The Chocolate Lady

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boogie Fever

Does anyone remember that song, Boogie Fever? I love that song, and that catchy line in the chorus, "I think it's going around and around and around."

Yeah, well, just as *catchy*, yet not quite as enjoyable, is lice. Lice, as in little crabs that hatch in your hair and crawl around biting your scalp, drinking your blood and making your head itch. Those lice.

Last week, I got the ol' letter..."someone has lice, please check your child, blah blah blah blah blah."

Now, to regress to an older post, another random fact about me, Im a lice officianado. Truly. My years at the orphanage were good for many things, and one was for making me an expert in lice. I can spot them like nobody else, and have spent (undoubtedly) hundreds of hours plucking them from the hairs of children.

Interesting tid bit (interesting being a questionable term).....when children are removed from home and made wards of the court...the court is the child's guardian. The court makes all decisions; medical, educational, where the child will live, etc. etc. But the one thing the court cant do (and I think it is the one and only thing, besides taking the child out of state - and even that can be done with some paperwork), is cut the child's hair. No kidding.

So, when a child comes in, with lots of hair, and super-lice are jumping off their head like flies on poop, we cant cut that child's hair. Even considering that the child will be housed with tens of other children, in close living quarters (where they all sleep in the same room) still cant cut the hair.

You can put the hair into many little pony tails and try to keep it from blowing in the wind, but you cant cut it.

So, that's a scenario that was pretty common, and it gave me great experience in identifying lice, and trying to treat it with all the shampoos, etc.

Fast forward, the note that got sent home from school with the kids.

Unlike many moms, lice doesnt freak me out much, Ive had it a bunch (thanks to hairy children who are wards of the court) and I know it's not a huge big deal.

After I got the letter from school, I checked Beauty and Pooper's hair, and they were fine. As it turns out, 2 girls in Pooper's class have them, but he was clear, so no big deal.


I took the girls to get their hair cut (monday is that time of year - family Christmas photo time!) Everything was fine, they looked cute, and as we were leaving, I saw a friend, and so I stuck around and chatted a while. I say this, because the hairdresser continued to cut the next person, she did not act freaked out, or super-sterilize her station.

When I finally went to go home, I put Little One into her car seat, and immediately noticed the ashen colored nats moving about her fair scalp. UM, TOTALLY LICE!

I looked some more, and saw another. OMG. WE. HAVE. LICE.

Surely, the hairdresser must have seen them. She washed, cut, and then parted Little One's hair, making those cute little twistie tie, pony tails....there is no way she would have missed them, they are clear as day on Little One's fair hair. However, Im also wondering, if Elise picked them up there? WHO KNOWS?

Now, I said it wasnt a big deal, and it's not....when you are single. But with 3 kids and a hubby, it equates to incredible amounts of laundry, etc., At the orphanage, we just threw our dirty clothes in a cart that got rolled down to the laundry wasnt my job (thank goodness!)....but now it is!! (I should be fired!)

I immediately checked everyone's hair when we got home, and never found any on anyone but Little One. BUT, how did she get them?? She could have got them from Pooper...but then he would have them too. Some of the kids from school also go to our church (although the 2 girls that have it do not.) but there is the chance that it has gone beyond those 2 girls, and Little One got it from a sibling at church. Or was it from the hairdresser? Is that why she didnt say anything??

I may never know, so I just have to treat the whole family.

I know that the "medicated" shampoos are not very effective, not to mention, they have chemicals that can cause leukemia....and while Ill take lice over leukemia, I had to get one good shampooing in. After that, the only real way to get rid of them is to pick them out, one by one. seriously. The combs are not that good, you just have to hunt them down and use your fingernails. I know gross.

One little trick, is to slather your head in vaseline, as it smothers the lice.

So, after stripping everyone down, and doing the pesticidal shampooing (careful not to go blind), I smeared petroleum jelly throughout everyone's head. This is great, except for the fact that it takes about a week of daily shampooing to get all the grease out. Which, doesnt bode well for family pictures on Monday (that can not be rescheduled.)

So....long story short......I read that putting corn starch in the hair, and using a clarifying the best way to get rid of the vaseline. Tomorrow morning, (because we cant go to church looking like grease heads)....I will try to shampoo everyone's vaseline out, and then sit and look for bugs to pull out with my fingernails, one at a time.

And, if that doesnt make you want to get up and do the Buggie Fever, I mean, Boogie Fever, I dont know what else would!


Kjersten said...

Ewwww. It makes my head itch just thinking about it. When I worked as a child abuse investigator I saw some less than ideally clean homes. I do not know how I managed to avoid lice, but an amusing anecdote: one of my co-workers actually saw mushrooms growing in shag carpet.

heartshapedhedges said...

LOL, OMG, mushrooms!! Well, I might not be surprised if I sprout them in my carpet....

