You see, on the heels of my Monday from Albuquerque (Albuquerque being next door to Hades) I got the a Tuesday I would like to forever wipe from memory! I have two beautiful daughters (and 3 handsome sons who don't figure into this story much) and 4 yr old M and I spent the morning volunteering in 6 yr old H's 1st grade class... So far, no stress... life is good - I can cope, really I can! Then... as M is sitting on my lap I see some movement from the corner of my eye... unfortunately the corner of my eye is focused on her SCALP! There is a little teensy but definitely disgusting little bug in her HAIR... So I run screaming from the school (well, not really) - straight to the store to purchase every conceivable lice treatment in the world... or at least on their shelves.
I know... "ewwww", "ick!", and "Holy Crap - have my kids been anywhere near those filthy children?!?" and especially "oh please, let her not have posted pictures of those!"
Now, because I paid attention in health class - and because I saw the Arthur episode where Muffy gets lice - I KNOW that lice is not the "dirty disease" that it was believed to be... I KNOW this in my brain, but knowledge possessed in my brain does not always translate to emotional well being as I make phone call after phone call to schools, preschool, and even dental office to tell them the lovely news - I am not ashamed to admit now that I was crying many tears of shame then. It took over a week to wash/boil/spray/throw out/quarantine everything in my house and slightly longer than that to be mentally prepared to be humorous about the situation!
So, without further Ado, I present:
All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Lice:
Share Everything (except hats, combs, jackets, barbies... yeah, never mind - be selfish, it's safer that way) * Play Fair - and at least 5 feet from the nearest child * Don't hit people, especially when they might wrestle you down to a questionably clean rug that hasn't been disinfected yet * Put things back where you found them, after mom has finished tumbling them in the dryer on HOT for 20 minutes * Don't take things that aren't yours, especially combs and hats! * Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody, because nobody likes having their hair pulled even if it is very necessary to remove every last nit * Wash your hands before you eat - and as often as possible, especially is you touch your sisters/daughters hair * Flush - wait, I didn't learn that last week... but it's still important! * Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you - and a good break from stress * Live a balanced life - take breaks each hour from hair searching * Take a nap every afternoon, because you probably haven't slept at night while doing all this darn laundry * When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together - and keep your hair tied into tight little bands so as not to share anything unpleasant * Be aware of wonder. Life can exist in a tiny seed - or a tiny egg that should be removed and destroyed thoroughly * Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die, and so do lice... they're just harder to kill * and then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK. Look VERY closely until your eyeballs are ready to pop out! (with apologies to Robert Fulghum)
I also learned that good friends are good to have and "I've been there" are nice words to hear sometimes! * there is a lot of fabric in cars... whether you drive a Yugo or a Mercedes - those stupid seatbelts never end! * no matter how tired you are you should still separate your laundry carefully because even though the 9 year old thinks his new pink splotchy polo is cool it screams "my mom can't do laundry" to the rest of the world! * Dolls and Barbies really don't need changes of clothes! * Who needs so many stuffed animals? * Attachment to physical possessions (bows, hairbows, etc...) is evil * Cheap rugs are cheap for a reason and don't necessarily like to be thrown in the washing machine * Tenacity is a good quality, except in tiny little bugs * Staying fit is important in case you ever need to bend to do laundry for 20 hours straight!
On a lighter note, the girls had REALLY cute hair do's for 10 days straight...and the bedrooms were REALLY REALLY clean when all was said and done!
(with special thanks to the teachers and principal at my daughter's school for their subtlety - she came home BEAMING because Mrs. T loved her hairdo's... even though Mom suspects there was some other reason for taking a glance at her head!)