Sunday, June 08, 2008

Bugs, bugs and more bugs

Last night, at about 7:30, Lily climbed into my lap and complained that her head itched. She still has problems with cradle cap (at age does it stop being cradle cap and start being dandruf?). I started absent-mindedly combing through her hair looking for problem spots when I saw what was really causing the itching - lice.

This is our first go-round with lice. I'd be more mortified than I already am if it weren't for the fact that we have two sets of good friends who have already dealt with lice. And the fact that the kids of the countess on "The Real Housewives of the Big Apple" picked up lice at their fancy Swiss summer camp.

I immediately went to the drug store and bought two family packs of lice treatment and went home and started in on the girls. Lily seemed to think it was all a grand adventure, saying that the special chemical-filled conditioner smelled good. Ella, on the other hand, pretty much whined and complained the whole time the stuff was in her hair.

After I rinsed them off, B and I sat them on the living room floor with extra lights around us for the fun of using the little tiny combs on them. I was prepared for an hour of whining and crying, but they were both amazingly good. I think the dual bribes of a big bowl of B's famous popcorn and "Shrek 3" had something to do with their cooperation.

More than an hour later, we finished the combing and then checked each other for lice. Fortunately, neither of us seems to be infested, but that didn't stop my head from itching all night. Campbell was already asleep last night when the discovery was made, so I checked him today. He seems to be clear, too. Phew.

Now I'm washing every sheet and towel in the house, and all stuffed animals that sleep in bed with the girls are sealed in giant zip-lock bags. Tomorrow they'll bake in the sun and 96 degree heat to kill all the little suckers.

I've been checking the girls' heads all day today, and I haven't seen anymore bugs. But I am going to give their hair a good rinse in vinegar, which, according to the Internets, is good for getting rid of the last, hard to find, nits.

Keep your fingers crossed that this is a one-time happening. And if you have any secrets for treating lice, I'd love to hear them.


CNS said...

OH MY GOSH! I had lice in 6th grade and I was absolutely mortified! Lucky for my uber thick hair we couldn't get rid of them for a month or more, it was awful! Hope they are gone for good!

Helen said...

This is my suggestion: take them swimming. It took forever to get rid of my daughter's lice; but after we started swim team practice, they were gone. Perhaps they do not like the chlorine! Love your blog.

Memarie Lane said...

I've never had to deal with lice myself (knock on wood). But my sister did a few years ago and she learnied a very valuable lesson. When you use the OTC stuff, you have to be very thorough and continue vigilantly until you are certain the problem has been 110% eradicated. If you just kind of slack off, the lice can become immune to the stuff and you will have to find something stronger, start all over, and be even more vigilant. Good luck!

The Kretzings said...

Getting lice is a rite of passage for the older toddler/kindergarten set, right? I remember my mom using that Rid stuff on me when I was in kindergarten. I do not look forward to that if/when my kids come home with it. They have such thick hair, it would take days to come through and nit pick.