Friday, May 15, 2009

Please God, Let me Win?

Not only do I write posts for my very own blog (this one), but I'm also a restaurant reviewer for Uptake. Since I'm story teller and not a food connoisseur, I write my reviews in the form of fictional fables. As far as I know I'm the first and only food reviewer to do this. I did Fictional Fables with Food because writing food reviews is BORING for me, so I have to conjure up ridiculous stories about CIA agents, blind dates with British men, marriage proposals, and nudity in order to keep me entertained and, hopefully, you.

Uptake is having a contest for the bloggers. The prize is a Girls Getaway for Four at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California, but first I have to "deserve" it and it must be a family friendly story.

I do deserve it and its because I've had to deal with the worst family problem in the whole entire world. It's yucky and messy and humiliating. It's an issue that many of you have encountered but none of you want to talk about: Lice.

Early this week I discovered "them" and instantly started the phone calls to her three best friends, her gym, and the schools. I tried to stay calm and take an enlightened approach, saying to myself and others "hey man, it's not a reflection of bad parenting. It's just something that happens to kids with hair." But inside I felt like a peasant from the 16th century.

I kept both daughters out of school that day so that we wouldn't infect all the other "nice" children. Here are the things you have to do when your child comes home with lice:

1. Freak out.
2. Analyze your own head. Is it itchy because you're psychosomatic or do you have critters too?
2. Pick through your children's hair to identify "them"
3. Make mortifying phone calls to anyone who's come into contact with your family for the past week.
4. Go to the pharmacy and buy $100 worth of Nix or Rid or whatever.
5. Shampoo and apply stinky horrible medicine on EVERYONE's head for 10 hours. Do not just do a 10-minute treatment like the box says because now they are resistant to it.
6. Walk around in your house with shower caps on and pray to God that nobody comes to the door.
7. Wash every sheet, comforter, pillow, rug that you can. If you can't wash it, it has to go in a plastic airtight bag for four weeks. Bye bye down comforters!
8. Vacuum every single thing in your house: Mattresses, sofas, rugs, floors.
9. You know the box of hair do-dads? Well, they all have to be boiled for 10 minutes.
10. Nitpick. That means use a grid system to analyze every single hair on your kid's head and pick off the left-over eggs. This takes hours.
11. Continue nitpicking, vacuuming, washing for at least a week to catch any rogue critters.

As if this wasn't bad enough, we had just sold our house and the agent called and wanted to do a "walk-through". Oh perfect timing. This is about the time I had a complete mental breakdown.

Two days later was the youngest daughter's Open House. All of our friends and acquaintances knew about our new "pets." That's why when people kept commenting on how great my hair looked, I'd reply "I'm using a new shampoo. Perhaps you've heard?" and they'd laugh.

Katia's three best friends' moms and me have been in complete hell for four days and although we are completely lice-free and our houses are cleaner than they've ever been, ever, we are spent. In my opinion, having a child with head lice is worse than leprosy because at least with leprosy things fall off and you can just walk away.

Although the other three mommies have been my friends for years, nothing has brought us closer together. We are the survivors of the same shipwreck. We are going to make bracelets that say "Not a Lousy Mother" on them. We are going to start a support group for other moms because I'm sure we all have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

We are going to loose our minds if we cannot get away for a weekend of spa treatments, sleeping-in, pampering, no children. We can get away sometime this summer for a hard-earned Girls Getaway! And yes, Silverado, we will be sparkling clean guests. Promise.


  1. Can we vote for you?

    What if the Silverado has bed bugs? Just sayin'... ;)

  2. I think it would have been easier just to shave your children and burn down your house.

    I'm known to overreact though.

  3. OMG! I remember getting lice in the first grade because I let someone borrow my coat. My mom had a nervous breakdown. I've tried to block out most of the memories, but I can still smell Rid.

    Knock on wood. The boys have been passed over each time the Lice Pandemic has gone around school and daycare. Maybe lice don't like dirty, stinky, onry boys with shaved heads.
    Just a theory. Good luck on the contest.

  4. Hmmm,I may shave my boys' heads - they are already dirty, stinky and obnoxious. If that works, I'll try it!

  5. Petunia Face - When you leave a comment on this story it will let Silverado Resort know that their winner will be well-followed. Also, it will make for some great blog material.

    Libby - You made me laugh out loud. And yes, it would have been a lot easier.

    Summer - I hope your mom recovered. Let's get her a bracelet too.

    Kathy - Do it. I would.

