Monday, February 03, 2014

Lice, Lice, Baby

Yeah, they came back.

Or, more than likely, they never completely left.

The good news is we actually got to use that $150 prescription strength highly flammable lice shampoo.

If that could ever be seen from any angle,
other than financial,
as good news.

I kept Ellie home from school because it had to stay on her hair for 8 hours.

It smelled like intense Pine-Sol with a kerosene-like finish.

But worse.

I swear it incinerated every hair in my nose.

The dog sneezed every time he walked into the same room as Ellie.

I started to light scented candles several times throughout the day and had to stop myself, hearing the cautionary words of our pediatrician to not even let Ellie in a room with a hair dryer running lest she burst into flame.

Ellie pulled out some leftover pizza from the fridge for lunch and I asked her if she wanted me to heat it up in the microwave.

She just took a bite of it cold and shook her head a bit and said,


Oh yeah, right! I kept forgetting the constant 
threat of the flammability that was my daughter.

It reminded me of the Andy Griffith episode where Andy and Barney suspect a goat left in their watch has eaten some sticks of dynamite. They tip-toed around the animal worried any little sound or movement would cause, as Barney put it,


Day #2 of Round 2 of the lice showed only a slight improvement.

And I found 2 nits in McDaniel’s thick, long hair!

I have to admit,

I could no longer find the funny.

Not when I caught a glimpse of my reflection wearing the polka dot shower cap.

Or even when I started to sing the “Sloppy Joe’s, Slop-sloppy Joes” part of 
"The Lunch Lady" song by Adam Sandler with Chris Farley.

Hair net-shower cap--same thing,
this is what I felt like.

And when I can’t find the funny,

I have lost hope.

I was exhausted from the constant 
and vacuuming 
and hair nit-picking.

And flat-out mad that these stupid
lice wouldn’t go away already!

Julie made this for me and I have it hanging in the living room. I had the weary
part down pat. But I was struggling with the rejoicing. 

I had heard from a friend the first time we dealt with the lice that there was a Lice Center in our city.

It seemed to me at the time that we should at least attempt to take care of things ourselves before running off to the Lice Center which was probably for serious, stubborn, reoccurring cases.

Well, let me tell you:

lice is always serious, 
(because it is contagious)
(many are resistant to over-the-counter and prescription treatments)
and unless you get every last nit:
(think Jurassic Park 2, or was it Lost World??, when they thought when they 
blew up the island all the dinosaurs died but some of the eggs survived)

Can anyone else hear the sermon in that?!

No, I didn’t either at the time.

I finally came to the end of myself and realized I couldn’t see every nit or get every nit.

Monte left many messages the night before with two different lice centers.

Isn’t it amazing that you can live in a city for 14 years and never know there is not one, but two lice centers in it???

I researched what these lice centers were all about.

One uses this heated vacuum-like machine to literally suck the lice right from your head.

I pictured a lice version of a Flowbee. 

Remember this vacuum hair cutter?

And couldn’t wait to watch the entire process and ask 4 million questions.

But that center couldn’t get the girls in until late in the day. 

Time was crucial!

I had Monte work his sales smooth charm to get us into the other Lice Center within the hour.
(Who incidentally said the whole heated vacuum-like lice version of a Flowbee didn’t work.)


I was really hoping for a quick fix. 

Wait. I think I hear another sermon…

It was completely God’s provision we didn’t get into that center or I’d be writing ANOTHER one of these lice posts in two weeks.

And quite frankly, 
I have other things to talk about.

I felt my humor slowly creep back as we walked up to the building.

You see, hope comes in spite of our circumstances,
not because of them.
Thank you, Lord!

We waited in the lobby and watched a little girl walk out with wet French braided hair followed by her mom holding several bottles of spray.

She assessed the hair on the three of us sitting there and said,

“Good luck!”

We were called back into a room with two hair salon looking chairs. The staff are mostly nurses or of some medical background. 

A cute young, enthusiastic gal worked on us. She wore the equivalent of a welding mask but with red laser lights and a magnified lens. 

Think of that Predator creature’s night vision in the 
Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

I wanted to take a picture but I worried that my flash would 
somehow get intensely magnified and burn her poor retinas.

Hey, I was one of those kids that built an eclipse-viewing apparatus out of a shoe box and a mirror to protect my eyes.

I know how these things can work.

Yet, I don’t know how to turn 
the flash off on my iPhone.

Cute Young Gal decided that I should get checked out first.

Because 85% of the time a child is infected with lice, the momma ends up with them too.

For the love of Pete.

She sprayed this non-toxic stuff in my hair and started combing through it with a fine-toothed metal comb.

It was so soothing.

