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You know, when this first happened I was totally mortified and didn't want to tell anyone. And then I realized that everyone gets it and the best way to get over would be to write about it. It's working, I'm less embarassed now.


Knocking on wood for you, but if my experience is any clue, it's just a matter of time. Watch their heads and take them seriously if they complain of itching (I didn't).


I read about an "olive oil" cure too. Douse the hair in olive oil, wrap in plastic and wash in the morning. Just based on how hard it is to get olive oil off my hands, I can imagine getting it out hair - and wouldn't sleeping in plastic wrap be nice? Ugh.
Cetaphil. Maybe I should buy stock...


Thank you! it feels good to be writing again.
I think the hubby is so excited to be discovering Argentina that he's managed to put this out of his mind. But as soon as he gets off the plane, the first thing I'm going to do is put Cetaphil in his hair and throw his laundry in the machine!
Then I'll kiss him.


[this is good] Karen - so sorry you had to go through all that! We had a "scare" recently when we found out someone who stayed with us had lice - but thankfully we never "caught" them.... As a guy who shaves his head, I took solace in the fact that at least it wouldn't be odd for me to shave my head as part of an "extreme treatment regimen". Lice are bad...but I hope your kids don't ever have to deal with ticks! UGHH....


[this is good] I'm so sorry that you had to go through this, but your recounting of it was absolutely hysterical! This ranks right up there with the "evil marshmellows from hell" for me!


ugh. i grew up in new jersey so i know about ticks. i don't like them, but they don't freak me out. they do freak out my husband however, so whenever anyone picks one up it's my job to get rid of it.
i also get vomit duty
my life is one glamorous event after another... ;-)


Thank you! As my friend Cathy commented a while back, it seems that my life has become one Lucille Ball episode after another. As long as I can laugh at something, I know it'll all be okay.


[this is good] Karen,Just as you had to wash or suffocate everything "soft" in your home (clean sheets, new pillows, stuffed animals, etc.), your children getting lice has nothing to do with you.My sister (and her friend) ended up with lice when we were in college. They went to a hair salon and ended up infected. Seems that the couch in the waiting area was infected. It had nothing to do with how well groomed or how clean my sister has always been.


yknow, I've always been kind of fascinated by how obsessed with cleanliness we are as a culture. indeed these days it's ranked above than godliness. I'm sure parts of it have to do with our models of success-- the kids who were picked on when I was little in school were generally the ones with oily skin or hair or who carried an odor, and I suppose these were signals in some way that someone somewhere in the mix wasn't paying enough attention to the personal grooming gods... I'm often amazed by how worked up some people get about the great Baths vs. Showers debate ("ewww! you're just sitting in your own dirt!")-- as if "clean" were some sort of absolute that could be achieved. I'm far from the best groomed girl on the block, tho I don't particularly want to gross my friends and neighbors out-- I just don't get all the intense shame woven into the whole thing. it's really sorta cuckoo.


[this is good] Interesting how lice is made out to be such a big issue out there. Perhaps I would gross you out by this comment, but in my part of the world (India, to be exact), lice is part of growing up. And no chemical treatments, please. We have special combs for them, and once a week, the mom combs (ploughs would be a better word) the scalp and hair (it does not help that little girls usually have long hair here) and pull out the little creatures from the comb and crush it between the comb and the finger nails and they flatten with a "click" noise (no, no wait there is more..). There are some "experienced" women who would part the hair in portions and crush the lice between their thumb nails right on the head so that the carcasses are washed out during the subsequent bath.So, have I sent enough people rushing to the sink yet?


[this is good] I came here from Lakshmi's post. Like she says, lice are no big deal here in India. I've had the same treatment that she refers to.The truly nasty infestation that you can get at school is scabies. I escaped that, in spite of being in boarding schools for over a decade. But then I got scabies as an intern. Probably from the bed in the hospital duty doctors room. Had to go through the process of topical pesticide (Lindane) application over 3 days, repeated after a week.Disinfect all clothes bed linen. I had to put my poor room mate through the drill too.


you did not send me rushing to the sink, rather you lifted my head up out of my own experience and reminded me that the rest of the world is out there.


ugh, scabies. we picked those up in mexico 9 years ago. getting rid of them was, as you point out, even worse than lice.


[this is good] Well I must say, what an entertaining piece on such a strange topic. You oughta sell that to Redbook or Parenting. Having lice in a tropical country is such a drag---it's humid, you've already got mosquito and flea bites on top of everything else, and at the time, we didn't have washers and dryers (we had maids who washed and hung the laundry on clotheslines). What we didn't have was fully upholstered furniture, which was good, because we didn't have vacuum cleaners either! Sigh, makes one nostalgic. Not.


This made me feel itchy but much relieved to know that a Solution exists. It also made me extremely glad that my beloved Cetaphil played a starring, non-toxic role in this (perhaps I am too devoted to my facial cleanser?) and that the process, while a complete pain in the ass, is not insurmountable.


[this is good]


OMG..thank you for the laugh..I have just finished this exact treatment with my 3 kids 10 minutes ago.The 2nd treatment...The 1st was last weekend. It is now almost 11pm and I still have to be treated and so does my husband.. The washer has been going since 10 am..Please tell me this treatment works and thanks for the laugh.I needed it!


This treatment definitely does work. The trick is that everyone - not just the family but the whole class or school - needs to do it. If one person does an incomplete job, or denies that their kids have lice, everyone is screwed again.We ended up doing the whole treatment 4-5 times over the school year and there were times when I was exceedingly frustrated. Good luck with your battle, I'm sure you will win. Ps. One of the tips i didn't write about was to put a drop of tea tree oil in the kids hair before they go to school in the morning. Not sure why it works, or even if it does, but when we started doing that AND putting the girls hair in ponytails, they stopped getting lice.


I first typed 'fabulous story!' Then erased it. That would have been just wrong. I loved reading about it as much as you hated going through it. Your humor in this situation is amazing. When do we get to hear what Mr. had to say when you told him that he hadn't travel alone?


That was a good story. I'm so sorry you had so much to deal with by yourself. My oldest daughter had lice when she was 2. I guess she got them from Sunday school. My mother and the in-laws were sure I'd done something terrible, but I remembered learning at school that they just jump around from kid to kid, and I had no patience with their wacky old wives' tales, just went and bought the stuff, bagged up the toys and got to work. But she had very thick long hair, and it took hours to get through it all.

I guess maybe none of my other kids ever got them because they didn't go to school or Sunday school.

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