Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I was really tired yesterday. I had every intention of going home, eating dinner, and saying "have a good night" to Dave and the kids and collapsing. I felt completely not up for anything.

That is not what happened. Shocker.

RockNoodle's class had an outbreak of lice recently, but we checked her and she was clean. She has periodically since then complained of itchiness, and we've checked her and she's been fine. Last night, right at bedtime, she asked me to check her again. I did.

Not so clean. Not so fine.

There were eggs, there were live nits, there were practically clouds of them around her ears and at the base of her neck.

I am no stranger to lice. I don't know if it's the humidity, the warmth, whatever, but in Hawaii, they are a serious problem and about as common as the cold. So I know from personal experience that it is not through any lack of hygiene (if anything, clean hair makes for a happy lice-home), child care, or awareness--it just happens. I had them when I was four, I had them when I was sixteen and getting dressed for prom. (High school girls really like to share hairbrushes).

Needless to say, we kicked into high gear. Dave ran off to get some shampoo (whatever the arguments, I used the shampoo many many times, and I am here and healthy. And the lice needed to DIE), I checked Toaster (who is mercifully clean), I stripped every bit of bedding and furniture I could and bagged it all out in the cold.

RockNoodle was shampooed, set, rinsed, and then settled in for a good two-hour picking. She was exhausted, poor thing, and begging for sleep. We knew we hadn't gotten all of them when we sent her to bed--there was just no way--but she was near tears and so very tired, and we were bleary-eyed ourselves.

Needless to say, she still had some this morning. New methods are being tried, nit-picking will be done ad nausaeum, the house will be vacuumed within an inch of its life and the neighbors be damned. I am thus far resisting asking my coworkers to check my hair (Dave checked, but of course I itch and quake), and I think that night of getting home from work and going straight to bed is just not in my (or RockNoodle's) future. You know, ever.


Anonymous said...

So far, so good. I spent 2.5 hours on her hair today and am now an experienced nit-picker. As you probably know by now (since she's at your house), I also doused her hair and scalp in mayo and covered it with a shower cap. Her reaction? "Mmmmmm! I smell like turkey and cheese! And I like the way this feels!"

I'm glad she's so good-natured about it all.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, from an expert in Hawaii: Slather her head in vgetable oil. It drowns the little critters.