Lice… Gah!

Soooo… lice. Admit it. Just reading the word made you cringe. And it’s not just because I put it in italics. I can make you do it again…  bedbugs, chiggers, hand foot and mouth, mice, bologna cake (no? Google it. You’ll wince a little). I could go on all day, causing you to make awkward, squirmy, wincing faces at your computing device until your neighbor moves away a few feet. Oh yes.  I’m that good!

First off, let me just say lice are not a sign of a dirty household, in fact, neither are bedbugs or any other abominable pest that enters your home. In fact, lice prefer clean hair and any of these annoying menaces can get into even the cleanest of homes. I’m not saying my home is clean. I’m just saying, “NO ONE IS SAFE!” See, now you can sleep easy. Right?

If you have never had lice in your home, let me give you the 411 right quick. Small bug, even smaller eggs, so small you almost need a microscope to see them. They usually, but not always, make your head itch, they are contracted by head to head contact. So really better than some pests, because most of your kids aren’t going around rubbing their heads together on a daily basis. However, there are still precautions you need to take, and if you have a germaphobe for a spouse, then their are more precautions you “need” to take.

All in all, my house has never been so clean. Thank you lice. I learned that I have a sanitizing setting on my dryer.  Thank you lice. Those little nuisances can’t last 30 minutes in there, and your belongings will be so hot when you take them out you will need hot pads. Thank you lice. Having just about all my child’s belongings in bags for 10 plus days made both of us realize how little we really “need.” Thank you lice.


I had lice a couple times as a child. Although I remember the shampooing and tedious combing my poor mother endured, I was too young and carefree to trouble myself with what else was involved in eradicating this menace.  I spoke to my mother, the day that all of this occurred, and do you know what she said?  She said, “You know, this sort of feels like payback.” My mother, my sweet, all-around good natured, never spiteful mother.  Although, I can’t say I blame her cause there was the lice vacation disaster of ‘86.  Oh yea… me, my sister, my grandmother (who was vacationing with us) head lice.  Away from home.  Needless to say, I now truly appreciate all that nightmare entailed for my dear mom.

Let’s be honest though, for a mother, slowly and meticulously picking through your kids hair looking for eggs and bugs, not horrible. Not my idea of a good time, but I can think of worse things I’ve endured during my mothership. Hey monkeys do it. I didn’t eat the lice though. Just to clarify. On the other hand, getting my husband to pick and comb through my hair, well that was a horse of a different color.  It was something close to asking a monkey to do it with mittens on.  Not to mention my hair is the longest it’s been in 10 years. He did it though, and after checking the 10th or so time, he gained gracefulness and I began to trust that he was really looking. Now if that’s not love I don’t know what is.  

Okay, one final public service announcement about lice and we can move on.  Let me just warn you. I checked my kids head like 5 times before I found anything and the little things that I found I could remove with my finger. Everything that I read said that you wouldn’t be able to pull that off, but I could definitely pull them off (I couldn’t flick them off mind you) but I wasn’t sure of what they were until I finally found a live lie (what is singular for lice?). Let me tell you, when I saw that little bugger, I’m pretty sure my heart and breathing stopped for about 5 seconds, and I know I heard that repetitive, high-pitched, ringing note, that always plays on horror movies when something creepy shows up on the screen. Oh and BTW you are supposed to repeat treatment 7-10 days after the first treatment.  I learned this the hard way and I want to keep all of the lice virgins out there from suffering the same fate. Just about the time I was going to remove aforementioned items from the large garbage bags.  About 13 days after the first infestation, I saw a couple movements in my kids hair, while standing at the church book sale. Not my idea of Sunday Funday. Ya know?

If you do find yourself in a lice story, know this. You aren’t alone, you aren’t dirty (lice actually like clean hair), it will pass, and your house will be cleaner as a bonus! Until next time, share chaos, create confidence, and inspire some grace of your own!