Thursday, December 13, 2007

Licecapades

The vermin are circling closer and closer. Three of our closest friends just had it, and now Millie comes home with the telltale note from the nurse, advising parents to be on the alert as two of her classmates have the little critters.

I hate lice. I would rather chew on glass, have a kid with RSV, walk barefoot across the plains.... Last Christmas Eve, while sitting peacefully during our church service, I was patting sweet Georgia's head when I noticed things. Scurrying. I freaked. And I wanted to kill Dave, who I'd had check her head for lice that very morning since I knew it was going around and she'd been scratching like a dog with fleas (which, she was). I wanted to bolt that very moment so I could start doing whatever it was I needed to do to rid us of these vermin (tent the entire house ala ET? Burn the bedding? Microwave the stuffed animals? Gasoline her hair?) but I had to say the closing prayer. "Bless us Lord to have a lice Christmas--I mean NICE!" Anyhow, suffice it to say that the Louse Incident of 2006 dominated our holidays. We still wistfully refer to the "Christmas Miracle" that none of the other kids got it, not even Millie who shares brushes, hats, pillows with Georgia.

I am scarred. Haunted. I check for lice monthly. I dream of lice. When I see someone try on hats at the mall I cringe. I am my mother, who's paranoia of these parasites has left her crippled: since some sister missionaries stayed with us in the 80s and brought lice with them, my mom has not leaned her head back at a movie theatre, puts a towel on airplane headrests, and refused to wear a bike helmet from a rental place unless they sprayed it with Lysol in her presence. When I lived in China and was wicked homesick for normal food, she promised to send me a box of treats. When a slip arrived saying the downtown postoffice had a package for me, I cheerfully took the 30 minute bus, waited in 3 lines, paid 3 different Communit fees, and finally got my box-o-goodies. When I opened it there was a bottle of RID and a fine tooth comb. I was so sad I cried. But now, I understand. I forgive.

So lice has returned to Belmont. I check heads daily. Sometimes twice. I bought special hair care products that contain rosemary, tea tree, citronella, and I douse them as they leave the house. Jonah complains he smells like camping, but I don't care. My goal is on Christmas Eve to lay in bed and know that "not a creature is stirring, not even a LOUSE."

6 comments:

Jill said...

My dear Heather, got your Christmas Card today and I had to check you out. You are as witty and as talented as ever. Thank you for having a life in the midst of not having a life! Cheers!

belmomma said...

Oooh momma!
You can always rest well knowing your neighbor across the street is - can you imagine it, MORE freaky, paranoid and lice-o-phobic than you!
Best of luck on the upcoming anniversary of your unwanted house guests.
"HOPE!!!" - South Park

belmomma said...

just think,
now when playing those pesky getting to know you games at parties, or writing a bio of interests, talents etc., you can now PROUDLY write....
nit picker

The Albertsen Family said...

Too bad every time we talk or in this case read about it I too start scratching like a dog with fleas. One more good think about AZ, its hot and lice don't like hot.

Rebecca said...

oh my gosh I am laughing and laughing. you nut.

momj said...

that was an awesome post! I agee...lice will put you on edge and on notice for years. I am a mom of kids 20-27. The 20 year old got lice from his preschool when he was...4. I just recently threw away a box of RID and the combs. Yep..thats 14 years. I am now off my guard. And yet, there are grandkids...