A Lice Interruption? OH GOD PLEASE NO.

epicYou guys. Tomorrow is the first day of school and I think my kids have lice.


I took Annie to the doc last week for her yearly checkup and mentioned her head had been itching for days. Doc looked all over her head. Nothing. We chalked it up to her sensitive skin.

I’ve been checking daily – sometimes 2x a day – for anything, and for 10 days I’ve found nothing.Looking for Honest Voices

Then Grace started itching. And I got worried.

And now today – the day before the first day of school – I’m seeing little white things on my both my kids’ heads.

Please God please let it be dandruff. PLEASE.

But I don’t think it is.

Extra bonus: MY head is itching like crazy right now.

So of course I’ve been Googling pictures of head lice and treatments and whether or not I should burn my house down.

I remembered that my friend Leslie, aka The Bearded Iris, went through this trauma. And so I have been rereading her posts on battling head lice here and here. Helpful, yes. Comforting, no.

And you better believe I’m researching professional nit pickers, because nit picking two little girls with long hair?

NO. Just, no.

Mama ain’t got time for that. Or patience for that. Or sanity for that.

And if I have lice? I’m watching Pitch Perfect with a nice bottle of red wine while Nit Picking Lady has at my scalp.

I hope she likes off-tune, drunk moms who love to sing.

Update, 8pm: Oh yes, it’s lice. Oh yes, we all got it. And oh yes, I’m about to drink a bottle of wine because I just want to forget how much we paid the lice ladies to get us all clean and also the little fact that we now have 10 bags of laundry to deal with. Yeah. Good times.

Have your kids had lice? Have YOU? How’d you combat it? Natural treatments or chemicals galore?

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45 Replies to “A Lice Interruption? OH GOD PLEASE NO.”

  1. Oh. wow. I've never had it or had it in my house, but I sooo fear it. Thinking of you guys. Must go scratch now.

  2. Oh dear, head lice is the devil. My daughter used to get it when she was young and we started using mayonnaise to kill those little bastards. I’d just plastic wrap the shit out of her head and we’d get ice cream. I don’t remember if I ever got it, but I did give myself the treatment a bunch and dye my hair like a mad woman…just in case. I’m kind of a psycho though…

    I’m sending you much love! Thanks for hosting even though you’ve all all that other fun stuff going on!!

  3. We fought the lice battle for a long time. At one point we even shaved heads and the lice came back anyway. (note: I have boys who keep their hair short anyway, so shaving wasn’t a big deal for them… your girls probably wouldn’t like that remedy very much!) In our case we misidentified the original source of the lice, and because the kids were going back to that location daily they were getting new lice and I was just fighting a losing battle around.

    I have nightmares about lice. Seriously. I check my kids heads constantly any time I see them standing still just because I fear the lice. My head checks are usually met with funny looks from my kids and, “Mom, I’m not even itchy – stop it!” I keep an emergency supply of RobiCombs plus other fancy nit picking tools and lice treatments stashed away and we have a regular use “lice repelling” conditioner (I think it has rosemary and tea tree oil) in the bathroom to use once a week just as a precaution.

    Hopefully you’ve just got some seasonal itchy scalp going on over there and no pesty lice. I wouldn’t wish the lice battle on anyone, it’s the definition of agonizing.

  4. I am so afraid of this as both my girls will now be in school this fall. I taught in middle school and every year there was always an outbreak and we had to have the school nurse to a check on all the kids and staff, as well. I never had it myself, but every time they would do these checks my head would be so itchy. Totally mind over matter, I assume. Praying for you and hoping it isn’t lice though.

  5. I must say that I do my best not to even think of the L word in hopes that if I don’t think it they won’t come!! My sister has been through this 3, yes 3 times!! She had the pro’s come the first time and she said it was totally worth it. I hear you go through sort of a process where the first time you spend a fortune, the second time you buy a few things and you handle it yourself and third time you basically do what you have to do and move on. Good luck!! Please know you are in my thoughts!! You guys go back early, we don’t go back in NY till next week!! May the force be with you!! xo

  6. Oh this is one of my BIGGEST fears. Another mom turned me onto Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray – I used it sporadically last year and even with two notices that came home “a child in your kids class was sent home with lice” we didn’t get the little buggers!!
    it’s worth a shot!

  7. My kid’s preschool went through this a couple years ago. My kids had no signs of Lice but I bought lice shampoo and treated them anyway. Then for the week that followed, every white piece of lint in their hair freaked me out. I hope that is all you are seeing. I think you would know if it was lice because you can tell, especially around the ear hairline and temple area. The white sacs actually attach to individual hair shafts.

  8. Gah! Lice! I’ve never had it (crossing fingers, knocking on wood, throwing salt over my shoulder) but used to teach, so I have dealt with the checking and the cleaning. No Fun! Good luck – here’s to hoping it’s just dandruff!

  9. I think I would rather have pneumonia that lice. Seriously – the he bee gee bee dance would be epic and I am pretty sure tears would be involved. I am sooooo sorry, fingers crossed it’s not. Wow.

  10. Worst. Nightmare. We have some “friends” who keep showing up to certain places with infestations. I just know our luck will run out at some point. And when it does? I *might* choose the matches and nit picker option.

