Friday, June 11, 2010

The lice are long gone, but I can't seem to get them out of my head

My seven year old daughter brought home a ferocious case of head lice in February.  February.  We found it on a Sunday morning and I'll never forget looking down at my daughter's head while she was happily slurping her cereal and seeing movement, a whole lot of movement.

That was such a frantic, panic-filled day.  We spent the morning calling various family members that we had visited recently to apologize for the possible contamination of their heads and homes.  We scoured the internet, learning all about the life cycle of the common head louse and the many creative and dubious- sounding ways to rid the house of its presence.  By mid-afternoon, we had acquired two bottles of nasty-smelling, pesticide-laden shampoo and slathered it all over the heads of those of us sporting live creatures.  Only the husband was spared.

The lice are now long gone, no thanks to the shampoo, which did very little.  Full extermination involved hours and hours and hours of picking -- nit-picking to be exact.  Turns out I'm pretty good at it.  So good, in fact, that I now see lice everywhere.  That black fleck on the kitchen counter? Lice.  That slight movement over there, visible only to me?  Lice.  My children now put their hands over their heads whenever I go anywhere near them.

The thing is, here we are in June and last weekend the husband and I went to the movies.  I was sitting comfortably for the first hour or so, until I realized that I'd been sitting the whole time with my head resting on the high back of my seat . . . an upholstered seat . . . that some potentially lice-infested stranger had just spent the better part of two hours infecting right before me . . .

Then there's this scene in the Sherlock Holmes movie, which we saw on DVD recently, in which Holmes removes the hat from a thug he has just incapacitated and puts it on his head.  Late 19th century London?  Lice for sure.

As I write this, my head is itching furiously.  Psychosomatically, I hope.  I've been telling myself that once the school year ends, and we no longer receive monthly letters from my daughter's class announcing yet another infestation, I will return to my usual level of feigned calm, cool and collectedness.  I'm confident that I'll lose the phantom itch by the end of the summer -- just in time for the return to school and the beginning of lice season.

P.S.  I'll be back later with today's fill-in-the-blank journal page.


  1. I just found your blog and just got to this page. Phew...I have been reading about all the
    junk that you can get from going to the movies.
    Your experience puts the frosting on the cake..
    no more movie going. Not that I have gone
    very much..but surely NO MORE. I am sorry
    that you had this problem.

  2. It's the absolute worst problem! I have 4 daughters and the youngest brought the little pests home from school, not once, not twice... but 5 times from November until March. I was ready to pull her out of school. In fact, the last time, I just sat down and cried. I was soooo tired of treating the entire house and her poor little head (thank goodness no one else in the family got them)! It was AWFUL! I feel your pain!


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