Last Saturday, my oldest niece graduated from college. She held her graduation party that night, and we hired a sitter to watch Little Thing so we could attend.
About three hours before the sitter’s arrival, I decided it was time to redo Little Thing’s braid and switch out her old nightgown for a new one. I grabbed her pink brush from the bathroom, plopped on the pink bean bag chair in her room, and told her to sit in front of me on her pink and white diamond patterned rug so I could knock out her hair. (She might be mildly obsessed with pink.)
After brushing through her thick, brown locks, I separated her hair into thirds with my fingers. I lifted the right section over the middle and felt something scurry onto my hand.
I looked at it.
That can’t be what I think it is, I thought.
It looked at me.
It. Was. A. Freaking. Louse.
In my house.
In my child’s gorgeous hair.
Fuck. Me. I thought.
Then it dawned on me. She had been scratching her head all week. Holy shit. I’d sent my child to kindergarten all week with lice.
Little did I know that my dumpster fire of a week was just beginning.
I calmly told Little Thing about the buggies in her hair and that we had to run to Walgreens to get special shampoo to get rid of them.
She burst into tears. I felt terrible for her. Poor baby.
“But it’s a stay at home day. You promised we didn’t have to go anywhere today.”
Apparently, she wasn’t upset about the lice habitat playing house on her scalp.
“You can go to Walgreens in your nightgown,” I consoled.
Her tears immediately stopped.
Upon arrival home from the pharmacy, I set to work with the Nix. I shampooed, cream rinsed, and nit combed her hair. Her bedding went straight to the washer. Pillows, bows, and stuffed animals found new homes in garbage bags. The vacuum cleaner, broom, and mop cleaned like it was springtime.
I emailed her teacher like a good parent and told her to be on the lookout for other scratchy-headed children.
I sent Little Thing to school on Monday.
She got sent home. I had no idea that schools have a no nit policy. The Nix box told me it killed the eggs, so I thought she was kosher.
We purchased the 75 dollar prescription strength shampoo and tried it. I followed it up by nit combing again. She stayed at her granny’s that night and the next day. I nit combed meticulously for two hours on Tuesday night.
We sent her to school on Wednesday. Again, she got sent home.
We Lice Iced yesterday and today.
I’ve spent at least two hours everyday nit combing her hair. We’ve laundered her bedding and cleaned her room daily. Six days after initial observation, I’m still pulling eggs out of her hair.
Jeeze. I want to pull my own hair out. Shave it off. Pull a Britney circa 2007.
If only it were that easy.
I had no clue lice, let alone nits, were this complicated, exhausting, and infuriating.
All I want for Christmas is for Licemas to be over.
Despite the torture Little Thing has suffered during Licemas, her resilience and sunny nature have never once dimmed. Through the shampooing, rinsing, sitting, and combing, she has remained a perfect little elf.
It’s not because her Elf on the Shelf is watching or because Christmas is three days away.
It’s because that’s just how she rolls.
And that’s the best Christmas gift ever, even if the lice do hang around for the holiday.
(But seriously Licemas, go fumigate yourself.)