A couple of weeks ago I got the dreaded phone call from the mom of one of my son’s friends. Lice! Sound the alarm…LICE! We went on lock down, washing sheets, spraying couches shampooing and combing with that wretched little fine tooth comb that is the Scarlett Letter of lice. Comb comb, comb. Then tap, tap tap the comb in the sink and squint to see if any horrible little bugs are visible. And if there’s one there’s going to be a million, hours of combing and probably tears of frustration and pain.
Even if my family is declared clean and lice free, the simple act of buying lice shampoo is humiliating. I’ll drive across the county so no one knows me in the store. I wouldn’t want word to get around in our little town. I don’t feel that way when I buy mouse traps or bug spray.
Once, a few years ago we went through a horrible lice week. There was a student in school who wouldn’t take care of the problem and kept re-infecting an entire 3rd grade class. The school couldn’t force them to fix the problem. We took care of our family. We washed and combed and combed and combed. Then, that weekend decided to get hair cuts. One of my children was ejected from Master Cuts cause I’d missed a few. Hot tears of shame in the mall. To this day my child remembers that as one of the most embarrassing and humiliating moments in life. Screw You Master Cuts! (Not really. Who can blame them.)
My husband has a special problem. If I have a sore throat he’s sure he has strep. If I have a headache, he has a migraine. If I say the word “lice” he starts scratching and itching and picking. During this recent episode I checked his head twice. Nothing. Still he had to give himself the entire treatment two times…and still he was itchy.
Good news for me. I believe my hair has been chemically altered for so long those little buggers couldn’t stay alive on my head.
If there’s a family out there who claims they’ve made it through 12 years of school without a lice episode. I’m gonna say you’re lying you just drove across the state line to buy the shampoo and comb.
Just writing this has me all creeped out. I have to go now and have someone check my head.