My head is itchy just writing the word.
Lice is going around my kids’ elementary school. Like wildfire. It goes around every year, it’s sorta par for the course. But this year seems worse. This year there are so many letters coming home. This year my kindergartner has to put her stuff into a plastic bag when she gets to school. I’m dying at the thought of lice hitching a ride on one of my kids’ heads and coming to my house. I’m taking measures to make sure that doesn’t happen. First of all, I heard that lice prefers clean hair. Done. No more screaming into the bathroom to make sure they wash their hair when they are in the shower. Now it’ll be like, “scrub your body from the neck down! Do NOT wash that hair! I’m going to smell it to make sure it is not clean!” My little ones will be happy because every time I try to wash their hair in the tub they act like I am trying to waterboard them. So at least bath time will be a little less stressful. Also, no one is leaving this house without their hair up in some sort of french braid, or french twist, or top knot, or chignon, or corn row. And then hairsprayed until it is a shellacked coat of armor. Sort of like an anti-lice hair helmet.
It’s not even having to delouse the kids that has me shaking in my boots. I actually love gross stuff, so that won’t be any problem. It’s having to delouse my entire house and everything in it that makes my heart pound and has me pacing the floors at night.
And with the amount of warning letters that are coming home from the school, it feels like it is only a matter of time. Dead men walking. Sitting ducks. And all that.
We haven’t had it yet. But if we do get it, I imagine that it will go down something like this:
From first letter home…to full blown lice infestation
FIRST LICE LETTER COMES HOME. NO BIGGIE.
SECOND LICE LETTER COMES HOME. OKAY.
THIRD LETTER COMES HOME. SHIT JUST GOT REAL.
CHECK WHOLE FAMILY FOR LICE
SPOT POSSIBLE LOUSE
A CONFIRMED CASE OF LICE. DIE A LITTLE INSIDE.
DELOUSE THE CHILDREN
DELOUSE THE HOUSE
DONE! LICE FREE!
EXCEPT THERE IS ONE NIT THAT WAS MISSED
AND YOU HAVE TO START AGAIN
SO YOU GO THROUGH THE WHOLE HOUSE AGAIN
AND YOU STERILIZE ALL THE LAUNDRY AGAIN
UNTIL YOU THINK YOU’RE DONE AGAIN
BECAUSE OTHERWISE, THIS…
BECAUSE I SIMPLY CAN’T MAINTAIN THIS…
Not hard to see why the horror of a lice infestation scares me like nothing else, right? If this were the year 2027 and we had smell-a-vision you would be able to smell my fear. But until then, just take my word for it. I’m fucking petrified.