miss this adventure of familyhood!

  54. BOSSY

    Hang on a second while Bossy sprays a little something on her computer monitor.

  55. Shalee

    I’m thinking that Otto is probably just a tad bit happy to have to leave after reading this post…

  56. Mel

    My family’s lice epidemic of aught-four was about the worst six weeks of my life.

    Yeah. I said six weeks.

    Two girls with long hair plus a hyper-paranoid pregnant mother who hated the “chemicals” meant that they reinfected each other twice. You must comb, comb, comb the nits out. Night after night after night after night.

    I need to lie down now.

  57. angelfeet

    Loads of conditioner, combing and committment is what does it. They live on a three-week cycle (see NancyR’s suggested website, complete with gruesome picture).

    I’m impressed that you still have a school nurse who doesn’t allow infested kids on the premises or the school bus. Sadly, in England, “Nitty Nora”, as the school nurse who checked heads for the little blighters was known, is a thing of the past and the best we get now is a warning of an outbreak.

  58. Jess

    If they have any stuffed animals throw them in a garbage bag and tie it up. Then if they are washable wash them. The nits can attach themselves to the stuffed animals. Another way to kill them is to color you hair. My girlfriend’s kids had lice while she was PG and she could not put the chemicals on her head to kill the lice so the Dr told her to color her hair instead.

    Ok must stop scratching.

  59. Daisy

    Oh, the memories! The mere mention of PinkEye makes my eyes water, too. And by the way — I work with a wonderful teacher with the name (for real) Mrs. Otto.

  60. carolyn

    Cary is right – olive oil is what finally did it here. I tried every brand of lice treatment and combed, combed combed, but nothing seemed to get rid of them. Finally, in desparation, the olive oil, and it worked like a charm.

  61. Betsy

    Also – take a bottle of Suave coconut conditioner. Add 10 drops each of rosemary and tea tree essential oils. Slather it up, let it sit on the head overnight if you can (I did my daughter’s hair in a tight french braid first) – or at least put it on wet hair for a bit and then leave it on while you do your comb out.

    The vinegar is to loosen the glue that attaches the eggs like superglue to the hair shaft. Every now and then, I’d mix some vinegar in with that wonderous Suave cocktail, leave it on for the last 10 minutes or so while my kid played in the bathtub (oh, she of the 60 minute baths), and then do combout with the conditioner still in.

    Rosemary and tea tree oil are lice repellants – I even put some in a squirt bottle with water and used it on locker surfaces at school, lightly misted on car seats, etc.

    Also, do the combing every other night, not every night. But do keep at it for at least two weeks.

  62. creative-type dad

    Now my head is itching…

    I need to go sacrifice some animals or something – hopefully that’ll please the lice gods and they’ll leave me and my family alone.

  63. Little Giraffe

    Thanks for letting me laugh at your expense. No, seriously, my first bout with the little critters was just as traumatizing. I’m also with Betsy; i’ve found tea tree to do the trick as a preventative. and it smells so good!

  64. Kelly

    Just remember, I have heard that Lice prefer clean hair and don’t like oily hair. You are just too damn clean! LOL We also have dealt with this once and I have OCD about cleaning on a normal day! Don’t forget to treat their stuffed animals and your vehicle interior too…not to add anymore stress to you. That was nice of the ex, mine would just avoid us for a while! Hang in there.

  65. Wacky Mommy

    SEVEN TO TEN DAYS! Sorry to yell but I had to get your attention. And hell to the yes to tea tree oil — combed through with a comb, or used as a shampoo or conditioner.

    Anyway, 7-10 days from now, no matter how many bastard eggs you’ve gotten rid of, they will re-hatch. BUT the good news is, you catch them as they’re hatching and hopefully you’re done.

    Well, that’s what we’re hoping here at Wacky House.

    I have tons of protocol on my blog, if you’re interested. As I am Queen of Frickin’ Lice. And try Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion (“…the one with the lime green label!”) instead of mayo — it’s not as gloppy and works great.

    Best wishes, Mir.

  66. Jessica


    Gee…thanks. My skin had JUST stopped crawling from my weekend with the ticks.

    At least ticks are easier to get rid of. Best of luck with the de-licing.

