Sunday, May 4, 2008

  Lousy Louses


It is a royal nightmare that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy (if I had one). It started with Sweetpea. Her head was itchy. She complained for a few days that her head, well, it itched. Being the very attentive mom that I am, I didn't think much of it. Heads sometimes itch. I've never had lice, never been faced with dealing with lice, never for one second thought, "Well, her head itches, maybe she has lice." Nope, I just thought, "Hmmmm Sweetpea's head sure is itchy."

Then the dear sweet child decided, "Maybe I have lice." So, she went to the clinic at her school and had the school nurse check her head. Nurse said, "Nope, no lice, just some dandruff." So, when Sweetpea told me that, I told her to use the Little Man's baby shampoo as it is less drying and to stop taking showers so hot that if we had wallpaper, I'm pretty sure she would have removed it from the wall by now. She gets that from me, so I'll just have to remember to never, ever put wallpaper in her bathroom. Anywho, she continued to itch and scratch and complain. So finally on Monday, April 21, when the poor baby was clawing at her head with all her might, I finally, being the very attentive mom that I am, decided to take a look at the child's head. Lo and behold, there were full grown lice crawling on her head. So, after she, and Princess E, and I all "EEEKed" and squealed and hopped around as girls will, we called her Daddy and asked him to please come home ASAP and bring some of that lice shampoo stuff. He did, and after looking through the Princess' head and changing sheets and putting pillows in the dryer for half an hour and sending the Princess to bed, I sat and "nitpicked" Sweetpea's hair 'til midnight.

Tuesday morning, I let Sweetpea sleep, and I got up to take Princess E to school. I went by the clinic to let the nurse know that Sweetpea did in fact have lice, and to have her re-check Princess E's head. She found what we determined might maybe possibly if you look at it just right and the stars and planets all aligned, might be a nit. So, I brought Princess E back home with me, and got more lice shampoo and treated her hair and nitpicked. Two days later, when I was still finding nits and even found a live bug on one or the other of them, it' s been a nightmare, my facts are fuzzy, I treated them both with olive oil and put them in pink shower caps for the night. I still can't believe I didn't take pictures, they looked like little pink flowers with mad pouty faces. I checked their heads (nitpicking, we call it) every single night!

Flashforward to the next Wednesday, April 30, I get a phone call from the nurse at the school. She sounded very apologetic, but told me the Princess had found a bug ON HER PENCIL, had shown it to the substitute teacher who had sent her to the clinic, and the nurse found one lousy louse on the back of her neck. She said she had searched her whole head and hadn't seen anything else, but that I would have to come get her, and maybe we might want to do the olive oil treatment again. Now that I was actually paying close attention, I picked her up, went to the Walgreens and bought another lice shampoo kit thingy. We came home and washed her hair, then that night, I olive oiled both girls again. They were not happy. Sweetpea said she couldn't sleep with the shower cap on, so instead, I wrapped her head in saran wrap. Then I spent the entire night worrying that she would suffocate when the saran wrap slipped off her head and over her face.

So here we are almost two weeks from the original sighting of the lice, and WE STILL HAVE LICE. I am still spending approximately two hours every night nitpicking, still making my babies sleep in olive oil, and I have yet to have a night when I haven't found a least a nit or two and usually at least one itty bitty obviously just hatched baby louse. I am slowly going insane and probably permanently damaging my eyesight.

And by the way, if I ever have to describe my girls, I will start with, "Well, E's hair is the exact color of an itty bitty obviously just hatched baby louse, and her sister, well, hers is the color of a nit."