The four letter word I have feared since my own days in elementary school. The four letter word that completely shook my world and rearranged our life for over a month this fall. The four letter word every parent dreads and almost every parent has to come to terms with at some point. The four letter word that is SO taboo in social mom circles. News flash moms...clean kids get LICE!
Here is how it happened...and how we beat it.
My oldest (13) was complaining about her itchy scalp. I checked to see what could be causing it each night that she complained and never saw anything. FOR WEEKS. She has SUPER thick coarse hair that is usually up in a ballet bun. Each time she complained we checked and found nothing...UNTIL....I SAW THEM.
The night I saw bugs crawling in my child's hair is a night I will never ever EVER forget. I stood there shocked...not knowing what to do or where to start. I immediately called my husband and demanded he pick up 6 Lice Kits on his way home from work. Done. We would all be treated and it would be gone and done with. Simple right? NOT so simple.
This. Was. War.
I began texting my nurse mom friends, called my mom, my mother in law, and my best friend. I YouTubed and Googled best ways to irradicate this invasion. I learned quickly that I shouldn't treat everyone even though all I wanted to do was drop a bomb on my house.
The interrogation began as to WHERE she got Lice?! Dance? School? Friend's House? And then it hit me...I remember her calling home one day during sleep away camp to let me know that a girl in her cabin had Lice and they treated her and weren't letting the girls shower but all was ok. NOT OK. She brought it home from CAMP!
I took a deep breath and regrouped. I've learned in my 13 years as a mom that nothing good comes from panicking. I was dying on the inside...and never thought I could ever handle Lice...but I did....and here is how.
I immediately treated her with the highest most potent thing I could find...NIX. Is it organic and good for her? No...I wanted Lice Killer...I was willing to risk whatever to get rid of those bugs. A friend brought over some tea tree oil spray mixture for our furniture. Another friend came and helped me bag up ALL of the kids sheets, pillows, blankets, towels, stuffed animals (WE HAVE TOO MANY STUFFED ANIMALS!)
Then the further investigation occurred. I checked my 10 year old...she appeared untouched. I checked the boys...luckily they have thin hair so it didn't take much work to locate 2 little guys in each of their hair...no eggs, but I treated them anyway just as a precaution.
And then the worst happened...as if it could get any worse. I had been itching...and my neck had actually been burning through this whole process. I thought it was my blood pressure and paranoia setting in. No...I asked my husband to kindly check my head...and sure enough...those little buggers were having a cocktail party in MY hair. This is where I LOST IT.
I treated myself. I then retreated my 13 year old and pretreated (not even a thing) the other kids. Everyone had at least one round of Nix. I should've bought stock in it.
I then used the only other "sure thing" I saw on YouTube that might kill any that were missed. Mayonnaise. I slathered my children's hair in mayonnaise and made them sleep in it with saran wrap and shower caps from the dollar store. Poor poor children. Everyone slept on the couch that night while I fumigated their bedrooms with the bug killing spray.
Everyone awoke smelling like salt & vinegar chips and immediately showered one-by-one. Needless to say work and school was skipped that day. A dear friend came over and helped me treat and comb out my own hair for a few days. I ended up treating my oldest and myself every week for a month just to be safe. At one point all of us except daddy had lice. It was a month I never want to live again.
So if you find yourself experiencing LICE....do this:
1) Treat it with Nix(or like product) immediately.
2) Sleep in a mayonnaise hair wrap.
3) Treat again.
4) Comb out every little strand of hair. Every night. For a week.
And then do step 1, 3, 4 again every week for 6 weeks.
We got rid of LICE...though I am cautious to say we won't ever see them again.
We now have anti-lice rules:
1) Do not wash your hair every day. Because LICE LOVE clean hair.
2) NOONE can share a brush with anyone else.
3) Everyone gets 2 pillows...no more. (This was a great way to remove unnecessary plush animals and blankets we didn't need...so there's your silver lining.)
When all of this happened I did consult our pediatrician and received a prescription for a higher strength Lice killer. It was near impossible to get but we did get it around day 4. It was pretty costly and didn't do much for us...the original 1-4 steps worked fine without it.
This is not a topic I was eager to share about...but when we were in the midst of our Lice-magedon I found that no one wanted to talk about it. There is such an unnecessary taboo surrounding the idea that your kid or even YOU could have lice. The reality of it is...if you don't ever have lice...you're just not very clean. haha!
Happy Lice Hunting!
Sorry if I made your scalp itch while reading this.