I’m pretty laissez faire (read: lazy) when it comes to things like germs and dirt and such. My cleaning skills are mediocre at best. I don’t stick to an all-organic, non-GMO diet (I can barely make it to the grocery store as it is). And I may or may not have shoved a half-eaten Snickers bar discovered in the backseat of my minivan into my mouth last week when no one was looking while I waited for my son’s practice to let out. (I was staaarving.)
But even though germs, dirt, and the nastiness of kids generally doesn’t freak me out, I will totally admit that I lost my shit and freaked the hell out when I found lice crawling around on my kids’ heads — because as chill as I am about feeding my kids trans-fat-and-pesticide-laden nonfood, seeing live bugs crawling around in your kids’ locks is downright traumatizing.
Let’s just cut to the chase, lice are the devil’s spawn.
But you’ll survive. It will really suck, but you’ll make it through.
In case you’re wondering, here’s how the next 24 hours post-lice-discovery played out:
After nearly retching on my kids’ heads at the sight of those awful creepy crawlies, I raced to the nearest drugstore to buy several boxes of RID and texted every single person I knew who had lice experience with the SOS cry of “Please fucking help me!”
There was a lot of swearing.
I called the nearest Lice Clinics of America and begged them to get us in immediately. (The next morning was their earliest appointment. Cue panicked visions of the entire house being consumed by an army of giant lice bugs overnight.)
I scrubbed my kids’ and my own head with RID shampoo until we nearly bled. I snapped at my husband. I popped a Xanax and checked the fridge to make sure we had plenty of wine.
Like a madwoman, I scoured the house for any item that could be tossed in the garbage. Stuffed animals? We don’t need those. Throw pillows? I didn’t like those anyway. Before long, my laundry room was a mountain of coats, hats, and backpacks all waiting to be fumigated.
The next morning we arrived at the lice treatment clinic bright and early, ready to be cleansed of the devil’s spawn. (Side note: If you live in an area where there is a lice treatment clinic, I highly recommend spending the extra money for their treatment. Highly recommend.) Two and a half hours later, our family emerged lice-free — our heads sticky with devil-spawn-killing oil under oh-so-attractive hairnets.
Fifteen loads of laundry later, I finally breathed a sigh of relief.
In the midst of our lice infestation and the resulting panic-fueled freak-out, I did learn a few things however.
First, lice outbreaks are really freaking common. In fact, just about everyone I know has some kind of experience with lice.
Second, lice are also really gross. They feed on human blood. Ewww. Their saliva is what causes the itching. Double ewww. And they just look nasty AF.
Third, the nits (or eggs) are the real bastards that will ruin your life. Killing the live bugs is easy, but the nits like to stick around — literally.
Forth, nit-picking is awful work; paying someone to treat them is worth every single penny. The women at the lice clinic were calming, informative, and effective. (Lice-free hats off to you, Jen and Jill.)
Finally, you’ll survive. Of course, survival will probably involve at least one panic attack, several glasses of wine, complaining to anyone who will listen, nightmares about being eaten by bugs, and screaming at your spouse “Don’t be so smug! You could have it too, jackass!”
Also, your head will itch for days. In fact, the mere mention of the word lice will cause incessant itching like some kind of Pavlov’s dog experiment. You’re probably itching your head right now.
But, yeah, you’ll survive.