It was the school secretary, who happens to be one of the nicest, coolest people in the entire world. "Hi Jill," she says. "How are you, sweetie?"
Oh, god. She called me "sweetie," something must be horribly wrong!!!
"Oh, god, what's wrong?" I ask. "Well," she says "I looked at Child 1's head... and he has nits."
I heard her wrong the first time, so I said "Nips? He has nips?" What are nips? Nipples? His breasts are developing? OH MY GOD HE'S ONLY 10 AND HE HAS MAN BOOBS.
"NITS," she enunciates. "Lice nits."
Child 1 has nits. Child 1 has lice nits. OH MY GOD LICE. We have never had to deal with this before, and it's been my biggest fear since he started elementary school. Not necessarily the itchy gross bug part, but the mechanics of putting crap on his head and making him sit still for however long it's supposed to be on there and somehow getting him to not freak out and rub his head all over the couch or my arm or something.
"Oh god," I say. "Did you check Child 2?"
"Yes," she says, "and he has a few, but not that many."
"OH GOD!" I say again. "I don't know what to do, what am I supposed to do?"
I don't even have any idea what I'm supposed to be purchasing. She tells me that she has a kit that she got for free that she can give me. I say I'm going to come by and look at it and then go to Target and she should use her free kit for somebody who isn't freaking out and plans to go and purchase an entire pharmacy in the next 20 minutes.
Immediately my head starts to itch.
I run to the school to see what she has, which I realize in the moment was pretty stupid and unnecessary, but I have no idea what I'm doing so let's just go with it. Then I run to Walgreens and I purchase as many things as I possibly can (including candy for them and wine for me). I spent about $80. Is that how much you're supposed to spend?
Then I go home. And get on my computer. And post about it on Facebook and Twitter. Panicky posting. People were worried.
Then I get up and I panicky-run back to the school and I have her check me, since my head is now itching so intensely there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that my head is covered in gross bugs.
I'm fine, though; my hair is clean. For now.
Then I go back home and there's nothing I can do except wait for it to be time to pick up the kids.
And post about it some more. By the way, a huge shout-out to my new best friend in the entire world, Leah. Somebody sent me a link to her post My Advice About Lice and then I found her on twitter and she calmly answered my questions without judging or questioning my sanity or anything. Also to Mandy from Mandy Fish who told me that everything was going to be okay despite my freaking out. And to everybody I talked to that day who had advice and funny/nice things to say. Thank you, guys!
HOWEVER... it's hilarious how much contradictory advice I received from people in that time. I've made you guys a list, but first I want to say that please remember that I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm not commenting on the efficacy of any of these suggestions, so if you see in here something you suggested to me, please don't take offense. My only purpose is to point out the hilarity of the whole thing. I mean, I talk to a lot of people, both online and in person, and every single person I talked to had experienced lice before, so they all had something to say about it. And I appreciate that! That's why I go online with these things, to learn from your experiences. It was just funny how everybody contradicted everybody else.
Here's a small list, and I swear to you I'm not making any of this up. I heard all of these things from at least one person in a 3-4 hour period on Thursday afternoon:
- Get the stuff from the store and follow every direction exactly
- Don't get the stuff from the store, it doesn't work
- Get the stuff from the store but don't pay attention to what the directions say
- Use mayonnaise and saran wrap
- Whatever you do, don't use mayonnaise and saran wrap
- Wash the hair with white vinegar
- Wash the hair with blue Listerine. It has to be the blue stuff
- Don't pay any attention to the "alternative" methods people will suggest to you
- Rub with coconut oil
- Rub with coconut oil, and then follow it up with Tea Tree oil
- Stay away from coconut oil
- Let the hair get really dirty, lice hate dirty hair
- Keep the hair really clean, lice hate clean hair
- It doesn't matter if it's clean or dirty, lice hate hair products
- Get a metal comb; throw away the plastic ones that come in the kit
- The plastic combs that come in the kit are the best ones, don't invest in a metal one
- Just smother their heads with vasoline and you're done
- Don't forget to buy some wine for yourself
Needless to say, at this point, I'm confused. I decided to go with the first piece of advice in the list, which is what the school Principal told me on one of my trips there, and I figure, she's the one who decides whether or not my kids get to come back to school, so might as well go with what she says, right? (She also told me I needed to "remove the word 'burrowing'" from my vocabulary, because I said "I CAN FEEL THEM BURROWING INTO MY BRAIN" and she said "don't say 'burrowing', because that's just not right.")
So, finally I go get the kids, and I explain to them the situation, and they're both like "whatever" about it. Except then we get home, and I look at Child 1's head. And I see.... nothing. Nothing that I know of, anyway.
So, again.... I go online and I ask "WTF? There's nothing there? What am I looking for?" and somebody (helpfully) tells me to do a Google Image Search for lice so that I have a reference.
That was such a bad idea.
Such. A. Bad. Idea.
I have bug issues. We all do, I know, I'm nothing special. But these fucking pictures that I saw made my skin crawl and FUCKING FREAKED ME OUT. So, I go back to look at Child 1's head, and... of course... I see a fucking horror show, which might not have even been there, in hindsight..... and I lose it.
Which, of course, makes Child 1 lose it, thus making the whole process completely impossible for us both. I say (internally) "I CAN'T DEAL WITH BUGS OH MY GOD BUGS I CAN'T DEAL WITH BUGS OH MY GOD WHEN IS HUBS COMING HOME HE NEEDS TO DEAL WITH THE BUGS I CAN'T DEAL WITH THE BUGS OH MY GOD BUGS" and I become completely incapable of doing anything except sitting and waiting.
Sitting, waiting... and drinking, so I crack open a bottle. 3 glasses in and I realize... I can totally fucking deal with bugs. LET'S DO THIS SHIT, BITCHES!!!!!!
That was all it took, I washed and combed and rinsed and combed and wiped and combed and all that shit. By the time hubs actually got home I was already done with #1 and in the middle of #2. At this point we're all pretty much in the clear. I need to do it all again in about a week, but at least now I know that I can.
And that's what's important. Oh, also the gross disgusting bugs are gone. That's also important. Hubs and I have both done ourselves, too, even though we didn't need to.
And laundry. Oh my god so much laundry.
I drew some pictures for you guys to enjoy
Only 7-10 more days of that and we should be fine.
My head totally itches right now.