  11. Despite 12 years teaching preschool I’ve NEVER gotten lice nor have my kids. It has to be some kind of miracle! I worked with low income at-risk kids and every Monday we had to do lice checks on every single child before they were allowed in the classroom. My head always started sympathy itching when someone I knew got it.

    1. I was there with my son when he was small. The hardest part isn’t the killing it’s getting all the nits out. If professional help is available and affordable do it. When my daughter got to school we put her hair up in braids every day. I was told by a nurse they don’t like coconut scented products so we used coconut shampoo and conditioner for years. Don’t know if it works but we had no further problems.

  12. We had lice once when I was a child. I remember several weeks of laundry, showers, and hair checks every day. Plus we packed away all stuffed animals, barbies, and any other remotely fuzzy toy.

  13. My head is itching right now…
    Yes, we’ve dealt with live before. My daughter first got them when she was 7, when we vacationed on a farm… I used to have long hair down to my butt and her long hair as well as my long hair fell victim to the lice. I just could not handle the feeling…
    Good luck!

  14. Oh JD!!! This is one of my biggest parenting fears. There is lice at M's school right now. And yes, I would 100% shell out the big bucks for the professionals too. I would just be eating a batch of cookies rather than drinking wine while they did their thing.

  15. I can tell you what to do! All 3 of my girls had it when Amy started Kindergarten! Smother the suckers with mayonnaise and a shower cap! Works like magic!!

  16. The nursery where I used to work had a poem we taught the kids about headlice

    Wash, rinse, condition, comb – leave the louse without a home
    Rinse and repeat every day until the nits have gone away

    It’s effort, but it works.

  17. Oh I sympathize! My girl kept getting it repeatedly I suspect from an adult in our church nursery. eek. It happened the weekend we moved into a new house. I almost lost my mind.
    We did the chemicals, but finally after the THIRD time we did the Cetaphil cure, where we put the Cetaphil in our hair, let it dry and then washed it out in the morning. It sounds crazy but it really truly worked! It dissolves the glue that holds the knits to the hair so they can be washed out. I heard about it from a friend who worked in an area where it was rampant! Also as a bonus, it smells nice and makes your hair soft! I’d do chemicals to kill the bugs, then the Cetaphil to catch any eggs that are left. Then you need to do it again in two weeks, and check for bugs and one more time two weeks later. Sounds like a pain, but it is much milder and more pleasant than recurrances!!! Good luck!

  18. Ohh, lice, freaky stuff. I hate those things and hope my kids never get it.
    I did get it as a teen, and we used both lice shampoo and gasoline. I shudder to think about it.

  19. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! I once had a patient that came in saying she had just spent 3 hours picking lice from her daughter’s hair, I spent the rest of the day itching. You keep lice to yourself! You should probably just get a box of wine and sit under the tap.

  20. How do you find a professional nit picker? Because if this happened to me I don't think I could deal!?! Lol great now my head itches too!! Haha

  21. What I’m about to tell you is horrifying, but I have a lot of lice prevention tricks up my sleeve. I had lice for two years. TWO YEARS.

    I had it throughout 3rd and 4th grade. On of my ex boyfriends knew me as the lice girl because I gave it to half of the school after having it for two years. I obviously couldn’t stay home that long without school, and some weeks I thought I didn’t have it. I guess those assholes were just hiding and more waiting to hatch. Ew.

    Matter of fact, I was home at lice when I heard about September 11th.

    I remember coming to terms with the fact I was going to shave my head, and eventually it was just gone. The biggest recommendation I’ve heard is go to a beach. Let your kids roll around in it and get as dirty as possible. Crank up the heat in your house while your gone too. The lice will die off by the time you get back.

  22. My kids picked up lice from the daycare a couple times. My youngest daughter had waist length hair and the first time I picked nits out of her hair. The second time I put a ton of conditioner in her hair (like it was dripping conditioner) and was able to comb the nits out pretty easily.

  23. Ugggggghhh… Been there. You’ll make it though. I say combo effect with every tool you can think of- treatment, vinegar, conditioner, nitpicking, blow drying, hairspray…. Just keep at it and eventually it will be behind you.

  24. Oh my goodness! Sadly my middle monkey brought it home from school and of the five members of the family only 3 of us got it, my two youngest and of course me! I ended up whacking off my hair and had to dig through my own hair till I almost bled, cuz no one else would touch me! It took about 3 months to finally be rid of it all! That is a nightmare that I never want to repeat!

  25. Every time an exposure notice goes out at either my son’s elementary school or my daughter’s preschool, my butt cheeks actually clench. We’ve dodged the bullet so far, but I know one day our number will be up.

    Is there any way to prevent lice? Don’t wash your kids’ hair? We’re pretty good at that already.

  26. Oof, is this Murphy’s Law or something? We are commiserating, sharing, laughing and (hopefully, because it’s touching) crying over at GreatMomentsinParenting.com, which is an open blog to celebrate the agony and ecstasy of having kids. We’d be honored if you submitted an essay, parenting “moment” or photo. We’re happy to link back to your website. We’ve even got a Back to School giveaway going on right now on the site, and the winner gets a prize package valued at over $600 (but the deadline is 9/20). Thanks for considering it! Here’s the link to enter: bit.ly/15CoSEh

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