I noticed that two walls of the room were covered with pictures kids had drawn.

I am with you, Claire!

I love the “See you never” in the corner.

Yes, they are!

This comic strip is very informative explaining a sleepover where lice is the uninvited guest.
Sorry my flash made it hard to read.

My favorite.
McDaniel pointed out Chasady’s picture. Nothing about lice. Just her
wearing a “Justan" Bieber t-shirt.

Cute Young Gal found a few nits in my hair!!

But I wore a polka dot shower cap!
(and sang the “Sloppy Joe” part of the “The Lunch Lady” song!)

I was told to leave the non-toxic stuff in my hair for 24 hours.

She also told me I could use the hair dryer in the hallway that had the size and blowing power of the pink and purple Barbie one the girls had when they were toddlers.

I was busy not-drying my hair with it, when Monte walked in.

The Lice Center asks that ALL members of the household come in to get checked.

Four seconds later Monte walked back into the hallway and claimed he was lice free.

What? Just like that?!

He went on to say that he was told lice hate testosterone which is why young boys get it but rarely men.

Then he flexed his muscles and kissed his bicep.

I knew right then that was not the last 
I was going to hear about that.

While Cute Young Gal worked through Ellie’s hair, I noticed the room also had a mural.

Wait. Is that me?

Is the louse with the ‘stache smoking?

A cute little 4-year-old boy walked in with his mom and stood right by Ellie’s chair so she could watch him play Angry Birds. He kept asking her if she saw him beat all the bad guys.

When the staff person asked to help him into the chair, he looked over at Ellie and said he could do it all by himself.

He also let it loudly slip how brave he was being about the whole lice thing.

I waited for him to flex his muscles and kiss his bicep but I guess his testosterone hadn’t kicked in all the way yet.

Ellie had loads of nits and McDaniel had more than a handful too.

Which was WAY more than the "only 2" that I had found in her hair.

They got their hair French braided while a co-worker came in and explained in great detail her favorite television show called, “The Ghost In My Child”. 

SPOILER ALERT:  Apparently a 2-year-old thought he was the designer of The Titanic and then another toddler started speaking fluent Chinese.

The girls laughed out loud.

The Lice Center was expensive. 

But it was done by professionals who knew what they were doing, what they were looking for and could do it quicker and more thoroughly than Monte and I.

Because I thought I had it conquered last time.

But this time, we walked out of there LICE FREE 

and the girls got certificates to prove it to school.

We go back this week for a follow up appointment

just to be sure.

And my humor is fully intact.



    I so totally hear your misery. Glad you were able to get them out of all of that hair.

  2. Karmen,

    I just clicked on your link. HAHAHAHAHAHA! And I agree. Amen. Can’t wait to hear about your retreat!

  3. OH my gosh this is both hilarious and heart breaking!!! My friend went through the SAME experience- it was TORTURE!!! Bless your heart!! I absolutely love how you can put the funny in the 'dark' twists and turns of your story!!

    And add those pictures to boot!!

    Oh, how I pray it is FINALLY OVER for you!!!

    Nasty little things...aren't they?

  4. I am sooooo sorry. That must have been awful! Glad your girls took it in stride-many kids don't!

  5. Oh Karmen - you and your poor family (and your daughter eating the cold pizza...)! Having spent some time working in a middle school I know how frustrating the whole lice thing can be for families. I remember one poor girl just in tears because she would come back every few days and the nurse would send her home yet again because they just wouldn't go away. Praying this is the end for the lice. On an up side the french braids are way cute : )

  6. Anonymous12:57 AM

    Ugh! I had to check this out, because I need to know what to do if this ever happens! When I was little my mom told me she would just cut all of my hair off. :( I didn't think that was very nice! Haha. Good to know!!!

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience with other moms...I know it is tough...remember those days. Also thanks for participating in our Thursday blog hop!

  8. I've never heard of lice centers - but it sounds like you aren't alone in needing one! Glad I hopped over here from Lyli's place. Thanks for sharing your story and your humorous perspective.

  9. Lice centers, oh my goodness, who knew. So happy they helped you. Thank you for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop so much fun. Big Hugs ♥

  10. reading this I started scratching my head, happy it all worked out okay. Thank you for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop so much fun. Big Hugs ♥

  11. Oh my word. . . now I've got "The Loaded Goat" stuck in my mind. I can just hear Barney saying, "Kablooey!"

    I had no idea there was such a thing as a Lice Center--but honestly, it's good to know! Thanks for finding the humor and grace in your experience and sharing it! :)


Just Another Rat Story

Happy Summer! Our summer started with Monte and I sitting on the back patio after dinner chatting while a rat ran across our yard. This...