second verse same as the first

by ck on January 20, 2012

MY TEXT: I can’t wait for tonight!

HIS TEXT: Me too.

And I couldn’t. I really, really couldn’t. It had been a long week. A good week, but an exhausting one. And in the middle of it was the first night of auditions for the Mother’s Day show, which were amazing. Lots of laughter and affirmation, and funny, funny stories. And even though the storytellers could leave after they auditioned, they didn’t. I had an open mic in my living room. It was awesome. I felt a little wistful as I nodded and laughed with the moms of small children. I was relieved to have passed through those years, but they really were rich with humor. And now? I’m not saying that my home flowed with the milk and honey of good parenting, but there simply weren’t as many bad moments as there used to be. I was changing. Growing.

Even still, my husband and I hadn’t been out together in a few weeks, so I was really excited. We were going out watch a show with some of our very favorite people. My house was still clean. ONE didn’t have homework. I didn’t have to cook dinner. The girls were excited about their babysitter. (I was excited about their babysitter.) All I had to do was get myself ready and feed the kids some nutrient-free pasta and I was done. I was having such a good mom day that I even threw in a bath for the girls.

I get really negligent about bath time in the winter. No outward dirt, no pressing need to wash them. Whatever. But I tossed them into the tub and even pulled out the Tea Tree Shampoo as advised by my wonderful friend Jane from TheyCallMeJane because I’d used that (and the Super Duper Lice Comb) on my girls every ten days since the Faux Lice Disaster of ’11. I still had one hour until I left. One hour to sit at the counter and have a glass of wine and gaze across my clean kitchen while waiting for my husband to pick me up. My mind was blissfully somewhere else. Somewhere trendy. Somewhere with dim lighting. And as I combed through ONE’s hair with the Super Duper Lice Comb, I found these. Lots and lots of these:

And the more I combed, the more came out. Her scalp was gracious and yielding, like fields of manna at first light. The Lice Happens technician who visited our house in November was right. We didn’t have lice last time. We had it this time. And unlike several months ago I didn’t jump around shrieking, or shiver with imaginary skeevies, because I was in control this time. I was going out. And also? My mind was busily vacillating between how I’d keep it from the babysitter, and why I had to be so cocky. They hadn’t needed a bath. Why’d I have to go and try to be super mom? That never, ever works out for me.

I stopped combing ONE’s hair because I knew it was just the beginning for her, and moved on to TWO’s head. TWO announced that she was fine, because only her sister and her sister’s friends got lice. ONE moaned and cried. I rolled my eyes. ONE caught me. She screamed that I didn’t understand her. That I hated her. And then stormed out of the room, slamming doors. Whatever. I ran through everything the technician told us as I brushed through TWO’s head and inspected her scalp. I wanted to sound convincing when I assured the babysitter that it was all taken care of and she could still come over. Lice die in 24 hours if they’re not on the scalp. They can’t live or breed anywhere else. They only pass head-to-head, through brushes and…I looked down. I was brushing TWO’s hair with the brush I’d just used on ONE.

I was hand-delivering the lice, unscathed, to their place of worship.

And I would spend the rest of my night wandering in the wilderness, unable to enter the promised land.

I changed out of my “Mommy You Look Beautiful” clothes,  called the babysitter and cancelled. Poured myself a glass of red and brought it into the bathroom. I took a long sip and gazed at the shower. The idea that I’d grown was as full of it as the lice shampoo I’d paid too much money for. The amount of bad moments I’d been experiencing had nothing to do with my parenting. It was all about logistics. Since the moments could no longer slip out through tiny little cracks during the day, they gestated while the girls were at school, rising in strength and power until they exploded forth in a million little lice.


(PS: If anyone reading this happened to be at my house the other night, don’t worry. It wasn’t in our furniture or anything like that. You’re safe. Unless, of course, your child’s classroom happens to be located on the same hallway as ONE’s. I have no idea what’s going on down there, but it’s not good.)





TheKitchenWitch January 20, 2012 at 9:14 am

I’m so sorry that you have the dreaded L-word. Unfair!

…but you’ll get a good story out of it :)
TheKitchenWitch´s last blog post ..The Birthday

Amber January 20, 2012 at 9:50 am

We had lice problems where I worked for months. MONTHS! It was horrible. Poor babies, poor mommies, and effing lice.
Amber´s last blog post ..From Working Mom to Sick Mom

ck January 21, 2012 at 7:55 am

Any idea how they got rid of them in the end?

Lori K January 20, 2012 at 10:03 am

I heard from someone that if you use apple-cider vinegar in your hair it repels lice. She uses it about once per week in her daughters hair. Just rubs it in after a shower… The vinegar smell goes away. She started doing that after finding out about a lice outbreak in her classroom, and her daughter hasn’t gotten it… could be worth a shot! Good luck!

ck January 21, 2012 at 7:21 am

Great idea, thanks Lori! I will definitely give it a shot. My poor 6YO is starting to suspect me when I stand behind her for too long. ..

Gen January 20, 2012 at 10:14 am

TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so excited for you to go out… then THAT! AGAIN! You seemed to have handled it well, though.

ck January 21, 2012 at 7:53 am

Does that mean you’ll take me out for a drink the next time I’m home?

rebekah January 20, 2012 at 10:30 am

Those little b@st@ds have been brutal this year. ((Hugs))

Gibby January 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

Oh man. Ohhhhhhhh, man.
Well, you just got yourself another juicy one for open mic night, right??
Gibby´s last blog post ..Dipping My Toe In

ck January 21, 2012 at 7:22 am

I was just thinking of you the other night. I wish you were still blogging, Gibby! You were my GPS. Hope everything is going well. :)

amanda January 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

We are so going thru this at the moment- minus the word ‘faux’. My case was so bad I had 7 inches cut off my hair- and hired someone else’s South American nanny to pick the nits off my head.

