4.09.2008

I'd love to write more about the torture that is lice but I'm busy frantically combing nits out of my kid's hair

Sunday night I noticed a sort of rash on the back of my 4 year old's neck. She has Grade A supersensitive skin and she'd been saying the day before that she was sweaty. I figured the rash looking area was heat rash or eczema. I figured I'd give it a day to see if it went away on it's own. Monday night it was looking scratched up thanks to fingernails that needed to be cut. But then she commented that her head was itchy. Not her neck. Her head. Like last week when she commented her head was itchy and I did what I thought was a paranoid spot check of the head. Right. Cue the chills running down my spine.

I immediately shoved that kid's head back under a lamp and did another spot check. Nothing was moving but there was stuff at the base of her neck. But that girl hates having her hair washed. It had been 2 or 3 days since it was washed. So I wasn't sure if it wasn't just "hair that needs to be washed" stuff or "Oh, my word we're infested let's shave everyone's head before the lice take over our existence" stuff. I'm a lice newbie. I've never even performed a lice check let alone seen actual lice. I wasn't sure I'd know it if I saw it.

So I did what any good mother would do in that situation. Scoured the internet, of course! By the time I was done I was half convinced the kid had scabies. But I talked myself down from the ledge and thought things looked better after we washed her hair. I even took the kid to the day care on Tuesday. I know. Merry Christmas, other parents with children at that day care! Although, technically, one of your kids gave it to mine so I'm kinda sorta not as sorry as I probably should be but whatever.

Tuesday night I nearly flipped my gourd when I discovered a moving organism on her head. After her brother had already gone to sleep. After I had no way to get to a store to buy any stuff to get rid of it. And way after that kid's mental breaking point. She passed out on her bed with the lights on so I decided to just let her sleep and work on the Infestation o' Lice in the morning.

Which would be today. Rather than overseeing the training I've been planning and coordinating at work for several weeks now, I was at home combing strand by strand through that kid's hair. That's after I bribed her with a Kit Kat bar to leave the RID shampoo on her head for ten minutes. The combing was the real ordeal though. My neck hurts just thinking about hunching over like that for an hour and a half. No really. She watched all of Cinderella while I was working.

I'm sure lice suck at any age, but I'd just like to say lice on a 4 year old is especially annoying. 4 is old enough to know your mom can't do much about your hair unless you agree to it but old enough to understand when something is going to suck big time. She also still fidgets and can't sit still for an hour and a half.

I let her wash and comb my hair first. That helped her start off pretty agreeable. She quickly decided it was taking too long though. By 30 minutes in I offering up a trip to Target to try on high heels to keep her seated. An hour in it was lunch out and letting her order lemonade like a big girl. And by the last 10 minutes when she had to look down the whole time and was crying off and on, I think ice cream got mentioned. It was rough. I'd have agreed to anything. All I could think about was how close we were to being done.

Which is remarkably naive since I discovered some nits behind her right ear while we were brushing her teeth tonight before bed. We're clearly not done. Because that means I either didn't do as good a job as I thought I did going strand by strand earlier today or I missed some surface in the house that needs to be submerged in scalding hot water. Either way, sucks to be me.

I'd love to provide a more in depth explanation about the myriad reasons why it sucks to be me today, but I've got to go crane my neck in the mirror to see if there's anything moving on my own head. Because the only thing worse than your husband out of town and unable to help hold your kid down while you do a lice check is the rampant paranoia inside your head that makes you think your head itches because there's no one to look for nits on your own head.

10 comments:

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh girl! Been there, been there, been there, will be there again I am sure. And lice is AWFUL. The last time Allie and her friend kept giving it back and forth to each other for 2 weeks after both moms were SURE that we had got it all. And you are right, it is torture on those kids. I am so sorry that this is happening when hubby is out of town.

I have to go now. My head is itching.

VERONICA said...

Oh honey! It sucks for sure, but rest assured that we've all been there! I have four kids who are all social bugs...which means despite the lectures of not wearing others hats, headbands, etc....they still brought home all kinds of stuff. Every time I hear the dreaded "my head itches"--I freak out. Now they don't even say that, they just come up to me and say, "Mommy can you check my head?" Ekkkkk!
I do have to say that you're much nicer than I am though. lol Because I never offered my kids anything! I'm more of the "you're gonna sit there and like it!" kind of mom. :) I don't think I'm that horrible, but I'm sure my kids would tell you I am.

Christy said...

Oh my, what an ordeal! I definitely feel for you right now :( Thankfully we haven't had to deal with lice yet, but I vividly remember it going around my school in grand 1.

Yup, now I am itchy!

no way said...

Oh no! I feel for you, and I am in fear of the day this happens to me. I'm sure it will be soon, as I signed my son up for preschool, and that's the gateway for infestation. (How is your kdg. search?)

If this were still the 80's, all the Cabbage Patch Kids would be bumping around in the washer. That's what happened when we all had it.

My sympathies!

carosgram said...

BTDT It sucks

Jerseygirl89 said...

Oh, that sucks. I'm not looking forward to this at all.

Kritter Krit said...

Man, oh man, oh MAN that sucks.

I remember getting lice in the third grade. It was Picture Day and some Nimwit was taking it upon herself to brush every kid's hair WITH THE SAME BRUSH prior to shoving them in front of the camera. Yeah. Kind of like everybody eating off the same spoon at lunch.

Anyway, I came home and proceeded to give both of my younger brothers lice. I don't know if I repeated the brush-sharing trick (prior to knowing I had it), or if the little nit bastages just hopped from my head to theirs. Anyway - vivid memory of suckage.

And here I sit - clawing the dog out of my head, just thinking about it.

Eeeee.

Shan said...

Oh I feel your pain. My daughter had it last year. What a pain in the rump. I had several people recommend tea tree oil to me for when Abby's head was clear. Once a week I shake about 6 drops of it into her shampoo and wash her hair normally. There have been many more lice outbreaks in her classroom and she's never gotten it again. I started the same thing with my youngest when she started going to daycare. They've had outbreaks there and she's missed it every time.

Childlife said...

Oh, wow. Just getting mine to sit still for a five minute brushing after a bath is torture... I can't imagine the agony of a strand by strand ordeal! Hope it's over soon! :(

Anne said...

Ugh, now my head itches. I've heard this is a long process, Be strong. I'm going to go boil my head now.

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