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Let's Talk About...LICE

The best part of my day was (and always is) picking JD up from school. But not today. Today, his teacher handed me a paper that read: “Unfortunately we have confirmed cases of head lice within the school. You child’s classroom has been affected. Head lice is highly contagious and we need your help to diligently check your child’s head everyday for the next few weeks.”

My face went white. I felt that woozy panic feeling (I have panic disorder and sometimes I have panic attacks – it sucks!) I didn’t have a panic attack right there, but I did start drilling JD’s teacher. She told me 2 kids were sent home with lice and are not permitted back until they are re-inspected by the school. She told me she checked JD’s hair and scalp and didn’t see anything, but lice are small, like tiny small and clear and JD has white blond hair—awesome. Then she recommended I buy RID and use it this evening, because if there is lice in his head, it’s good to attack it now before it gets out of control. Now I felt panicky. JD was tugging on my shirt and asking for juice and my head was itching. No time to panic.

We left the school and went straight to CVS. I asked to speak to a Pharmacist. She hugged me. The woman hugged me. That was my state. Then she gave me a bottle of RID. On the way to checkout we ran into JD’s teacher who was there to buy RID too. OK! OK! IIII YIII IIII The whole way home I asked JD if his head itched. He said NO.

I warmed up leftover cavatelli and peas and made chicken nuggets (all white meat - no preservatives!). JD ate and I scanned his head over and over and saw nothing—even with my glasses on. After a successful week of showers, JD was thrilled to take a bubble bath, because the RID needed to sit for 10 minutes on his hair. He played happily. "Don't touch your head," I said. "Why?" he asked. "Don't, dude." I Facebook messaged my mom friend, *Valentina who has a daughter in JD’s class. “I did a spot check -- all clear, bathed her and changed the sheets!” she wrote. Sh*t, the sheets! After JD’s bath, I stripped our beds and threw them in the wash with extra soap and hot water. I combed JD’s wet hair strand, by strand and saw nothing, nada. And then I called his Pediatrician and left a message with the answering service because I am THAT MOM. I prefaced my message for the doc to the answering service lady: "Please don't think I'm crazy, but..."

Dr. Ch57261d was so kind and understanding—and reassuring. She told me if I didn’t see live lice there was no need to use RID, but the shampoo didn’t harm him. She also said lice don’t leave bite marks, so I shouldn’t freak if I see anything suspect, like a scratch or red spot. She said JD is allowed to itch his head without having lice. She also said The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a study that said kids with lice shouldn’t have to leave school if they have lice. Lice are not dangerous. They don't carry disease. Our society associates lice with filth and that is false. JD gets one or sometimes 2 baths/showers a day. His school is clean and bright—one of the best in our area—and lice happens. But I HOPE it doesn’t happen to us. I’ll be checking 24/7. I’ll be checking my thick, super-long hair too. Great. 4 Myths About Lice (this made me feel better).

And while the Ped made me feel better, tonight, wow, tonight, I wish someone was here with me. Combing through JD’s hair, telling me to relax. Giving me wine to drink. Just me, though. We survived. He’s sleeping and tomorrow we’re VIP guests at Sesame Place (check the blog on Monday!). Onward we go. But, I feel like a sh*tty parent tonight. I didn’t eat with JD—no appetite (sat with him). And when he asked me to play blocks, I just combed his hair. I read him one book, while studying his hair. I was distracted. Sometimes single motherhood…is sad, hard, lonely. Truth. Have a good weekend. I'm off to shower because I feel itchy. Ahhhh. I need to chill, a vacation, a cocktail. My BFF, a hair stylist and JD's Godmother just texted: "Buzz-cut time. See you Sunday." I checked JD's hair with a flashlight while he was sleeping. Normal.