“School started on August 13th. We were positive for lice on the 26th. HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL!
Is your head itchy yet? I know you just had the sensation of bugs crawling through your hair just at the mention of it. Now go check your kids’ heads. STAT!
We were standing at the bus stop on the 26th when my daughter was scratching her head. Ummm, why is she scratching her head so much? She must have a dry scalp. My husband Tim suffers from that. But she kept scratching every few seconds. I watched her for about a minute and could tell this was certainly more than just a dry scalp. Instant panic. Instant swear words in my head.
Since both Tim and I were there waiting for the bus, I had Tim check her head. I didn’t have my glasses or contacts in and my eyesight pretty much stinks when it comes to focusing on small things, so I knew I’d more than likely miss it if it was, in fact, lice. He confirmed it. My whole body basically went into hysteria. We forced the kids to march back to the house and they were furious with us.
I emailed all the teachers immediately, telling them they wouldn’t be in school today and to warn all the other parents. I wanted to die of embarrassment honestly as I typed out those emails. I’m sure the teachers deal with this a lot, but I know the reactions the parents are going to have on the other end once they get the news. At least I know what my reaction would be. Horror. Dread. Disgust. Gross. Heebie-Jeebies. I would probably be judging that family. I would probably be rolling my eyes. ‘That kind of stuff doesn’t happen to families like mine!’ – but spoiler alert, y’all, it does! Now go do a courtesy check on your own kids’ heads.
Okay. Deep breath. It’s not the end of the world. But it’s definitely the worst non-emergency thing any parents should have to deal with. Especially when you have FOUR girls with thick, curly hair. I had been using the whole Fairy Tales hair care line. You know, the one that’s tailored to lice prevention? Except I wasn’t using the Rosemary Repel one. I was using the Curly-Q one – like an idiot. For whatever reason I still thought the blue bottle would prevent lice just like the red bottle. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
I sent my neighbor a message, asking what I needed to buy. She walked right over and gave me everything she had. She assured me that this happens to normal families and not to take it too personally. I was trying. But….lice. UGH! Tiny little bugs invaded our family and I was so appalled it was my kids that were affected.
So there we were. I had four thick, curly heads looming before me. Where do I even begin? But crap, what about my own head?? Oh God. What about my OWN head? Tim….please….check my own…head….
It was instantly itchy. Had it been itchy all this time and I just ignored it? Had I even noticed? Surely I would have known that I had bugs crawling around my head, right?
He started parting my hair and examining it with his phone’s flashlight. ‘Yup, you have it too. Sorry, babe. But there’s only a few.’
I turned into a 16-year-old hormonal girl. I was completely dramatic. Ridiculously dramatic. NOT ME TOO!!! I had an immediate attitude. I was so mad. I was so grossed out. I was itchy and just all around outraged that this was even happening. WHY!? Why us?! Why me!? My husband called me out for acting like a complete lunatic over something that is fixable. Completely annoying, yes. But fixable. Put your big girl panties on, Molly. You have Operation-Lice-Removal on the horizon.
I started off by straightening everyone’s hair with a flat iron. I knew it wouldn’t kill everything, but it would at least burn off the ones that weren’t next to the scalp. Then I threw tea tree oil all over their hair. Then I threw in the Fairy-Tales lice remover. I let it simmer in their hair for a little while and then I started the dreaded combing process.
For six hours all I did was comb out hair. My back was shot. My forearms were burning. I was emotionally exhausted by the end of it. I was crying to my husband once I was finally done. But I also knew I’d have to repeat this whole thing in a few days to make sure everything was really gone. I also knew I’d probably continue this process for a few weeks because I’m a freak. Honestly, how do you really know when it’s all gone? How do you know without a doubt that all eggs were confiscated? Do you just keep going until you feel confident that it’s eradicated?
MVP goes to my father in law for taking ALL of our laundry to the laundry-mat. He knew I couldn’t handle washing bedding on top of fishing out bugs from curly hair. He knew I was a hot mess about the whole situation so he took one of the biggest things off of my plate. He washed all of it and he was the angel I needed that day.
Once all of the kids’ heads were done, it was my turn. I told Tim to not even tell me how many he found. My horrified demeanor quickly turned to relaxation once I realized how good that dumb little brush felt on my head. Seriously, it felt like a spa treatment. As ridiculous as that sounds. The little metal teeth grazing along my head felt like someone’s nails were giving me a nice ole scratch and it was just what I needed to end this maddening day. I honestly think I’ll have him comb out my hair more often since it was so nice.
We repeated the treatments every other day for about 10 days. Because again, I’m a freak. My head still itches even though Tim tells me I don’t have any. I’m crazy enough to seek out a professional company to check themselves just to give me piece of mind.
I realize now that we definitely could have gotten lice before we even started school. Be vocal when your kids acquire it. Nobody wants to admit that they have it. But give other families the heads up just so that they can keep an eye out. It’s embarrassing, I get it. It sucks, trust me I know. It’s not fun. But speak up if you get it! We have to look out for each other.
I want to stress the importance of using something that repels lice on a daily basis. While it’s tea tree oil or the Fairy Tale’s shampoo/conditioner and conditioning spray. Use the whole RED bottle line if you go that route! Lesson learned. Also, make sure you do a good job with the combing out process. That’s what really gets all of the lice and nits out. Take the time to comb!
God speed, parents. God. Speed.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Molly Schultz of Tried and True Mama. You can follow her on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
Read more from Molly here:
Provide beauty and strength for others. SHARE this story on Facebook with your friends and family.