it's that moment. a moment, you most likely will never forget. you're in the middle of close at work. you are working 10-14 hour days. your husband is doing the same and hasn't been home for the bedtime routine in 3 days. it's 8:30 pm and your kids aren't ready for bed as you're still finishing up homework. you're 45 minutes behind schedule. the lunches aren't made for the next day. you're dog tired. you have a baby shower to throw IN seattle (3 hours away) in less than 48 hours and have never felt so unprepared for anything in your life.
and your daughter starts ferociously itching her head.
and you run to your kids head, and you start digging thru it like a monkey mom would.
and you're worst nightmare has come true.
your kid has lice.
the kid with long, thick, curly hair to her butt.
you fall to your knees and swear, that you just can't.
and then you stand, and you get to work.
you strip the beds, pull all towels and clothing, and stuffed animals, and everything with real hair and fake hair and anything 'fabricky' in a 20 foot radius of anything your kid may or may not have touched and you toss it over your stair railing.
you start the first of 50 loads of laundry. laundry on high cyle in hot water.
you put your kids to bed with one single pillow and one single blanket and you apologize that it's just too late at night to use the lice shampoo and spend hours combing out lice eggs. your kid cries that she has to go to bed with bugs on her head. but you just can't. you can't do it tonight. it's now 9 pm and she has school tomorrow. but she can't go to school tomorrow. and your eyes get big, and your blood starts pumping and you wonder how you'll load your forecast when your kid has lice. and where is sean? he was supposed to be home an hour ago and where is a towel. any towel. because i'm throwing it in.
you tell them 'tomorrow'. tomorrow you will get lice shampoo, and comb out lice and nits. you will go to work and finish your deliverables. you will at the same time keep them home from school. you will plan a baby shower. you will drive to seattle. you will do all of that, and at the same time. try not to cry.
so you do laundry all night, and pack. and make lists.
you get 3 hours of sleep and you get up and you go to work. and you call the school and warn them of a lice outbreak. and YAY, you have a sore throat and seem to be losing your voice. and your husband stays home to do the lice treatment. and you get into a fight with your husband, because you want to 'help' by offering advice because you just can't mess this process up. and your husband feels like you don't trust him. so you go to work and you come home 4 hours later to find him still hunched over your daughters hair. with a paper napkin and a fine toothed comb. digging.
you quickly shower and apply the shampoo to yourself too. just in case. because you don't want to take lice to seattle to 25 ladies awaiting what will hopefully be a fab baby shower that you aren't prepared for.
so you relieve your husband and you comb for two more hours, and then you finish packing your bags, and you go to the store, and you pick up your friend and her baby and you drive in rush hour traffic to seattle. and you have no voice.
you get up the next morning, sounding like a man. a raspy old man, and you and your friend throw a party for your other friend and it's a success. a smashing success and you thank and praise god you made it happen and nobody died, and hopefully HOPEFULLY there are no lice friends on your head that have travelled with you. you pray.
so you drive home, and help put away 700 piles of clean laundry, and you check alex for lice and find 3 more, and 9 eggs and you cry a little. and you check your son just to be safe. and they are there. everywhere. and you cry some more. more lice shampoo, 7 more hours of combing and your head itches. you hope it's psychological. you google everything to do with lice and lice eggs, and natural remedies for killing the little bastards and stress, chest pains, and depression.
you buzz your son's head which hasn't been shorter than a shaggy surfer dude since he was 1. you cry some more.
on monday you go to work, and pick up your kids not asking them 'how was your day?' but, 'does your head itch?'. you unpack their bags to find an urgent letter from the principal to all parents. 'there has been a lice outbreak. with two confirmed students infected...' you die of shame.
you being to talk to your friends and family and co-workers about your hell. you learn that everyone has gone through this. you find little comfort in that. you are so tired of combing tiny, microscopic eggs and living creatures out of your kids head. you are still living in fear they are on you. you have nightmare after nightmare of rodent sized insects overtaking your scalp.
your kids start to see you crumble. they tell you it must be so hard to be a mom. you fight tears nearly every hour of every day. you comb, you inspect, you pick at your kids like a monkey mom would. your behind at work and the chest pains...
and for days you shower your kids each night, and you wash their sheets daily, and you pick through their head for hours instead of reading books, and you tell them to hold still a million times. you're pretty sure that at this point, they hate you.
you repeat lice treatment after 7 days, you lather your kids hair with toxic pesticide for the 2nd time and mumble under your breath to DIE LITTLE VARMINTS DIE ALL OF YOU. you make a mental note to call a therapist. you might be going crazy.
and each day, you find less and less and one day you swear they are all gone.
and the next day you find one more. and you beg your husband to do something SUPER unromantic and pick like a monkey mom thru your mom head. because every time you think about lice which is 7000 times in one day your head itches. he doesn't find anything.
and the next day you swear they are all gone. and this time maybe they are. and you vow that you will send your kids for all eternity to school in shower caps, and put them to bed soaked in olive oil for the rest of their days.
and now, your 17 days post lice and you know more about these species than any other pest in the world.
and for just one moment, you think maybe you've survived it.