Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Head Lights

When Georgie was in the second grade in Germany, he came home from school and announced that they had a presentation on Head Lights during class. I wondered - -what in blazes could be interesting or educational for second graders under the topic of Head Lights? It wasn't until the next day when I was driving in the car by myself when the penny dropped. They didn't get a presentation on Head LIGHTS -- they got a lecture on Head LICE. Yish.

Luckily, for the past five years, we have been able to escape the reality that comes from the weekly announcements from schools in Germany, London and the US. That is - - until this afternoon.

This afternoon Henry announced upon coming home from school that his friend "Bob" had gotten lice over Christmas break. Then, he blithely announced that it was really weird cause his head itched too. Thinking that I had nothing to worry about - - I mean honestly! School just started yesterday! - - I half heartedly checked Henry's hair and YIKES YIKES YIKES!! There he was - - one nasty little ish of a creature in my lovely son's hair.

An immediate trip to Walgreens to purchase the right chemical arsenal, the perfect comb for nits and we rushed right home to start the ultimate cleansing process. Henry got nuked first. Step one: apply highly nasty smelling chemical compound. Step two: Lather said compound. Step three: Shampoo out nasty compound. Step Four: Remove all clothing, bedding, towels and the beloved teddy bear and wash them on "Sanitize." (Oddly, this is actually a setting on my washing machine. Briefly pondered whether the lice epidemic was so pervasive in the US that washing machines come with this cycle option. Sanitize???) Step 5: Repeat process for George the Younger. Even though he has no outward signs of the infestation - I thought it best to lather him with chemicals too. You can never be too cavalier about skittering little creatures that attach themselves willy-nilly to one's hair shaft.

Now the question is - - should I treat myself? I haven't done it yet, but I have visions of last night. Henry was having a tough time settling himself to sleep so, being the good mom / source of comfort that I am - - what did I do? I crawled right in to bed with him for a good cuddle to help him off to sleep. My hallmark commercial moment has now been altered with the reality that while I was snuggling and comforting, my sweet son was most likely transferring vermin from his head to mine. Sort of takes the beauty out of the moment, eh?

I will go up and do it in a moment. Not because I really think I have lice, but because I have been plagued with phantom itching since the moment at 3:36 this afternoon when I found the first creature on Henry's head.

The last question is - - where, oh yes where, would he have gotten lice over the past two weeks? We did not virtually leave the house during our Christmas break. (Insert pregnant pause...)...Except to go to the movies twice. Actually Henry saw three movies over break. I have always been suspect of movie theater seats - - now I am virtually certain that I will be taking some kind of seat cover with me and possibly making every one in my family wear shower caps to the next one. Imagine, there you are enjoying what the reviewers say is a sure thing for best picture of the year and as a little added bonus you get head hitch-hikers. (On second thought, imagine going to the movies where the entire family sitting next to you is wearing elasticized plastic headwear. That'd be a "hmmmm?" moment wouldn't it?)

And finally, you have to ask yourself this one last question. Is your head itching yet????

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