The fear started a couple of days after Laci's birthday party. The school nurse called and said that one of the girl's from Laci's birthday party had lice. I am cursing my mom for giving me the cute craft kits for visors to do at Laci's party! Really, hats fro 6 year olds. Urg. I talked to the nurse for awhile in the most inconvenient of times (Charlie and I were driving to the cemetery at his grandma's funeral) and the conclusion is that there was nothing I could do but wait.
Wait... And check Laci's head.
Wait.. And check Laci's head.
Remember, I have no idea what lice look like or what I am looking for. Every night as I look at Laci's head, I remind her that if I see anything, I will scream. But I don't see anything. Two weekends after Laci's party, I see a lot of head scratching. But I don't see anything in her head.
Monday at lunch, the school nurse calls again. It's the lice. So I go to pick Laci up. The main reason is to spend the afternoon going through her hair - a very time consuming process. When I get to the school nurses office, it is a party in there. There are 3 girls from Laci's class having a great time together. The nurse shows me the lice and what to look for. As predicated, I jumped and screamed a little. Ugg.
Laci and I head off to the store for nit picking supplies and spend the afternoon working on her hair. We shampoo her head and wash all the pillow cases in the house along with Calvin's blankie and Dogs and her sleeping bag and blanket. And then the real work starts. I meticulously go through every strand of Laci's hair, picking up, killing and throwing out the lice and as many eggs as I see. It was gross. Laci sat on the floor watching spongebob. I hate spongebob. There weren't too many lice but that is relative. I don't know how many a lot is. I feel confident that I get all the lice but my confidence level is low when it comes to the eggs. The directions are to wash the hair again in the shampoo 7 days later to get the eggs that have become lice.
As soon as I am done, I shampoo and shower myself. I just feel dirty. I try to put my children's needs and fears first but I have long hair - my terror level over my own hair is pretty high. Calvin also gets a shampoo Monday night. I know he doesn't have the patience for nit picking so if I find lice in his hair, the clippers are coming out.
We finished at about 4:00. So we headed off to Barnes & Nobles to use the birthday coupon for a cookie. After that afternoon, we deserved a few minutes of downtime.
The more people I talk to, I have realized that nearly everyone has gone through this. I am not alone. As I was leaving work Monday, my coworker gave me a peptalk . She had done it several times with her daughter when she was growing up.
We are not done with this nightmare yet. I picked a few more eggs from her head last night. I think I will have her do an extra preventive shampoo tonight as well as Monday night and maybe next Friday.... But the one thing I will remember is that when it was done, Laci told me that she had a good afternoon with me and she was glad we got to be together. I won't say that nitpicking is now my favorite mother/daughter activity but these days I will take what I can get and I will always have that special afternoon with my daughter in the middle of this nightmare.