I spend a lot of time staring at my kids. I look at them and my mind wanders off to how incredible they are. I think about how cute they are.
I take in all of their features – wanting to soak in everything about them. Sometimes I laugh at myself and realize there will come a day when the kids just think it’s weird. Luckily they’re still young enough to not really notice.
I was doing exactly that on Friday when I noticed something in my daughter’s hair. I looked closer and grabbed it and then dropped it in the sink. She looked down and said, “Mom is that a bug?” My mind started racing. When did that note come home from school? Was it her class or her sister’s? And then the quick realization that it was lice (which was followed by about ten swear words in my brain that I won’t repeat here).
My husband wasn’t going to be home until later that night so I threw a hat on her head, put all three kids into the car and took a run to the drug store. I had a chat with the pharmacist who showed me the options and I grabbed the most expensive one on the assumption that it was the best. Who knows? I didn’t care. I was in panic/action mode. I asked her about treating us all even though I hadn’t seen anything when I looked at the other two kids. She said not to – that it can actually make treatment less effective if they end up getting it.
I coated her hair in the stuff and I put on a movie so that the kids could watch it while we waited and then while I combed. I combed that poor child’s head for 90 minutes. Every little piece combed every which way and then pinned so I could get the next piece. This particular treatment needed to be washed out eight hours later. I knew that going in but had no plans to wait until the next day to do it. My alarm went off at 4am. I woke her up, we snuck downstairs and washed it out in the sink and then went back to bed.
The next morning, after putting the comb through my own hair and finding one live one (don’t even get me started on my reaction to that), I called a company called the “Lice Squad” (I had actually emailed them the night before but things became more urgent Saturday morning). A wonderful lady came to our house and very calmly explained everything I had to do. I bought her treatment for all of us as well as her comb – which is a million times better than the ones that come in a box. She walked me through how I clean, what I need to sterilize, what needs to go in the dryer as well as what I look for in our hair, how to properly comb etc. She was incredible and will come back Wednesday to do a check and preventative follow up treatment on all of us.
I do believe we were lucky. We caught it incredibly early and there was no sign of anything in last night’s combs as well as this morning’s. The work to get rid of it consumed our weekend but I was a woman on a mission. I likely went overboard but in my mind it was a “better safe than sorry” kind of thing.
So we officially made it to Grade Three without the lice experience. Once I got over the initial shock, I think the hardest thing was telling our sitter and the school – in a weird way you feel like you’ve done something wrong when you haven’t. My amateur French braiding skills are now being put to the test and we’ve had to add ten minutes onto our morning for ‘up dos’. One thing is for sure – I will no longer feel weird about gazing lovingly at my kids. Not only is it a nice moment but you never know what you’re going to see (and from experience, seeing some things early is definitely a good thing).
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller