Saturday, March 14, 2020

Lice - A Modern Day Plague

It has been several months our house was plagued with lice here are my thoughts: 

When we had lice at the end of the summer it was bad. I was 250000 weeks pregnant, pool season seemed like it was never going to end, I had a work trip and left our sitter to tend to nitpicking. I became quite skillful at nitpicking and probably did it more often then I needed to just because I was totally paranoid.  It was bad - but we got through it. 

Flashforward two and a half months and we had a 3 week old baby, we were finally getting into the groove of school and activities with our new brotherly addition (with this posterior tie tongue that is causing some feeding issues) and bam. One morning in the preschool parking lot as I'm pulling C's hair back for a messy bun there is a louse (that's the singular version of lice. Louse, mouse, lice, mice). My heart sinks and my mind races. I collect the big girls from school and do the whole lice shampoo and nit picking treatment (which they just LOVE sitting through). That afternoon as I'm stripping the sheets right before my friend who came to hold J leaves, she asked me if I wanted her to check my hair for lice. 

Y'all know what happens next. 

She didn't even try and look. She pulled over part of my hair and was like... yeah you got them. 

Insert screamfest. 

It was nearly 3 in the afternoon and my hair is definitely not the shorter variety and I knew Lee wouldn't have the patience to nitpick my hair. 

Did you know there are professional nitpickers? Because there are and they come to your house. They are expensive but I knew with a 3 week old it was my only choice. I felt pretty good about the big girls hair but C would not sit still for me. So the lady came with her bag of nitpicking tricks and went to work within hours of me calling. She was great. So great. I think she finally clocked out of our hour around 9:30 or 10 after lots of olive oil, Dawn and combing. 

Over the course of the next 2 weeks we had at least 5 days of olive oil and combing the night before and showering and Dawn and blow drying the next morning - me, 5 kids and a newborn - well J didn't get the treatment but it get everyone ready for bed it was a 2 hour process and the morning process was another 2 hours. 

It was INTENSE but took care of them. 

In the days during and week following I routinely would grab the nit comb and Listerine and spray down and comb my hair any time I felt an itch on my head or I saw one of the girls scratch their head. It was terrible. It seemed all consuming. 

Advent started and we were doing the Jesse Tree and we read about the 10 Egyptian plagues and I couldn't help but think the lice were a window into the (way more) AWFUL plagues of Egypt. 

So now I will still occasionally grab the Listerine (because the yellow kind supposedly does something to lice eggs - apple cider vinegar might too but Listerine smells better) and comb through my hair just for kicks. One time I couldn't find my trusty nit comb and I ordered a two pack on Amazon because I couldn't bear not having one - now I have three. We use the Fairy Tales detangler spray and rotate the shampoo into our shower soaps. I've added several EOs to all our shampoos (because supposedly the smell helps repel lice?)

So while I'm more well versed on lice than I ever care to be, I have found there is a community of people who have lived to tell their own lice tale. It is not a huge topic of conversation because there's the stigma of lice being dirty etc etc but I've been surprised how many people share their story when it does come up. We definitely did not have it growing up. 

We lived to tell the (expensive) lice tale and hope to not relive anytime soon or ever again. 

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