The L word

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.



Wordless wednesday – peeking in my neighbours gardens

Purple fringe


Back side





We came to India with the bare essentials; clothes, blankys and other loveys, a few books, and a not enough toys. We had a small shipment that included things that we thought we could not live without for a year, but it was due weeks after we arrived. Our house was available two days after we arrived, so I shopped for things like sheets, towels, pots, dishes, and glassware. One think that I noticed was just how much Corelle dishware there was available for purchase. I am not a big fan, so I when out of my way to search out a regular stoneware dish set. It turns out that the abundance of Corelle is likely due to the fact that the majority of houses here have marble flooring that is not forgiving when things are dropped.

We have actually been pretty lucky, and have only broken a couple of the bowls and small plates from all of our dishes. Given the lils propensity to drop things, I think that we are doing ok. I actually thought that while I was unloading the dishwasher after lunch today, although I should have known better. Within about a minute of the thought I dropped one of our wineglasses, which shattered spectacularly. The lils came running, but were content to sit and watch me clean from well outside of the shrapnel zone. They happily pointed out the pieces that I missed while sweeping and chattered on about the dangerous mess that I had made. I was sad to lose a glass that from a set that I liked.

Woo and Goose wandered off and I very carefully went back to unloading the dishwasher. Once it was completed, I noted that Woo had left half his sandwich on the table to be saved for later, so I thought that I should at least put it in the fridge. I quickly grabbed a saucer out of the cupboard. Too quickly. As I frantically tried to catch it as it slipped out of my wet hands, but failed. Seconds after the tell-tale crash, Woo called from upstairs. “Another glass?!” he said derisively.

Broken dishes are clearly exciting, as they both came running and sat in the safe-from-shrapnel zone. As they watched me sweep the kitchen for a second time in five minutes, they began to have a “whispered” conversation about how Mommy broke another dish, and just how clumsy I was. They went on and on and on about the clumsiness, saying things like: “Oh, Mommy is soooo clumsy”, “did you see that clumsy Mommy broke another dish”, and “why do you think Mommy is so clumsy”. I desperately wanted to tell them exactly how not helpful that was and shoo them away. I couldn’t because it likely would have been cute if I wasn’t so ticked at myself, and it because it was true. It began to lose it’s charm when the lils gleefully told our cook, then our guests about how clumsy Mommy is. When Daddy came home they retold the story several times, again focusing on how clumsy I was. They are a treat.

Postscript: As Willy was tidying the kitchen just now, I heard the crash and smash that has become all too familiar in such a short period of time. Third piece TODAY. Funny, no little voices called down to ask who had broken what, or ran to discuss how clumsy he is…

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The head bobble

When Willy came back from his trip to India in July of 2009, he was full of tales of the fantastic things that he saw, the amazing food, the wonderful weather, and the absolutely great people that he met.  In some ways, that trip started the ball rolling on our “trip“ to India. We just didn’t know at the time just how involved the trip would be, and that it would last this long.  One of the things that he was most intrigued by was the way that a lot of Indians, many of them unknowingly, bob their heads as they are conversing.  He tried to pinpoint the exact meaning of the gesture, but was only here for a short time, and never really narrowed it down.

Even though I had heard of his experience, I was a little confused when we arrived and so many of the people that we spoke with shook their head intermittently in conversations. I wasn’t at all used to it, and the motion gave me the impression that the person initiating it was disagreeing with what was being said.  Each time it happened, I would stop and ask, “is that OK?”, and each time I sought to clarify, I would be met with a confused look.  Then Willy explained to me that many of the people he has asked about this bobble have bobbled without being aware of it, some even deny that they, or any of their countrymen, do it at all.

Nine months later, I am still not absolutely clear on what the motion means.  It varies by person and by context, but it is a safe bet that the bobble means one of:

      I don`t know
      I understand
      I don’t understand
      I hear you
      I am not arguing with you
      I do believe you
      thank you
      you’re welcome

Do you see why I am confused?  In truth, it is most likely to indicate agreement, or consideration of what is proposed than anything else, but it can occasionally mean disagreement.

I have noticed that many of the transplants pick up this gesture.  Some will only bobble in response to another’s bobbles, but a few of my friends will initiate or bobble when no one around them does.  I know that Willy has been caught doing a reciprocal bobble on more than one occasion, a fact he will grudgingly admit.  The lils have not, and seem to be even more confused than I am.

I do not bobble.  I think.


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