The word Monday is nearly as hated as the word Drama.
Personally, I used to be okay with Monday. We were friends, not besties, but close enough, until yesterday.
I remember yesterday like it was yesterday, because it literally was. It started out like any other Monday, the beauties refusing to get out of bed, me threatening them 237 times to get out of bed (when I get back, you better be out of bed AND dressed), then me resorting to extreme measures—
busting butts, bribing (I am so not above a bribe…I’ll put candy in your cereal, JUST GET OUT OF THE BED!), and then me ripping covers off, listening to them howl like rabid dogs, while watching them perform some weird ritual of flopping fish aerobics, and then me trying to dress each of them without getting bitten.
Yeah, Mondays aren’t that bad. I’m not a Monday hater—Monday means 3/4 beauties are in school and I’ve got Netflix all to myself.
I’m working through yesterday morning like a boss! I get all the beauties dressed, fed, teeth brushed, and backpacks ready—we are killing it! Every time I pass a mirror, I’m literally pointing at my reflection mouthing, “you’da BEST Mama!” It feels like a Rocky Balboa moment, until it’s not.
“Mama, will you put my hair in a bun?” Those words will never sound the same again.
We’re standing in my bathroom, I get the brush out, and start pulling Adalynne’s hair up. Two swipes in and I see it. My internal dialogue goes something like this:
“Is that what I think it is? No, no…it can’t be. (moves head closer to child’s head) It kinda looks like it, but no, it’s dandruff. Yeah, it’s got to be dandruff. Just watch, it will just flake off. No big deal. (You dust it and it doesn’t move, you quickly do this five more times and it still doesn’t move…heart starts beating out of chest, cold sweat starts walking up your spine, hands start dripping hysteria. You now pat child’s head harder and your eyes have moved closer, hovering a mere millimeter above their head. You start blinking so rapidly that you get dizzy. You quit patting, instead you’ve moved on to a full on nuggie mode, what you thought was a flake IS THERE TO STAY, NOT LETTING GO WITHOUT A FIGHT!
You now usher out in your best Kevin Hart voice….”NOOOOOOOO, nooooooooo, nooooooo!”
You are past the point of full-blown panic. You now mirror a monkey who’s grooming—if that monkey was on steroids.
Yep, you find more…child has now been alerted, “What’s wrong mama? What are you doing to my hair? I just want a bun!”
You cry out again, “Noooooooooo, nooooooooo, nooooooooo!”
Monday is now the gift that keeps on giving—literally.
The gift of LICE—5 days before you go on holiday with your entire family!
The first thing they tell you when you google lice is to not panic, so of course I PANICKED!
“TRAVISSSSSSSSSSS!” I screamed.
He comes running into the bathroom like someone has been stabbed, or is critically injured. The man arrived in Superman fashion, except without his hand on his hip and fist in the air.
“WHAT!!!!!!!!!!” He bellows.
I don’t even know how to say it. I’m so amped, I just stand there horrified. I’ve just died—life as I knew it before lice is over. That life is flashing before my eyes, scenes flickering behind my eyelids. I visualize every spot Adalynne has occupied in our house in the past 24 hours—rolling on the floor, laying on the couch.
I start imagining her rubbing her head on every surface of our house.
So I say to Travis the only rational thing that comes to mind, “We have to burn the house down!!!” And to make it worse, I follow with…
“And shave our heads. It’s over.”
If he were ever to commit me to an insane asylum, the face he’d wear was the face he was making right then. He was probably thinking, “I always knew she was crazy, but not that crazy.”
“SHE. HAS. LICE.” I growl!!!
At this point, I have gone off the deep end. I’m throwing my hands in the air, stomping in a ten inch circle, scratching my face, head, neck, arms—it ITCHES everywhere!!
Adalynne is crying, I’m yelling at her to not touch anything. Travis is yelling at me for yelling at Adalynne. I start yelling, “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING,” at all of the kids now congregating in the bathroom.
Travis is trying to console Adalynne, while I’ve jumped off into the black sea of paranoia. I’m drowning in it. I start whisking through everyone’s hair and find that it’s in Amelia’s hair too. This launches me into Phase Two of O.V.E.R.R.E.A.C.T.
It’s a sad sight.
I lost my damn mind. There I said it. It was a terrible mom moment. Trav might have even threatened to throw me outside if I didn’t quit yelling at everyone. Not wanting to be evicted, I swallowed a few times, wrapped my arms around myself, starting singing Adele while rocking back and forth, and envisioned all the memories pre-lice.
I had a good life.
Laugh with me, seriously laugh. (like I said earlier, in the land of this blog we laugh instead of cry)
It took several
hours minutes for my poor husband to talk me off the ledge. Worse, he actually had to remind me that lice never killed anyone.
The truth is that lice is one of those taboo topics. Pre-lice, I praised myself for my kids never experiencing it—like I’d achieved at something great. When really it’s a matter of coincidence, using someone’s contaminated hair brush, trying on a hat, hugging someone for ten years–okay, not really, but head to head contact is the most common way to contract head lice.
After absorbing everything there is to know about lice from my pediatrician, Google, every friend I know who’s dealt with it…we decided to burn the house down. That’s a lie, I went to Walgreens and bought the entire section of lice treatment products.
Trav and I came up with a game plan, divide and conquer. He stripped every bedroom of anything that could be washed, sprayed what couldn’t, and I stripped all the beauties down, slathered their heads in lice killing shampoo, and combed through their hair for 3 plus hours.
Out of the six of us, we only had 2 with lice. God had a mercy, but everyone had to be treated to ward off any re-infestation.
I did Trav’s hair and then called a friend and begged her to come treat my hair. Simply put, Trav is not someone I’d entrust with diligent hair combing–God love him. (He probably prays that Jesus doesn’t call me home while all the beauties still live at home for that reason–doing four daughters’ hair)
Then I sent Trav to the liquor store and told him not to come without every bottle of wine they had. He must have felt real sorry for me, he brought home their strongest tequila.
After hours and hours of combing, treating, tearing our house apart, vacuuming, spraying, and 58 loads of laundry–I am happy to report that we are lice free.
This is 1/2 of the laundry (9 garbage bags in total)
The beauties returned to school today (after inspection by the school nurse) and life has returned to normal, except the anxiety attack from learning we had lice in our house probably took 20 years off my life, but we survived.
Nobody died, lice can be treated (it’s actually safer to have lice than ticks–ticks carry diseases, lice do not), it doesn’t mean you’re dirty (they love clean hair), and it’s totally a taboo subject. People actually still whisper when they talk about it.
My advice, don’t freak the freak out and scare your kids, like I did mine! (Mom! Bugs are eating my head!!!!!!!) Make your husband stay home and help you rip apart and clean the entire house, find a way to laugh, and hug your babies…then drink several drinks to calm the heck down and then stay awake itching like a madwoman, imagining lice crawling all over you till 3:00 a.m.
Nevertheless, you will survive. And if you are already a survivor, having claimed victory against lice, (whispers) cheers mama!