I was just about to put my kids to bed for the night, just about to settle in for an evening of grading my beloved essays (from all four classes I'm teaching), when my child shocked me out of my complacent plans. Leaning over the sink, she reached behind her head and scratched. Hard. Like she was really digging. Like it was really itchy.
My stomach could not have lurched more, but I tried to remain outwardly calm. I fiddled through her head one way, then the other. Little bits of...dandruff? Sugar? Oh, but they were stuck to her hair like sugar. I had to pull them off with my fingernails.
Knowing the truth already (and if you've had this happen, you know the truth, too), I ventured further down, towards the neck. And I cursed (inwardly), for there were the creepy little almost unseeable bugs. Dammit!
Now, don't get me wrong, there is not a time in my life when lice will be welcome. Not on my kids. Not on me. Not on my husband. Not on a flea in the front yard. If there is a creature that does not deserve to live, it's that one. But right now? I don't have the time! I have papers to grade! Rough drafts to scribble all over! Homework to help my kids with! Reading to do! Classes to plan for! Weekly grades to submit! I am OVERWHELMED with my life already!
Richard ran off to get the pesticide (and, yes, I realize I'm poisoning my kids--they'll probably die of brain cancer someday and it will be ALL MY FAULT), and I started washing bedding in hot water. We soaked all the brushes, cleaned all the stuff we could find, collected everything that couldn't be washed and vacuumed it (spraying it with some more pesticide, too, so that my kids could get cancer somewhere else), and washed everybody. I used the little nit comb and went through everyone's hair systematically.
Everything seemed fine. Had it worked? I checked my daughter's hair this morning--the only person I'd seen signs of lice on--and she seemed good. Hair looked clean. Didn't see a single nit.
I should have been relieved. I did actually get some grading done. But then the nurse called. It seems all the bugs were gone (though she did tell me what I'd used was a pesticide, and it was not recommended, without telling me how else I was supposed to kill the creepy bugs), but she said my daughter's hair was "filled with nits," and to get rid of them, I was going to have to "go through Crystal's hair strand by strand, physically pulling off every one to get rid of them."
Great. Now, instead of grading papers, I'm FREAKING OUT! And tonight, instead of working on my classes as I should, I'm going to spend, oh, FOUR HOURS combing through people's hair! And my husband's going to have to spend the whole evening combing through mine once the kids go to bed.
And I get to do it all with an itchy head, because whether I have them or not, even if I dosed myself with the cancer-causing pesticide last night and killed all the crawling ones, I'm itching from the mere idea of them.
The nurse wished me luck. I don't think that's enough to pull me through this one.