Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

So, What do LICE Look Like Anyway???

Ugh...I can't even find a picture to post here, because any images I've found online of lice make my stomach flip. So, no pictures this time!

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a nearly debilitating fear of bugs. I hate all bugs. I don't care how small they are. Okay, I don't lose my mind if a lady bug lands on me, but I have no illusions of it being oh-so-cute, just because it has a charming name like "lady bug." I'm sure any close up will reveal some horrid, pincer-like MANDIBLES, rather than a smiling teeny mouth with itty bitty, adorable white teeth. A few months back I had this preposterous idea to take my kids to a local butterfly conservatory. I thought it would be a lovely break from winter chill, enjoying tropical plants and flowers. IT WAS LIKE BEING IN A HORROR MOVIE. My god, some of those butterflies had wings the size of my hand. They didn't flutter, they swooped. Jack was shrieking with horror, and the only reason I wasn't is because I'm supposed to be a GROWN UP. Oh my god, it was horrendous. They were EVERYWHERE. There was a plate with orange wedges on it, and the horrid things were ALL OVER THEM, sticking in their revolting proboscises....*SHUDDER*

Okay, so recently Jack comes home from school with a lovely letter in his bag informing me that a child in his classroom has HEAD LICE. Mon dieu! So, I scoured his head for any signs of eggs, or nits, as they're so charmingly called and found none. Then I scanned Ella's head. Well, I don't know what these nits look like exactly, but I thought I saw little specs here and there. "My head is itchy!" Ella informed me. Parnoia begins to mount. Then, the next day she's sitting outside and I spot a small, brown BUG in her hair. Is that a LOUSE!?! I ordered my husband to the drug store to get some of that shampoo, and then I coated her hair in oil of bergamot. I read online that bergamot, lavender and tea tree oil are repellent to the horrible things. Then I grabbed up her bedding and raced it off to the washing machine at my dad's house. Why? Oh, because my WASHING MACHINE DIED on Saturday. It died right before the rinse cylcle. I shampooed the little girls head, according to package directions (said to leave on 10 minutes, so I left it on for 20). Then I got that little comb out and combed and combed and combed and combed and combed and combed that girl's head for at least half an hour. Then I coated it in bergamot oil again. I coated Jack's head too, for good measure. I had no tea tree oil though. So, off to the health food store, with Ella, I went. Found the tiny little bottles of essential oil: "FOURTEEN DOLLARS FOR TEA TREE OIL?!?!?" Forget that. I spent $10 and got the tea tree/lavender oil amalgamation. And so I drenched little girl's hair with the stuff before bed, and sent the poor thing off to sleep with her stinky head.

Ella wakes up this morning with a rashy red face that is also puffy. Argh! I guess I over-did it on the oil. Poor kid. Had to wash her hair, wash her face and then her skin started to calm down.

In the meantime, I have been scratching my head like mad. No, I have found nothing on my own head, but just talking about bugs that feast on your head makes me itchy. Probably by the time you finish reading this, you'll be scratching too.

Good news about my washing machine: it turns out a small wash cloth had flipped up and over the drum, and become lodged in the pump. Hooray for easy fixes. Boo for being able to do more laundry now.


  1. Hi Karen
    At Sams last school that i hated every week a letter was sent! I am so lucky that he survived 31/2 yrs at that school with no lice!
    Buy that tea tree oil!!! I know it is costly but it is amazing and it can be used for so many things. I used it to unplug his nose when he was sick and every day i would put it on him with shampoo or just put it right in his hair. Also put lots of hairspray or gel on your kids hair. Lice love very clean hair so gum theirs up.
    I liked your story about the butterfly conservatory!! Terror butterflys ha ha!!

  2. terror is right! Look past the wings to their MONSTER FACES! Yeah, I'll keep up with the tea tree oil!

  3. funny - our first letter from school regarding lice also came right after our washer broke! we were told to take home all the naptime supplies (pillow/blanket) and wash them every night. so i dutifully took everything home each night, put it in a gabage bag and stuck it on the porch (it was winter so i figured any lice would freeze). it was wicked stressful and I felt terrible for not following the instructions. Isn't school great!

  4. Christy, you're hilarious. I'm sure you killed them just by bagging them up anyway. After all, don't they NEED a HUMAN HOST to survive? I can't think of anything more hideous than a crop of bugs hopping around and feeding on my head.

  5. I've never gotten the letter, but the boys had it when they were 5 and 1. Great fun, not! I didn't want to use the chemical shampoos and poison my baby so we used coconut conditioner and a whole bunch of combing.

    If there's a next time (god forbid!) I'll just shave their heads. Sometimes it's good that they're boys.


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