It was a normal day, nothing too out-of-the-ordinary happened… we woke up, had breakfast, played, went to the park, came home for lunch, then I dropped my oldest off at school. The little guy went down for his nap, I worked, and then she came home from school and nonchalantly said, “Mom, my teacher has a note in my bag for you…”
My interest was immediately piqued. Based on her demeanor, I didn’t think it had anything to do with her behaviour (she knows not to be proud of acting badly!), so I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.
I opened my daughter’s backpack and almost crawled out of my skin at the sight of the word “LICE” popping out at me from a standard school form letter. It was the dreaded, “There’s a case of head lice in your child’s classroom” notice. Ewww! (Yes, I know, it’s an extremely juvenile reaction, but I couldn’t help it!)
What did I know about dealing with lice? I’ve never had it before; I’ve never known anyone who has had it before. Sure, my daughter didn’t have it, but how could I be sure she wouldn’t get it? All kinds of crazy thoughts were swirling around my head… we’ll have to burn everything… what if it gets in her carseat?… what if the baby gets it?… what if I get it?… arrrrggghhhh!!! Yes, I momentarily “lost it” mentally, but soon I regained my composure and did what most people do when they are ignorant about a topic…
I Googled it.
I was quickly armed with knowledge so I’d know what to look for, how to spot lice. I also got some insight on how to deal with it should I (heaven forbid!) ever have a case of it in the house. Immediately, I asked my daughter – who has very long hair – to flip her head upside down so I could check her hairline, near her neck and ears, for signs of any little critters. Thankfully, there were none.
Since then, there has been another case of it in her class. This time, I wasn’t so freaked out by the letter… just annoyed that lice would reappear amongst her schoolmates so quickly. We have taken every precaution possible, notably putting up/pulling back her hair every day. Considering she used to despise me styling her hair, this measure wasn’t the easiest to follow. Although, to her credit, when I explained why I had to braid her hair every day, she was very mature and didn’t put up a fuss. Even 5-year-olds know that having bugs in their hair isn’t something to aspire to! Arming her with knowledge about how lice spreads has been fruitful so far – no lice to speak of. (**Knocking on wood**)
Fast forward a few weeks and I wouldn’t exactly say I’m comfortable with the thought of lice (it still completely grosses me out), but I’m getting better. And, any of the parents that I’ve spoken to who have dealt with it say it’s not as bad as you think. To this I say, “Really?”
Let’s hope I never have to find out.