“Dear God, I would like to apply for the (#9)Darkness or the (#2)Frogs or (#8)Locusts plague instead. Thank you.”
I also find it fascinating that two of my biggest phobias just happen to rhyme. LICE and MICE. I also don’t have great rapport with dry ICE or brown wild RICE either, but that’s another blog.
She’s just a little girl and already I’ve doused her head with Tea-Tree & Lavender Essential Oil, Campho-Phenique, Listerine Mouthwash, and Cetaphyl Cleanser. She won’t even bat an eye when she joins a college sorority and has to go through their hazing phase. On three successive nights I wrapped her scalp in mayonnaise, then olive oil and finally vinegar in the hopes of smothering these critters. On the 4th night I just tossed up a Caesar salad instead.
Here Are My 10 Astute Lice Observations After Dealing with this Trauma for Far Too Long.
- Close-Up: Whatever you do, NEVER look at a picture on the Internet of a single louse under a microscope. You will either shave your child’s head or send her to boarding school for six months so THEY can deal with these monstrous, grotesque, gargantuan inhabitants.
- Machinery: There is something called a LouseBuster which will make you look twice, thinking it says, “SpouseBuster.” It doesn’t but should.
- Professionals: There are people who get rid of lice for a price. I amused myself thinking up names for their businesses while I waited for them to run through each individual strand of my daughter’s long hair with a “Nit-onator” comb. The salon was simply called, “The Nit-Picker.” How dull is that? Might I suggest “The Lice Whisperer” or “Sugar & Spice & Everything Lice.” or “Tip of the Liceberg” or “Once bitten, Lice Shy” or “Breaking the Lice” or “At Nit’s End” or “Nit’s a Small World After All!” or “Playing Nit By Ear.” or “A No-Win Nituation” or “Laying Nit On The Line.” or “Like Nit or Lump Nit.” or “I wouldn’t touch Nit with a Ten-Foot Pole!” or “Get Over Nit!” and my personal favorite, “Nit happens!” Gosh, who needs to blog? I’ll just sit around and name parasitic petulance companies all day long.
- Longevity: Because live lice and nits cannot survive without their host scalp for longer than 48 hours, you don’t have to clean your home, you just need to starve it of humans. Move to a new residence!
- The Blame Game: Stay in Offensive mode when you report this experience (and you really should!) to the parents of your kid’s friends. Insist that it’s their unkempt child who gave it to your precious tot in the first place. Don’t back down on this one, trust me.
- Neat Freak: You will never clean your house as thoroughly as you will after a lice infestation. And by “you,” I mean your spouse.
- Facts: According to “Lice Literature” they can hold their teeny tiny little breaths for up to 8 hours. So if the plan is to jump in a chlorinated pool, you’ll need scuba gear. Also, they cannot jump or fly. Now that’s just a bold-faced lie — explain to me how they get on the body part that is the furthest away from the ground? I’ll believe this statement the day lice start colonizing toes and feet.
- Paranoia: If you go to your child’s pediatrician for the initial diagnosis (because you’re confused about identifying a nit from a piece of dandruff) and the Dr. suddenly exclaims, “Oh wow, her scalp is just teeming with them. Come closer Mom — let me educate you on what they look like,” and you run from the examination room screaming, “Teeming?? Teeming?! Who SAYS that??” Expect the physician to scribble notes in your child’s medical file about future hereditary mental illness.
- Mystery: If you want to capture someone’s attention, walk into Target and ask the clerk, “On what aisle would I find products to kill . . .” then whisper the rest in her ear. Ten people will follow you around the store.
- Controversy: If you keep your child home from school, the head-lice have won! Seriously, if you’re sick of reading about mommy/childhood vaccination wars, just write a post saying you sent your kid to school with a full-blown, active case of lice. Save this blog for April Fool’s Day.
- Drama: When the lice problem finally goes away (and it will!) you will be reduced to your best Scarlett O’hara impersonation, dropping to your knees on old shag carpet, holding up the empty casing of a nit while shouting to the heavens, “As God as my witness, I’ll never be itchy again!”
And now since my home is so clean you can eat off the floor, I’m issuing a formal invitation to come for dinner tonight. Just don’t show-up empty-handed. That’s a pest-peeve of mine.