Tuesday, December 17, 2013

THE LAST TWO WEEKS: SNOW & LICE

Two weeks ago (and I'm rounding here, I honestly hardly know what day it is right now) we had a lovely ice/snow storm.  It was just enough to slow down life for a bit, and it was magical.  We cozied in together on the couch, snuggled, and watched A Christmas Story.  Then we braved the ice to travel down the road to my parents' house where we piled on hats and coats and scarves and gloves and then did some sledding with our cousins.  We snuggled some more (all the kids get to sleep together on mattresses on the floor), and had hot chocolate and popcorn.  By the way, I feel like an idiot for never having thought to make popcorn this way. Stick corn in a paper bag with butter and salt and then microwave!  My mom is smart. And health conscious.)  We camped out there for a couple days then went to my sister's house (down the road another mile) where we stayed a night.  Call us vagabonds.  We were just going with the flow, following the magic of the season wherever it took us.

We even had my sister shoot a Christmas Card photo!  We have NEVER done a Christmas Card!  Magical I tell you.  I'll post about that later.  It was crazy, and fun, and my sister is a champ.

As the snow was beginning to melt, I had to travel  a couple hours away for a modeling job, something for which I was very grateful, it being the Christmas season and having extra expenses and all.  Side note: Modeling is something I do on occasion for extra dollars.  I don't talk about it because A. It's not glamorous or interesting, and B. I just don't like talking about it.  I share it now because it's essential to the story to come.  This particular shoot was a two day shoot, and because it was two hours down the road, my kids went back to my parents' house for the night and following day.

One day of work down, I get everyone to church that evening and then home afterward. Then my oldest says, "My head itches."  Uh-oh.  I've heard those words once before, roughly a year and a half ago in fact.  Right after Tom was born, Tristin had head lice.  It was terrible.  No one else in the family got it, but she had to miss camp and we had to wash and comb for days.  It was just terrible.  Well...that was nothing, come to find out...

I quickly took her to the bathroom where I examined her noggin.  Sure enough.  The lice had begun their ruthless attack.  I called Heath who was working an hour and a half away and told him, "You must come home."  I knew the score.  I knew what was about to happen.  The laundry, the "treatments", the combing, the washing...he had to come home.

Last time we dealt with this, we used the pesticide lice treatment you can get at the neighborhood Walgreens or whatever.  This time, I vowed not to use that poison.  Makes me nervous.  But so do lice.  So I began researching natural lice treatment online.  While doing all of this, I also checked the heads of my other children.  All had it, to varying degrees.  Little did I know, I too, had fallen victim to the Old Testament like plague.

I started thinking back on the previous couple weeks or so.  Where had we been?  How did we get this?!  We homeschool for goodness sake!!!  In fact, that last lice incident actually solidified my decision to homeschool.   How did this happen?  

Then I thought about all the cozy snuggling we had been doing, not only at our house, but also at my parents' and my sister's (who has four boys of her own).  We had been to church the previous night, too.  We had exposed SO MANY OTHERS to what we didn't know we had.  I had to make the calls, warning everyone to treat and check and take preventative measures.  I had to call the hair and make-up stylist from the photoshoot.  I had to cancel the other day of work.  Talk about humiliating!  

"Hi, I can't model tomorrow because I and my four children have head lice."

"Hi, you probably should treat yourself for lice because you fixed my hair all day and, as it turns out, I have head lice.  Merry Christmas!"

Good grief. 



After making all the necessary calls, I sent Heath to the store for all the necessary tools.  Rubbing Alcohol, Tea Tree Oil, shower caps, combs, trash bags...the list goes on.  I then made a $180 all natural lice treatment purchase (Clear Lice) that was overnighted to me.  Until that arrived, I treated with everything I could get my hands on.  My mother-in-law, a saint, came and took much of my lice-infested laundry to her house.  My mother was busy de-lousing her own house because we surely had infected everything there.  She has been so sweet and gracious by the way, even taking hours out of her life to comb through my mop head.  Good news is, she is lice free so far.

Looking back on the "magical" week prior, everything began to look not-so-magical.  All the hats and scarves, the coats, the shared beds and pillows... Everything had to be washed or bagged.

Top right is a picture of my baby with a shower cap duck-taped to his head.  SO SAD!!!  His case was extremely minor, but I treated him thoroughly anyway.  And Silas' haircut... WHAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Y'all, whatever we didn't wash (we washed over 20 loads of laundry) we bagged and sprayed.  Seriously, I bagged up entire wardrobes.  Everything that was hanging in the closet, worn or not, I bagged and/or washed.  Everything in drawers, I bagged or washed.  I'm not messing around, people.  These bugs have got to go.  Having everything bagged away for two weeks makes me realize how much we can actually live without.  But Christmas is coming and we will just bring in more.  Let's not go there.

During all of the craziness I did not have to cook one meal.  Dear, dear family and friends brought us meals and presents.  What a huge blessing!  Also, because I am an open book and put it out there to everyone that we were infested, I had so many reach out to me and share their own battles with lice.  Everybody's gone through it, friends.  If you haven't, it's likely you will.  I hate to be the one to break it to you, but so many people have dealt with this.  No one talks about it though.  It shouldn't be such a hush hush kind of thing.  So I am telling you, lice bridges the gap between social classes.  It doesn't matter how clean or how fancy your house and hair are. Them critters can attack.

From here on out, we will be taking preventative measures.  I'm not sure I'll ever be able to quit combing through my kids' hair.  We will wash our hair with tea tree shampoo.  We will not share pillows and/or brushes.  We may never leave the house again.


By the way, my kids tell me Christmas is in one week.  What you see above are the only presents under our tree at this moment.  Fingers crossed, internet shopping may have saved me.  Here's hoping the gifts make it here in the next few days!  And here's hoping we have defeated the "bah humbugs"!!




1 comment:

  1. Silas' and Enid's faces tell the story in the shower cap photo! I really feel for you, but admire your gutsy attack and letting it all hang out there! This too shall pass...

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