Friday, February 11, 2011

Woohoo, it's Lice Day!

Or really days, because we all know this is just the beginning of the journey.  It started two days ago, when I realized Ani had lice, which meant that Eliza had lice, which meant, oh yes, I have lice. Dan seems to be the only one who has escaped the fun, and I imagine it's due to his enviably short locks.

Yesterday we did not do much in the way of louse removal - well, I worked on myself, but knowing that we had to take a long break in the middle of the day to drive Dan to the airport in Columbus, I decided not to embark on the laundry, vacuuming, washing and combing venture until we had a full day to do it.  So yesterday we looked at the lice instead...
A friend and I were recently talking about "strewing" - in unschooling circles this is the practice of putting new and interesting information or materials in the paths of your children.  She heard about our lice and suggested that perhaps we've taken this concept a bit too far.  Mmmhmm. I did see my girls looking at the parasite book again today and giggling. I think they were nervously looking at the worms and wondering what was next...

Before I begin to relay our lousy (literally) day, I think it will do me good to acknowledge how freaking lucky and privileged I am: I have laundry facilities in my house and triple-loaders within a few blocks of my house; I have a bazillion coats, blankets, pillows, and clothes to wash; I have $60 worth of quarters with which to wash all of my belongings; I have a friend I can call from the laundromat and cry to, who says "We are here for you -  if you need us to come do laundry with you, we're there." even though he was just there yesterday doing the very same thing with his family; I have another friend who says, very sincerely, "Debbie. I would happily come and comb through your hair." ; I have a sister who has patiently fielded several phone calls a day and calmly answered the very same questions over and over and over and reminds me that no one is going to get sick from lice, that they are just an inconvenience and that we are ok; I have a friend who called our local pizza place and ordered us really good pizza for dinner because she knew I was dealing with this alone today and that my kids took wacks at each other all morning and that I'd lost it several times with them and had a large overwhelmed meltdown before 8:30 this morning. Breathe. In truth, as you can see, I was not alone, not even when my husband had no cell reception on the NYC train he was riding today when I called him from the row of dryers. He would be here if he could. My kids rallied many times today and even declared this to be "a really fun day!!"  We apparently don't get out much...
They loved the laundromat. The change machines, the slots, the piles and piles of quarters, the doors to open and shut, the whirring, the vibrations, the warmth, the carts...there was nothing not to like about the laundromat.
 For me, I just liked that we could do 17 bags of laundry in 3 hours. On hot.
You know, now that I've shown you photographs of the laundromat of all places, what could there be left to tell??? Our afternoon was carefully choreographed - it could only have gone more smoothly had my Virgo companion been here to oversee the operation. He doesn't seem to get as overwhelmed as I at the hundreds of steps it takes to make one large thing happen. So, while the girls ate quickly assembled nachos and listened to a story, I unloaded the car of its 17 bags, took 9 more plus a papasan chair down to the basement to wait out their quarantine of 2 weeks or more, vacuumed the living room rug and couch and got ready to cut some hair! Eliza first, then the lice goo, then Ani and the lice goo then showers and to the couch for a movie while Mama gets her turn with the goo and the shower and then it's on to the marathon of combing and picking and...another movie and the pizzas arrived and more combing and - "Mama, how about instead of combing my hair you snuggle me? Without the comb in your hand?" - pausing to snuggle, even as I can still see them in your hair, what IS this stuff that it can reek so badly and they are STILL ALIVE???  Sigh. I am...clean. and tired. and a little discouraged. but feeling ready to do battle again tomorrow, starting with the pillowcases and sheets again, and then the hair...hm. I think we might need more movies...

6 comments:

Stephanie said...

Oh, God. I'm gasping.

It's my worst nightmare.

Had it when I was a kid - lived through it.

Now I have dreads.

'nuff said.

Jessica said...

We have been blessed not to have a single louse in this place since we pulled our eldest from school.(Probably just jinxed myself).There was an Aussie scientist quoted in a pamphlet that the kindy my eldest went to gave us saying that they dont survive away from human blood for long so hopefully it will all be over soon you just have to nuk them and starve those strong enough to survive.Horrible little blood suckers they are.At least your children got to have a very good look at them! Well you have to look on the bright side with things like this after all.

slim pickins said...

Jessica - i have to admit it was one of my first "why me?" moments - we don't even go to school!!!! sigh. they're just out there. it's not awful, if you don't let yourself get overwhelmed by all the places they could have laid their eggs...

Stephanie - this is one of the rare moments i am thanksful i don't have dreads. we play often with a family that does and i've called them every day...so far so good.

Stephanie said...

Hey -
when I was here before I was feeling too freaky-wiki and didn't tell you how sorry I was/am that you're having to deal with the little beasties. :(
Now that it's daylight, and my head has stopped itching, I can come back and say "I'm so sorry! I hope you're all recovered soon!"
<3

debbiedas said...

Oh Goodness - I'm sorry you have to go through all this. I truly can't imagine. However, I so love how you look at all the pluses. So much optimism in this post. Hope the worst of it is behind you. xo

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

Woohoo!! :)

So glad there are so many people there to support you.

If it ever happens to us, I know who to call when I feel all weepy and overwhelmed. :)

xo,
s