’Twas a few weeks past Christmas
And all through the house
Christmas was all packed away
The creature stirring? A louse!
Yes, for those of you that have been through it
or just for those of you who would ROCK at Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit,
a louse is the singular of LICE.
Apparently other than a sleepy girl and crunched up pretzels on the basement carpet, one can also expect LICE to be left behind after a sleepover.
For the love of Pete!
Ellie came down Saturday night after her shower and weepily announced she found a bug in her hair.
Monte whipped out this magnifying contraption thingy I got at Restoration Hardware that I stuck in his stocking thinking it would look good on an end table or shelf not realizing how much he would actually use it.
|Those clips can hold eyeglasses or a necklace chain.|
Which is a lot as it turns out--
from fixing a necklace of Ellie’s Christmas morning,
|Fixing Ellie’s necklace.|
to digging out splinters
and, oh yeah, seeking out and identifying lice.
|I wonder if we should contact the magnifying glass|
manufacturer with this consumer testimonial?
For the love of Pete.
Monte determined Ellie did in fact have lice and left for the drug store as I shoved everything I could touch into the washer and/or dryer and/or big plastic bags sealed tight.
I was knee-deep in research on what else I should wash, bleach or set on fire when Monte started the shampoo and nit-picking stage.
|Ellie is not happy.|
Do you know that is where that phrase came from??
“Hey, stop nit-picking me!”
“Hey, stop picking all the lice nits from my hair!”
Which I think we have gotten all turned around through time.
Nit-picking is a good thing.
A very good thing.
Sunday morning we woke up with a clatter
rushed to Ellie’s room
to find out what was the matter
Okay, I’ll stop.
Ellie still had lice.
I sent Monte and McDaniel to church and set about the process of
laundering EVERYTHING in my sight
I could tell Ellie was weary and just about beside herself.
So I cranked up some music and tried to make the process of me picking bugs out of her hair as fun as possible.
Monte and I tried to reassure Ellie that it wasn’t her fault. It didn’t make her dirty or gross.
It certainly helped that neither Monte or I are the kind of people that freak out when someone sneezes or gets sick. There are no medical mask-wearers or “Wait, these tissue boxes would make great shoes” over here.
Hey, I was raised to pick up the Popsicle from the ground and keep on licking. Dirt only adds protein, Jack!
So, Monte and I are pretty laid back about germs and tried to convey that to Ellie in her time of despair.
But bugs are bugs. And we wanted them to,
“Dash away, dash away,
dash away all!”
Yeah, I am not done.
We told her to pray.
I read that some lice are very resistant to the over the counter shampoos and gels and a prescription might be necessary.
School was to start on Monday after 2 weeks off for Christmas and I hated the thought of Ellie missing class.
So Monte called the emergency on-call number to talk with our pediatrician.
As it turns out, she did NOT feel that lice was a reason for Monte to call the emergency on-call number to which, as the only male in our household, Monte informed her,
“Oh, it is about to get REAL over here with emergency.”
Or something like that mostly in his head.
God love him for knowing the
importance of hair in our house.
The pediatrician (who we love dearly) went on to explain that America is the only country "freaked out" by lice and that on any given day 40% of school children in England walk around with lice. Even higher in Israel.
To that I say,
“God bless the USA!”
So she prescribed Ellie a shampoo that she warned Monte is highly flammable and would need to stay in her hair for 8 hours.
So flammable that she shouldn’t even THINK about walking into a room with a hair dryer going or a curling iron on or a candle flickering lest she want to burst into flame.
And oh yeah, the shampoo is $150.
Take a guess which part of that was most shocking to Monte.
We spent the rest of our Sunday itching everywhere and checking one another’s hair for bugs like monkeys.
Monte bought a shower cap for Ellie for fun and she had a ball with it.
|This might be when Ellie informed Monte a lot more|
head was showing than she previously noticed.
McDaniel did find one bug in my hair
to which I doused with the OTC shampoo
saving the “fire water shampoo”, as we deemed it,
for McDaniel should she be found with a stow away.
That girl has enough hair to provide quite a community of lice happy, warm, long-term accommodations.
|Look at that prime real estate!|
By dinner, we were laughing a lot.
The good Lord saw fit to blow in a mighty cold front and a snow storm that just missed us but cancelled school for 2 days due to the frigid temperatures and icy conditions.
We had more time to launder the entire house and nit-pick and evaluate everyone’s hair condition.
Which we deemed good.
So Monte tried to take back the $150 prescription “fire water” shampoo.
Which you can’t do.
So he briefly wondered what the street value
of $150 lice shampoo would be.
While we were digging through each other’s hair and shampooing and nit-picking and doing load after load after load of laundry,
we started hearing of people very nearby losing power
and water due to frozen pipes.
God was so good to keep us home those coldest days and using our water,
what seemed like endlessly,
so there was never a threat of freezing.
Monte and I talked about the blessing of lice in a cold front.
Protection from worse, more damaging problems that were happening all around us.
We were able to praise God for lice.
And bitter cold.
And for Monte’s frozen car battery.
Because it could have been so. many. things.
An incurable disease.
An unhealable injury.
An expensive breakdown.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans for welfare and not for calamity
to give you a future and a hope.”
-Jeremiah 29:11 NASB
This is a different version than I have memorized, but I like it as it applies to our story.
Our school doesn’t call snow days, “snow days”-- they call them “calamity days”.
God is such a God of little things.
To offer welfare in the form of bugs.
And hope to a weary girl with them in her hair
and a busy family with them in their house.
Can I get an Amen?
Happy New Year to all
and to all a good night!
That’s all, I promise.