The One Word Parents Never Want To Hear

I opened an email from a good friend last week.  And there it was.  The moment I saw the word, I started breathing heavily and my vision blurred.  I tried to get up and stagger away from the computer, but I felt like I was going to be sick.  And then I started scratching my head like crazy.


The Email No One Wants To Get

As in, someone has lice in the second grade.  The same grade my daughter is in.  At the same school.  It’s the one word that just makes me want to run away.  Or as my friend put it – run straight to her liquor cabinet.  I’ve faced down every childhood illness.  Pink eye.  Fevers.  The vomits.  Multiple bee stings.  A smashed toenail.  A spider bite that swelled one eye shut and caused an overnight hospital stay with IV antibiotics.  Intestinal distress. I can handle them.  Or really, I’ve had to handle them because, I have no choice.  That whole mother thing kind of means you’re in charge.

But lice.  Lice could break me.  To confirm my fears, our school sent home an email.  And it’s a subject heading you never want to see: Head Lice Communication.  Yes, lice was spreading like wildfire, jumping from tiny head to tiny head, laying eggs and…. I think I just made myself sick again.  Parents were instructed to bring in trash bags to keep students’ belongings separate.  A friend told me to put my daughter’s hair in braids or a bun to keep it out of the way.  I think we should have locked down the joint like the outer space level 5 hazmat scene from E.T.

And it’s not just my school.  Now that I’ve had my first brush with the l-word, it seems to be everywhere.

At a recent party, one mother confessed to me that her kids got lice this fall.  And then again a few weeks ago.  And it wasn’t just the kids.  She got it too (!).  As I frantically started itching my head, she recounted her trip to the drug store once she made the horrifying discovery.  She slapped down three lice killing shampoos on the counter. And a fifth of vodka.  Then, she told me, she called the Lice Lady.

There is actually a wonderful woman who will come and check your child’s head, bring you lice killing super power shampoo and help you de-louse your house.  Genius!  I’m not sure how much she charges but I think I’d give her my first-born (especially if she’s the one who has lice) to clean it up.  I went to her website which says “Welcome to the Lice Lady!  Sorry you have to be here!”  I love this woman already.  She’s like a first responder, a Lice Marine, running into dangerous situations when others are running away.  She must have a strong stomach and patience for weeping parents who wonder “WHY ME?!”

I took an unscientific poll of mothers (5 friends) which revealed they believe lice is indeed the worst.  One mom disagreed and she’d take lice over the vomits.  I started scratching my head again.  We have so far escaped the Lice bug (knock on nits).  But since we’ve had the stomach flu this past week, perhaps there’s a Vomit Lady out there.

9 thoughts on “The One Word Parents Never Want To Hear

  1. We’ve got that same email from school three times this year. Not fun… my daughter has really long crazy hair too. I put it up in a bun today… she looks like a little tiny librarian, haha. I told her to stop hugging all the time too. It’s very cute to see the kids greet each other in the morning, but the hugs… that’s going to be the downfall. Hair touching hair… yuk!

    • Jeff – feels like I had to tell my kids DON’T TOUCH ANYONE! But I do agree, the little hair buns are cute! Just another reminder that these loveable children of ours are serious germ magnets! Glad you are well –

  2. Lice is Nice…….or not. I especially loved, as an elementary school parent, they way the school administration would sketchily inform people, often too late or after the fact, about an infestation, over-protecting the infected parties so parents didn’t even know who to tell their own children to avoid. It’s the plague. Full disclosure would be nice…….as is lice……LOL

  3. Hey a mom gave me a bottle of tea tree oil from trader joes which supposedly deters lice. I put some drops in a water spray bottle (with water) and I spray their hair every morning.i put straight oil on their backpacks and coats. Hey I’ll try anything. It doesn’t smell the best so I spray the nice smelling hair conditioner spray on top.

  4. Dear Christy:
    Last evening, I got a phone call from a woman in Canton who said she read about me on your blog. I wanted to say thank you for your kind words, and yes, I am sort of a First Responder. I have worked with people all over the world and have had offers from people from as far away as Australia to come and help them with their lice problem. I spend most of my time trying to talk people out of firebombing their houses (the insurance companies generally frown on such things), shaving everyone’s including the dogs heads(no one looks good with an earring and a bald head), and not spreading it to people that they don’t like (one loses many friends that way). I have seen high powered executive women drink wine at 10 in the morning. I have met people in the strangest of places (we affectionately call it “doing a drug deal in a parking lot). When it all comes down to it, I love what I do!
    – Courteney Gettel AKA TheLiceLady

    • Thank goodness you have a sense of humor, Courteney! And we are all lucky you stand on the front lines against lice. Because heaven knows I’d be reduced to a quivering mass of jelly. I’m glad I haven’t had to call you. Yet. Thanks for reading!

  5. Pingback: Post #1 // Analyzing 2 Blogs « one.lost.chica.

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