Monday, November 7, 2011

Oh. My. Bob!*

Boy am I ever glad it's a new week! Last week was one of the longest weeks ever in the history of like, ever.

Something has been going around Mary's classroom and we discovered on Halloween night after all the candy was sorted, much to our horror and chagrin, that Mary caught it.

What was it? It was--*shudder*--lice

Sorry if you were eating breakfast. I know how squicked out you may be. Trust me. I reached a level of squickitude that I didn't know was possible. This is a problem our family has never had to deal with, but one, which after to speaking to people and doing some research, I've discovered is unbelievably common. Still, there is a stigma and a stereotype associated with lice that makes people (me too!) uncomfortable. But let me assure you, as much as I talk about our house being demolition worthy and dirty and as much as I lament doing laundry, we are not living in squalor or hoarding conditions. The health department would not have issues with the cleanliness here. My children shower daily (or very near--those with dry skin in the winter go every other day--just in case you were madly interested in our personal hygiene) and despite their issues with locating the laundry basket, they wear clean clothes. What I'm saying is, we ain't dirty, folks.

Lice happens. And this time it happened to us.

So I spent Halloween night administering Lice MD to Mary's hair and going over it with a nit comb. Then, I stripped her bedding and washed everything in hot and dried it on the highest heat setting. Then I bagged up her stuffed animals and any pillows that couldn't be laundered. And because she had "slept over" in Sean's room over fall break, I did the same to his room.

The next day, much to Sean's amusement and Mary's chagrin, I slathered their heads with mayonnaise and covered their heads with shower caps. And, because I am often in head-to-head contact through snuggles and such with Mary, I did it to myself too, just in case. Again, me so sexy! We left that mess on all day.

Then I washed more bedding, vacuumed floors and mattresses, and basically tried to wear out my washer and dryer.

After a day of having a head that smelled like turkey sandwich gone rogue, it was off to the tub to wash the mayo out of the kids' hair and give a rinse with vinegar. Mmm! Smells like pickles! With the added benefit of being sting-y! Delightful! (Particularly fun with my youngest, who is more sensitive in the sensory areas than the rest of us.) And then I got to go through every one's hair again. Good times.

Lather, rinse, repeat the nit-picking for the rest of the week. Hence, the rather busy life with no time for blogging.

So far, (and believe me, I am knocking on every piece of wood in range, throwing salt over my shoulder, crossing my fingers, and anything else that may spare us a repeat performance) Mary's head has been clear and the rest of us have remained louse-free. (Oh my Bob, I never thought I'd be saying those words!) It was a lot of work and I don't feel free and clear just yet. We are going to do one last treatment tonight or tomorrow just in case I missed anything. Good times.

I guess my point in this post is two-fold: 1. I wanted to share our story so that in some small way, on some little corner of the innerwebs, someone else who has a child with an itchy head might find this post and he or she won't feel like the world's worst parent. And 2: This should explain my absence to anybody that was keeping track. (What am I? In junior high? Do I have to explain my absences? I am a huge dork!)

So there you go.

Stay tuned because later this week I will have some lice-free posts. God willing and the creek don't rise, every post for the rest of my life will be lice-free!! In fact, those posts may or may not have something to do with a holiday that is less than 2 months away.

Okay. They totally have something to do with that holiday. Believe me, I won't be rushing through Thanksgiving, as it's one of my very favorite holidays, but I'm sharing, in case you, like me like to steal copy ideas (while of course giving credit to the originator) and have plenty of time to implement them before the crush of December busyness is upon us.

Here's to the rest of the week! (Oh please, Lord, may it be lice free!)

* That's the phrase we've adopted around here so that we don't use God's name offhandedly.

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