Julie Lyles Carr: I Hate to Nit Pick....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Hate to Nit Pick....

But I am.

Literally.

One of the bonuses of homeschooling is that you don't have to deal with some of the inconveniences traditional within the public school experience.

Or so I thought.

Until yesterday.

At which time I received a little news bulletin that went something like this:

"Mom, 6 of 8 has some kind of little bug crawling in her hair."

Yeah.

It was just on Sunday that I was teaching on the dangers of bowing down to an idol of pride.

I think now that perhaps I was harboring Lice Pride.

As in, my kids have never had them.

Until yesterday.

And don't let the exponential possibility of this circumstance escape your purview. There are ten people in this family.

Ten.

Several of whom share bedrooms. And linens. And the occasional toothbrush.

Accidentally.

But still.

So I wasn't going to post about this nit picking issue. But then I thought that maybe I should. Maybe I could use a little dose of housekeeping humility. So there it is. Two of my kids had lice yesterday. And if this makes you feel a little superior, good for you. And if you can commiserate, bless you. Bless you.

So we fire-bombed those little critters. We did the whole lice shampoo thing. We did the whole comb-out thing. 2 of 8 worked on 6 of 8's follicles for five hours. Five.

I wasn't personally quite that dedicated when it came to 4 of 8's head.

All told, there were actually very few critters, although one seems one too many. The laundry has all been boiled on the 'white' cycle, then cooked in the dryer. All the other kids have been examined and plastered in tea tree oil (which, urban legend has it, is a natural deterrent). The stuffed animals are bagged, the furniture vacuumed, my cuticles peeled and raw.

My amazing neighbor JT soothed my literally ruffled (and picked through and thoroughly examined) feathers and told me that she had always heard that lice prefer clean hair, ergo, my children must be quite clean. Maybe it's just something they tell suburban moms to assuage the guilt, but I don't care. I'm hanging on to it.

My best buddy JK scrambled to look up removal info for me as I called her multiple times yesterday. She affirmed my initial actions of scrubbing, drying, vacuuming, picking, washing, bagging and bleaching. And then she found this profound tidbit of advice on some internet site that said, "For prevention, do not let your children play with other neighborhood children who have untreated lice."

Whew.

How helpful.

'Cuz, ya know, all the kids in my neighborhood who have untreated lice wander the sidewalks with signs around their necks alerting us to this fact.

Not.

I'd keep writing, but I think I've grossed you out enough for now.

And my head itches.


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