Oddly Well Adjusted: When Lice Attack | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Oddly Well Adjusted: When Lice Attack

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

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“Ugh, my head is so itchy,” groaned my son.

“Well, your hair looks like we styled it with an eggbeater, so wear a hat today and we’ll deal with it tonight," I said.

It was the week after my then-five-year-old’s last day of preschool. He was sporting his first real haircut, an ’80s-skater-style flip of curls. It was a compromise: I loved the long beautiful spirals he'd had before; he wanted a blue mohawk.

That afternoon, fully embracing summer's arrival, we attended a strawberry festival. Several times he whipped off the hat, exposing his ridiculous rat's nest to itch his head like a madman.

“Come on! Put your hat back on. It was bad this morning, but now it’s all smushed from your hat and it's even worse," I said. "I’m sorry. I’ll fix it when we get home.”

“But this hat is so itchy!”

“I’m sorry," I said. "Please.”

Now, before you start thinking I'm a terrible mother, let me defend myself: I was eight-ish months pregnant at the time. Controlling my son's hair  — a process that involves yelling (from both of us), copious amounts of conditioner, and 15 minutes of crouching over the side of the tub — felt a little like an Olympic sport.

That night, I drew him a bath and prepared for the main event: Shampoo, condition, crouch. Comb, yell, comb, get yelled at, recondition, comb, comb, comb. Un-crouch. Attempt to stand up straight. Phew. 

At bedtime, we read some books and, as usual, snuggled until he fell asleep. Once I was off duty, I made my way out to the couch. Gradually, the fear I’d been swallowing all day began to bubble up. I couldn't ignore it, so I Googled it.

Lice.

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Sara Goldstein

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