Lice can be in the cleanest of there should be no shame, although, I was a bit embarassed....

went to Albertsons and couldnt find the lice shampoo. I made the mistake of asking the pharmacist, and it was like a bad movie.

Me: Where is the lice shampoo?


Me: (trying to contain my sarcasm) Yes, that is what I am asking for.

Him: Oh, let me come and show you....

Me: (following behind)


Me: (giving him the evil eye for broadcasting my request to the entire eastern 1/3 of the store) THANK YOU!

I was tempted to say,
"And why dont we just tell eveyone that you'll have my syphillis medication filled tomorrow, when I come back for my anti-psychotic pills????"

Anonymous said...

We went throught this when the girls were little...who hasn't? It has nothing to do with cleanliness, the doctor will tell you that. I was told they probably got them from a movie theater seatback. Anyway, did you sanitize the sheets, mattress, etc? Its so much fun!! I actually took my daughter Denise to a child's hair salon, only to find out in the middle of the haircut, that she had lice. The hairdresser was not very nice about it, but agreed to at least finish the haircut. They are supposed to sanitize everything in between clients anyway!! Good luck,,,there is a product that is like a powder for their hair that may help. I want pictures too.

Grandma J said...

I don't know how I did it, but I dodged that bullet when you guys were young! I did have a bout with ring worm and had to have Michael's head shaved, and use ointment for a while. I believe you got the same thing in your belly button.

Katrine said...

We've had lice one time in our family. It was when my daughter was 9 years old and she had hair that went to her waist. Those little lice combs do not work! You have to pick those little buggers out with your fingernails. So much fun, not! We didn't have any luck with 3 tries with the medicated shampoos. We tried mayo without any results. I was beginning to think we would have to cut her hair to get rid of the nasty things! We then tried a little tee tree oil in hair conditioner. It stunk so bad that we were miserable while using it. But it worked! To this day my daughter starts to gag if you mention tee tree oil.

Philly said...

I'm with grandmaJ. My kids never had lice,,,,thank god.
My daughter even went to a birthday party at a salon. Everyone got them except her.
Someone told me once that blowing drying your hair helps kill them, not sure if that is true or not.


Kay Bratt said...

That is why, in the orphanage I worked in, all the little heads were shaved. Every month or so, the babies became gender-less with their identical bald heads...they looked like little monks lying there on the bamboo mats!

The Running Girl said...

What horrible timing. We had to deal with lice several years ago. Not fun at all. Hope you get rid of it all and hope the hair looks good for the family pictures.

Cortney said...

Wow! That stinks. Atleast you knew what to do. It would freak me out. A lady I know just had to get them out of her kid's hair. She has four! I'm going to send her a link I'll she'll appreciate your trauma.

I can't WAIT to hear how this year's pictures turn out!

Anonymous said...

We got lice EVERY year in elementary school, except for 6th grade- it was a big epidemic once [somtimes twice] a year. I always had to get my haircut and it always looked horrible- the only exception was the infamous Supercuts do- thanks Grandma J!
No lice stories in Denver. And my boys have very short hair they don't like or need to brush much, so.... Thank God I do not have daughters!!!


Ira said...

A low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural way to deal with lice is to make a homemade liquid from soapberry which grows on the Chinaberry tree and has been used for thousands of years. It works very effectively.

michele(nurse in ny) said...

No Fun! I'm a school nurse so been there, done that! One suggestion Dawn dishsoap is good at getting the vasoline out. but be careful it stings eyes.

Grandma J said...

The tea tree oil, or eucalypus oil should work. I also read that listerine (original) works. At least it's not pesticides.

jlo said...

Yikes. Good luck with that. My friend is dealing with her second round of lice with her 5th grade son. he has the really cool long hair, too. Such a pain.

Anonymous said...

do they still use the infamous- STEEL comb! I wonder if Raid would do the trick?

Kara Maher said...

You make me laugh...I would FREAK!I just love your kick back attitude about things!

Anonymous said...

I feel for Little one. My older sister played with some dirty kids who had lice (the Mother left them and the Dad then had to work and take care of 8 kids, so I guess keeping them clean was at the bottom of the list) anyway my sister never got lice but I did and I never played with them or went to their house like she did. So I guess Little One could have gotten them from Andrew even if they didn't stay on him.

Carol Z.

Jason, as himself said...

Ugh. What a nightmare! And how could the stylist not have noticed? And have you gotten it under control yet?

Thanks for the sweet comment you left over at Bossy's Featured Gay today. :)

Life with Kaishon said...

Happy Thanksgiving Kim!

BOSSY said...

Boogie fever?!!!??? You bet. And now thanks to you, it's lodged in Bossy's brain. Kind of like lice.


Paige said... head now itches. Ew. We have had two lice warnings and NO lice here...yet...knock on a wooden head. But we have Nit Pixies in the 'hood, who will (for an outrageous sum) pick the lice from your child's head. Worth it to me...