Part two of my lice-ridden tale of woe is much less lengthy. I have done more loads of laundry than I care to consider, but very few of them have included the clothes we need to wear. Instead I am constantly washing towels, pillow covers, blankets, stuffed animals and jackets, and tossing backpacks in the dryer to try to cook any remaining nits out of them.
Three times Annie has been dismissed from her afternoon childcare because of a stray nit or four still on her head. I’m grateful for their zero-tolerance policy, but at the same time I’d like an afternoon in which I can actually stay at work. Of all my children, Annie is the closest to mutiny. Every time I come near her with a comb she ducks and runs, and I don’t blame her. I’ve also had lots of conversations with people about lice, treating lice, how long they live and how much it all sucks. Every piece of paper that has come home from school and/or childcare has slightly different information. Based on this ever-changing parade of information I decided to operate on these, my personal principles of lice:
1. Some things are not worth cleaning. Throw them away. This includes hair brushes, decorative pillows that adorn the beds of preschoolers and washcloths that were already past their prime anyway.
2. Nits/eggs can sit around for about 10 days before hatching. After that, they’ve got to have blood within 72 hours or they’re goners. Not 24 hours. Not 48 hours. 72. Minimum, because I’m not taking any chances.
3. Combing hair every day is a pain in the A, but I’m doing it anyway, and will keep doing it until I go three consecutive days (72 hours, see?) without finding anything.
4. One thing I will not throw away is my awesome lice comb. More on that in a minute.
As we approached the second treatment day I started thinking that I’d like to do something other than pour toxic waste on my kids’ heads, as well as mine. A friend recommended a product called ClearLice. I LOVE this product! It’s naturally based and smells a thousand times better. The process is quite a bit different than using Nix or Rid, but somehow seemed less difficult – probably because I was not having a total freak attack this time so my adrenaline levels were on normal instead of Def Con 5. Here’s a slightly blurry, but still funny, photo of all of us mid-treatment, taken by my Angel Here on Earth, Brandi.
The ClearLice family kit easily would cover two treatments for all of us, so I’m saving my leftovers in case I’m ever touched by this scourge again. However, if you get the family kit you only get two plastic caps, obviously not enough for an actual “family” so stock up ahead of time. These ClearLice people also sent me the greatest lice comb ever; a comb so great that I carried it around the next day showing it to people. You can see it here:
Now THAT’S a heavy duty, stainless steel lice comb. None of that chintzy plastic crap for me! This one’s a keeper.
So far we’ve gotten our first nit-free day under our belt. I’ll be combing again this evening.
And yes, that’s what my life has come to – carrying around my lice comb to show people how cool it is.