My daughter keeps complaining her scalp still itches although I can’t find any sign of lice. I suspect she just wants be able to watch mad amounts of TV while I go thru her hair.

What I’m really curious about though is: which comb are you using? The one I bought ‘nit terminator’ only really helps to divide up the hair to super thin sections, it doesn’t pull out eggs. I have to use my finger nails for that joy…

ck January 21, 2012 at 7:41 am

I’m so sorry, Amanda. Lice are the worst. Did cutting your hair help?

Before I tell you what comb I use I just want you to know that it’s ridiculously expensive and I’m not at all sponsored by the company. But it really works. I bought it when the Lice Happens technician was at our house and I watched (and felt) the difference between the comb she used and the metal and plastic ones that had been ripping through our scalps. (I have curly hair, so the other combs were particularly horrible for me.)

Did you ever have lice as a kid? I didn’t. My mom was so freakin’ lucky to never have to deal with this!

Kelly January 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Hey Cous!

I’ve been through this before. Any questions please ask. Remember, they can live off the scalp for a few hours before they die. So if “one” was sitting on the couch (or anywhere there is fabric) they can hang out for awhile until someone else comes along. Get yourself a “Robicomb”. Also, make sure you get ALL the eggs. Eggs can live through the chemicals, but eggs can survive.

The wine does help!

ck January 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

Please tell me it will stop! Lie to me Kelly, I don’t care. I just need to believe it will someday end. :)

And if you and the kids are “busy” next month when Grace and I are in town, I’ll understand.

Kelly January 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm

It does stop! You have to be vigilant. Check everyday for two weeks. Even
if the knits are gone the eggs might not have hatched yet. Wash all the
sheets, towels, blankets in HOT water and everything else like stuffed
animals, doll clothes, pillows etc in large plastic bags and put them in the
garage, basement or outside for 2 full weeks. Once you do that you can
focus on her head. The best thing to do is part the hair in 1″ by 1″
sections and go through it well. Also, like I said before a robicomb is a
must! Oh, and boil ALL brushes for about 1 minute. If you vacuum, throw
away the bag when finished.

Good luck and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Fie Upon This Quiet Life January 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm

F-ing lice. As eldest has ADHD, I am terrified that he’ll get lice one day, and I won’t be able to get him to sit still long enough to comb through all that damn hair he has. I think if my kids (both are boys) get lice, the best thing to do would be to straight-up shave their heads – with a razor and everything.

ck January 21, 2012 at 7:46 am

I can’t tell you how much I wish we could just shave their heads. And mine too. I wouldn’t give it a second thought, I’d dehair us in a flash!

mccgood January 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Oh I was so hoping this blog was about something different, you so deserve a night out! I am telling you you should buy the book Scritch Scratch by Miriam Moss. It’s so cute and laughable.
Try and have a nice weekend.
mccgood´s last blog post ..Fragments just a little early

ck January 21, 2012 at 7:51 am

Ha! It’s not so bad. It’s much easier to get through these things when you’re the fixer, and not the afflicted. In fact, comparatively speaking, it’s not bad at all.

(I will not scratch my head. I will not scratch my head. I will not scratch my head…)

Naptimewriting January 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Totally itching now. Thanks.

Doesn’t compare to your nightmare, but still. Really itchy. Your fault. ONE’s fault. ONE’s school and freaking licey friends’ fault.

Tea tree oil diluted with water in a spray bottle. Once you get rid of these bugs (electronic lice comb that zaps them), spray their hair with tea tree water TWICE a day. Forever.
Naptimewriting´s last blog post ..Stealing Beauty

Dawn @What's Around the Next Bend? January 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm

If the outbreak is at the school, ask the teacher to have the students put their coats and backpacks in trash bags before hanging them on their hooks. (In fact, donate a box, the drawstring kind… the teacher is more likely to do it that way) Many times lice spreads rapidly because they jump from coat to coat and by recess time half the class has it. Trust me. I have worked in school that had outbreaks. The trash bags don’t eliminate the problem, but it lessens it. If your daughters’ teachers won’t do it for the class, insist that your daughters do it with their coats and bags.

Kelly has given you some great advice. Also blow dry their hair, specifically at the scalp. Good luck!!
Dawn @What’s Around the Next Bend?´s last blog post ..Why I’m okay with making up a snow day on MLK Jr day

Melani January 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

Man, I feel for you! My husband and I were supposed to have “date night” last Saturday and my lovely 16 yr old was to babysit. We have not been out alone for MONTHS. My daughter forgot and was out, enjoying herself with friends. I was pissed to say the least.
Melani´s last blog post ..Brandon Singing at Church

Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri January 23, 2012 at 11:05 pm

The L word always brings me back to the summers after we visited India. My mom would go all out for lice removal before school started. Even though it was over two decades ago, I still can’t laugh about it. Good Luck!
Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri´s last blog post ..Running Through Papago Park

Jess in DC January 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm


Jane January 24, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Tea tree oil is supposed to be the wonder cure. Google it with lice. Lots of info will pop up. Good luck and hugs – from a distance. ;)
Jane´s last blog post ..Jane Jonesing Jeans. Suffers Sticker Shock.

Jessica January 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm

The worst part about this? You were actually going to have a childless date with your husband…
Jessica´s last blog post ..Two Months….

Justine January 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I know it’s not funny to give up your date night and to have to deal with lice but blame your amazing storytelling for making me crack up. Lice = awful. Your story = awesome.
Justine´s last blog post ..Our whimpering dragons

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