  67. Terri

    I feeeeeeel your pain — we went through this in December, and it was a nightmare. All 3 kids had them, and I had a few. My 4-y-o daughter was the worst. I went online and found all sorts of home remedies, and we did about six of them, all in tandem. I couldn’t bring myself to do the mayo, so we did baby oil. Coconut milk, Suave, Head & Shoulders, tea tree oil, blow drying, etc…..

    Then — after I laundered every item of clothing in their closets and every piece of bed and bath linen for 3 days straight — I read an article by a doctor who had gone through this and his recommendation was so practical. Since the little critters can’t live off the head for more than 3 days, just close off as many rooms as possible and wait them out. So I had all the kids in the same room for about a week. They prefer it, anyway.

    It was the absolute worst 4 days I’ve ever gone through. Thank God the kids were good sports about sitting around in shower caps half the day and being compulsively combed about 3 times every day. But every time I combed my daughter, I’d find another one! My husband was out of town, and I have never had such awe for single moms as I did that week.

    Good luck!!! I’ll second the thanks that at least it wasn’t last weekend. Although Otto might want to check himself just to be safe.

  68. ChristieNY

    Mir, even as Ishmayohead, you are still pretty. ;)


    Hang in there!

  69. Kate

    I actually envy that you have a nurse who checks the kids, in NZ we just have to take our chances, its actually against the privacy act for anyone to check the kids!! PC gone mad.
    Anyhow, this is how we avoid getting them. BG gets her hair washed once a week, yucky I know but I believe the lice hate dirty hair thing and her hair never gets dirty anyhow.
    Straight after it is cleaned I spray it with a mixture of water, two teaspoons of conditioner, six drops of tea tree oil, six drops of rosemary oil, ten of ylang ylang (to make it smell pretty!) and four of eucalyptus oil. All mixed together in a bottle that holds 100ml. Then I spray again every morning before school. Never had a nit, not one. oh and its nice enough smelling that you can use it on your own hair too when you are feeling paranoid!!
    Oooops forgot to mention that you can add that mix to straight conditioner to use for infestation removal too.

  70. Susan

    Horrible! And, uh, yeah–that definitely counts as an “emergency” in my book!

    Sounds as fun as my much-awaited annual leave I took a few Christmases ago. On December 26, just barely into it, I found out one of my children had SCABIES.

    I had to cancel all of our plans for the remainder of our time together (which I’d greatly looked forward to for, oh, 11 months since, the prior year, I’d spent the entire time off with my mother in the hospital as she was dying)! Our whole family had to be treated with head-to-toe cream, and then we vaccuumed and bleached and washed and bleached and washed and treated and vaccuumed and bleached some more. Non-stop fun!


    I hope your little “friends” are all gone forever now.

  71. Amanda

    Lice… Creepy little critters aren’t they? Unfortunately for us, we’re STILL trying to get rid of them :(

    It started a couple of months ago when we found my step-daughter was infested with them. Straight to the chemists for treatment, then combing them out, launder and tumble dry everything, vacuum all surfaces… You know the drill. I’d hoped that would be the end of it. But no. It’s been on and off ever since.

    I do all I can to keep the critters out of house and hair, but unfortunately I can’t control what happens with my step-kids as they only stay at weekends. From what the chemist told me, nothing on the market really works: the only sure fire solution to this problem is to comb and comb for about 3 weeks solid. Every member of the household, that is.

    Here’s a great site about dealing with head lice effectively:

    Hope it helps!

  72. Jamie Lee

    Ok – I’m totally squeamish and itchy now. Ewwwwww!
    I really, really, REALLY hope (knock on wood) that I don’t have this in my future…but…I think most of us end up doing battle sooner or later.
    Lucky for you to have all these seasoned readers with good advice. Tea tree oil? Who knew?

  73. Mamalang

    I got them when I had my first child…yes I came home with a new baby and head lice. Fun huh? Picture me, with that wonderfully thick and luxurious hair from preggo hormones, all the way down my back, nursing my baby as my husband patiently combs my hair, and I sob. Yup. Fun. Took almost 2 months to get all the dead nits off my head. Seriously, not fun. I feel for you.

    And then to top it off, she gave me pinkeye 6 months later. Yes, my motherhood experience was off to a wonderful start. lol

  74. I0naFiona

    You have such a good relationship with your ex! my ex would sooner watch me being devoured by a plague of locusts than come round and assist in de-lousing me!!

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