  6. Sharon, I think it is eerie how alike our minds work. I have had to deal with lice of a different kind in my life, no mother involved, do you have a spin off group that can make me a bracelet. I was equally as traumatized but could speak of it to NO ONE! If you ever find out who I am, I will deny writing this post.
    Seriously, I love your blog, love your mind, love your stories. Keep up the good work.

  7. First, Katia is such a gorgeuos name! I wish it were my own!

    Loving the leprosy angle. I would never have thought of leprosy in such a positive light till I read this. ;D

    I hope you win! That was hell and you deserve some pampering.

  8. It was a 12 hour clean up for me - boiled every linen in my house - even washed the down pillows - didn't care about ruining them - No lice was more comforting than that pillow could ever be.

  9. After that you deserve a get away with your fellow survivors.

  10. I have to say that it was the furthest thing from my mind when I commented on your newest super cute hair do!!! I do love it, and if THAT shampoo is helping I say go for the chemicals and make it work for ya honey.

    However as much as I wish that we had more time to bond and I was in the loop I am so happy that it was not under these circumstances. I hope that you win, not just because you deserve it from all that you girls went through this week, but becasue you have an awesome and highly entertaining blog and restaurant review!

    Good luck and welcome back to what we refer to as sanity.

    BTW, I loved loved loved Libby's response!!!

  11. I think leprosy would be much more convenient. The body part falls off an you move on. My washer and dryer ran for 2 days straight. I am creeped out and my daughter lets out a slow painful whine everytime I drag her outside to pick at head like a neanderthal. What a horrifying experience -- but I am sure glad I have such super friends to get me through it. You all rock and I could not have gotten through it without your great sense of humor! We deserve this break...I hope the Silverado takes pitty on us!!

  12. Love the advertisements for your post today! I didn't know there were so many ways to get rid of lice!

  13. Blogger Queen, possibly Empress, you deserve many many vacations after the week/month you've had! Especially having to deal with it with Mercury in retrograde - insult to injury!
    But you know I'm only commenting 'cuz you begged... ;) Love you!

  14. it's funny...growing up in southern california, lice is the most mortifying condition. socially unacceptable, relegated to the status of DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY. i remember having to line up in elementary school and certain kids being pulled away, like they were smuggling drugs from thailand. it felt like some sort of coup over the dictatorship to pass back into the classroom.
    as an adult, i lived on maui for six years. while there, i taught preschool and learned that lice are a pain in the ass but totally innocuous on the social scale.
    that was refreshing.

  15. I too returned to my primal nit-picking roots when we got lice a few years ago. My boys had fine, short, blond hair, so they were easy. But my long curly hair posed more of a challenge when I would comb through it every evening with that horrible metal comb. It would take me at least 30 minutes, and by the time I finished I looked like a crazed Rosanne Rosanna-Dana.

    I'm glad you are no longer lousy.

  16. OMG! It was the most horrifying 3 days from h,e, double toothpicks! I am exhausted just thinking about the picking and the complaining and the "are you done yets" as I comb through their chemical soaked hair with that ridiculous lice comb. OOOOHHHH! "Please God, don't let that ever happen to me again or any of us for that matter!"
    I think I washed about 20 loads of laundry, had every single pillow in the house washed or dry cleaned, and vaccumed every surface!
    If anyone deserves this vacation it is you sweetie! :)

  17. I love you guys for all your responses. And yes, the lice commercials on my blog today are hilarious.

    Did everybody notice that Nicole said "h,e, double toothpicks!" Can you even believe I know anyone this pure and sweet? I know I'm probably going to ruin her.

    Also, Leslie sent me a picture of her with Rosanna Rosanna Danna hair. Its too bad I love her so much or I'd post the picture right here and now.

  18. Shouldn't that bracelet say "not a louse-y mother"? hang in there sister, i've got your back...just not your lice, thank goodness

  19. I remember how fun that was, oh yes. A big run of it at the elementary school. Then there were the 2 times I had crabs 'down there', both times from no sex. That is one urban legend that is true. Once in college when a sleazy friend of my roommates took a nap on top of my bed (those mother fuckers are small but really mobile), and the second time from one of those hourly rental hot tub places which I reckon was infested with the critters, since the Health Dept. closed it down not long after the tiny crustaceans invaded my nether regions. Nothing makes you crazier than seeing tiny things crawling on your body, especially the head, 'cause you can't see them!!! God, you just made me so grateful right now. Good luck with the contest, you deserve it!

  20. Oh my, not the down comforters! This is the part that truly disturbs. You girls deserve a real time of pampering and healing it's good to have good freinds.


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