Today was going smashingly. The lils and I had just gotten home from a fun playdate and were basking in the glow of full tummies after lunch when I got a text that turned my day upside-down. It was from a friend of mine who has a little girl Woo’s age. A little girl that Woo enjoys playing with, who he and Goose get to hang out with at day camp most days. “You better check your lils”, she said, “My girl and another friend from camp have lice.”
I have heard enough horror stories to know that it is inevitable that anyone with children will hear this warning at least once per academic year, I just hoped that we would be able to avoid it this year. It really wasn’t what I wanted to be hearing 36 hours before we leave for vacation. So I started alternating between Google and random haphazard checks of the lils heads. I had no idea what I was looking for, so I just kept looking. They were getting frustrated, and all I noticed was that my lils seem to have a lot of glitter in their hair for two little people whose mom is too mean to supply them with glitter. I took a deep breath and did some more reading.
Based on my assessment of the lils craniums, it was unlikely that they had nits. Knowing that we were going away, I did not want to take any chances, so I headed to the drug store for the special shampoo, even though I knew it only killed active nits. I spent the rest of the afternoon laundering everything that has touched their heads recently, including all of the 8 million blankets that they each keep on their beds; every lovey that they could conceive to take on vacation; both of their special pillows, neither of which have a removable cover; and every hat that we own, given that they each tried on every one of them yesterday as part of a vacation packing fashion show. All of this had to be washed in hot water, and then in the dryer for at least 15 minutes. Our washer and dryer is a combo unit, so this took forever. While I was doing all this I was also giving their hair the special wash and comb through. Woo was easy enough, but Goose took forever. Her hair is at her waist now, and as white as the nits and eggs that I was looking for. When I finished all this, I realised that I had to call the friends where we played this am, but at least I was able to report that we found nothing, so hopefully exposure risk was low.
Now I sit having a glass of wine and scratching. I have been ever since I got the text, and will likely continue to do so until I know that we are in the clear. It’s clearly psycho-somatic, as it started the second that I got the text, and Willy reported similar symptoms. I hope we don’t have to do this again for a long time.