Head lice are a freaking disgusting and annoying pest! I must admit I never thought I’d have a lice problem in my life because I associated lice with being dirty and I still can’t help attach some stigma to it. Miraculously I never got lice myself and this supported my false notion that I was somehow cleaner than those other people who did get head lice. Now comes my comeuppance as head lice have invaded my little girl’s hairdo for a second time in the last few months! I was brushing her hair this morning before school and, lo and behold, I saw a little brown sucker disappear between two strands and I knew immediately her head was teeming with these little critters sucking blood from her scalp! After having dealt with this a couple months back I was not as disgusted this time around, instead I was more frustrated with the removal process that I would have to initiate on her head and the fact that I was going to spend a lot of time over the next couple of days dealing with it. Most pressing was the fact that she was staying home from school until I could wash out her hair with insecticide and I hadn’t even had my morning cup of coffee yet. So after having sent my two other kids off to school I took a moment to have a cup of coffee before starting on my bug killing adventures for the day.
The disgusting aspect of head lice is only the beginning. These guys are a real pain to deal with. They’ve got claws on their legs and apparently they hang onto a shaft of hair for dear life so you can’t just wipe them away in the torrent of a very hot shower. Turns out they can hold their breath for extended periods of time so trying to hold your head underwater in the bath is not going to work either. Soap does not bother them in the least, even anti-bacterial, disinfectant soap. There’s really only one way to get them out and that involves killing them with a bug repellent that they call ‘medication’. To make it worse, this medication is totally overpriced. It probably stems from the fact of having one company owning the market share of the business because there is RID and that’s pretty much it. There is a generic version but it is hard for me to entrust this process to a knock off because I assume RID works the best and I’ll pretty much do anything to take care of the problem and never have to deal with it again, even if that involves grudgingly handing over a few more dollars. I’m literally buying pesticide shampoo. It is the type of chemical that I have tried to keep away from my kids their whole lives by buying organic produce and locking up poisons in a kitchen cabinet out of their reach. And here I am charged with massaging it into my child’s scalp while we sit in an unventilated bathroom choking on the smell. First we have to shampoo and leave it on for ten minutes to work its deadly magic. Then I painstakingly brush her hair out with a special comb and some insecticide hair gel. I try to be meticulous about combing her hair to make sure I do a thorough job and after an hour or so of staring into her scalp I am a little dazed with nearsightedness and I have a sore back and I have convinced myself that I have treated every strand of hair on her head so I tell her it is finally over. She is happy to be able to stand up at last and stop tilting her head at odd angles at her father’s impatient insistence.
Let’s see what happens tomorrow morning when I comb her hair again, hopefully there will not be any more six legged tenants to deal with!