Of Lice and Moms

Of Lice and Moms

If I’m bitchy today it’s because I was up all night scratching. I had visions of bugs dancing through my head.

At about 6:30 pm my I-got-my-son-back-after-6-weeks-at-camp buzz was completely killed by this email:

“Thank you again for sharing your children with us this summer – we had a wonderful season together!

Despite our best efforts, I am unfortunately writing to let you know that I just learned that one camper was found with lice. Please check your camper(s) carefully and please let me know if your camper has it as well.”

F*ck me twice. Hot damn. Thought I’d dodged that bullet.

Panic coursed through my veins.

He’s 16.

The camp is ONLY for 16 year olds. Where would they even get it? Do people even check their 16 year old giant grown up babies for lice?

OMG. Why me? Why Now?

I hugged him. He lay on my pillow already. We’re all going down.

Get out the electric razor. Someone’s going Yul Brynner.

I yelled, Is your head itchy? Do you have the LICE? 

He kept eating his Veal Sandwich, extra hot. No. I’m fine. 

I yelled, ARE YOU SURE? How can you eat at a time like this?

I don’t have lice, he muttered as he took a piggy bite of his long-awaited post-camp meal. Nothing was keeping him from savouring that sandwich.

My 19-year old, a former camp counsellor, stood up. I can check him. They taught us how. 

Next thing I knew, he was standing behind his brother—who was still at the kitchen table EATING—rifling through his hair with pair of chopsticks. Chopsticks. From the drawer.

Do NOT put those back in, I warned him, watching anxiously. Burn them. 

His verdict? No lice. Just a bit of dandruff.

I choose to believe him because he might be a doctor one day.

But I can’t get it out of my head.

Lice. Lice. Lice. Lice.

When I posted my trauma on facebook I got lots of helpful advice including:

  • Lice are resistant to lice medication (great!)
  • Lice can’t live off the human body for more than 24 hours. (Let’s just shave his head and lock the house up for a couple of days!)
  • I always check my kids for lice before they come in the house. (braggart!)
  • Hire a post-camp lice checker (they can turn anything into a business!)
  • Check your kid every day for 2 weeks for lice using a lice comb, conditioner, and a bowl of water (I’m sending him back to camp! They can do it. It’s their fault!)

Lice. Lice. Lice.

In my opinion, lice is my worst nightmare. I have an irrational fear it. Lord know I’m the mother of two adults and one who is almost there. I’m in the home stretch. I shouldn’t have to deal with crap like this. I’m all into underage drinking and driver’s ed.

Not lice. Lice. Icky lice.

I’m SO itchy. I can’t stop scratching my head.

What if they’re in my car? What if they’re on ME?

Ever since I was traumatized by bed bugs at the Red Roof Inn in Kentucky I’m paranoid. The thought of any kind of tiny bugs crawling all over me or anyone I know makes me crazy. Certifiable. I do not want to own a lice comb. People should stop bragging that they have one.

It’s not a right of passage. It’s hell on earth.

Remember this scene from The Switch? Nobody is here to narrate my nightmare with uplifting music.

Sometimes I see the bed bugs in my nightmares. Last night they were playing with lice.

They were dancing the Cucuracha.

Lice. Lice. Lice.

Scratch. Itch. Ugh. I have imaginary lice. I’m infiltrated.

Are you SURE you don’t have lice? I keep yelling at him.

He’s just ignoring me now.

But I can’t stop scratching. I wonder if thinking about lice is worse than actually having it.

Have you had the lice? Did I make you scratch your head?

Note: I appreciate that the mother called the camp directly and lice is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m just totally grossed out by it. 





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