My head itches just thinking about it….

Totally didn’t see today coming.  At all.

If you would have told me I would be sitting at my kitchen table while my mother-in-law picked through my hair with a fine-toothed comb, in search of bugs, I’d….well, I don’t know what I’d say.  Gross, probably.  I’d probably say, “That’s gross.”

Well, that happened.  And, it was a first — so it qualified as an adventure in my book.

My kids had lice.  All three of ’em.  At the same time!  And, I’m happy to say I can put that baby in the past tense.

Discovered it today, with the help of our amazing school nurse.  And just to be safe, I did the treatment too (and came out clear, phew!).

But, even though the day was horrific…I mean, I picked bugs and their eggs out of my kids’ hair….I feel like I earned my stripes and likely a “Good Mom” badge.  Not because I picked through their hair.  For HOURS — Josie’s alone took two hours.  But, because lice love clean hair.

Yes! My kids are cleaner than they look!  Which might be why I had none.  Hmmmm.

Here’s what’s cool about kids, though.  They didn’t care.  They thought it was such a fun adventure.  They were home from school and they felt perfectly fine.

They wanted to scream the news from the hilltops, which they would have done if I didn’t put the childlock on the windows.  They actually tried to tell the chick at the drive through, and I bottled ’em up before they could announce their good fortune.

The day didn’t stop for lice.  We still had to run errands and get Lulu from school (before I knew she had them, too).  I won’t tell the whole day…but I will give a few highlights (or lowlights, as it were).

The first, I got this picture.  Just in time for the holidays.  Merry Christmas, Mom.  We have lice.

Bag 'em.  Lice was on my Christmas list.
Bag ’em. Lice was on my Christmas list.

The treatment we got, at the suggestion of the school nurse, required that the kids sit with the sauce on their heads for four hours.  They can’t do anything for four hours, but they managed to keep this stuff on their heads that long, God love ’em.  And, not knowing I needed shower caps, I didn’t buy any extras at Walgreens.  So, Dominic and Lulu wore freezer bags.  For, like half the day.

Dominic had the pleasure of wearing one to school to pick up Lulu and tell their teacher he wouldn’t make it today. I told Josie (in a showercap) and Dominic to stay buckled while I discreetly told the teacher, and before I knew it they had their heads out the windows (during parent pick-up with their bags on their heads, mind you) shouting “We have lice!”

Horrifying.

Instantly, moms started checking the heads of their children.  One of the teachers checked Lulu, after I said I didn’t know if she had it, yet.  And, bullseye.  She yanked one out in about two seconds flat.

I couldn’t have found a deeper hole to crawl into.

Here’s the thing.  Lice feel like a rite of passage — even though I never got them as a kid.  When people get them, you kind of moan and say, “Oh man, that sucks.”  Because it does.  And, you know your number could be the next one called.  Really.

The school sent a notice home about two weeks ago warning of an outbreak in Josie’s class (the second one this year). I got a text from a friend’s mom warning me to check Josie.  I did.  Like, all the time.  Even when she was itching her head.  But, I never found anything.

Until today.  The nurse (nurse Chris, our savior) showed me how to find a nit (nastiest word ever, especially when you say it like 100 times in one day) and how to get it out.  She said the kindergarten teacher swore by Quit Nits, so I got it.  I got two, actually.  One for the kids.  One for me and Joe (who hasn’t waited his four hours yet to know if he is clear or infected).

Three kids are chaotic on good day.  They are getting older, and don’t need me for everything anymore, but they still need me for snacks and drinks and any number of other things. So, after picking through Josie’s hair for an hour, with Lulu literally hanging off of my back (arms around my neck) I had to call Joe’s mom for back-up.

Just if she could fill applejuice and switch DVDs for me.  She not only agreed, but brought over soup and picked through my hair.  I’m forever in her debt.  I get skeeved by other people’s hair and socks.  So, this type of request would have put me over the edge.

On the upside, I got to purge a bunch of crap we didn’t need under the guise of “it’s got lice on it.”

Very well-loved foam chairs the kids sit in, daily.  Gone.  A handful of raggedy stuffed animals.  Outta here.  Brushes and combs from when they were babies that I still used.  See ya!

But, it also meant I had to wash bedding.  For four beds, one of which are bunk beds. In one day.  And, 100 or so assorted stuffed animals from the girls’ bed needed to be heat-shocked in the dryer.

The collateral damage: stuffed animals.  I didn't count, but there's at least 100.  I'm guessing about four loads' worth.
The collateral damage: stuffed animals. I didn’t count, but there’s at least 100. I’m guessing about four loads’ worth.

But, hey.  Everyone and everything is clean now.  And on this cold night, we all needed warm bedding.

So help me if someone wets the bed….