Thursday, August 28, 2008

Then I Hurled Myself Off the Nearest Skyscraper

When I picked Girl-Child up from school yesterday the sun was shining, it was one hundred degrees outside, birds chirped and molted, groups of women chatted in sparse patches of shade. One lone father tried to blend in with a tree. The children were released and the air was filled with giggles, and squees, the sounds of running, and a few Hey, Mom hold my backpack wouldya's. All appeared so innocent. All was as it should be.

Once home, I set about my daily routine of checking Girl-Child's kindergarten folder and the first thing that caught my eye were the words "Dear Parents, Recently we have had a case...", and I thought oh dear God please! It's Strep. I just know it and dammit this is how we started school off last year when a particularly stubborn case kept looping itself around Boy-Child#1's classroom. So bad, in fact, that his classroom had to be DISINFECTED. Boy-Child#1? Totally got it. Twice.

At least strep throat is something that can be handled with a trip to the doctor, an antibiotic [even if it does taste like a trip to hell twice a day for ten days], some motrin, a couple of days off from school eating a few popsicles, and some comforting hugs from Mom for good measure.

But then I read the note further. And I can't even believe that I am here to tell you, because friends? This note sent me right over the edge... this note was far more sinister. It brought ominous news. In fact, Vincent Price was the narrator. It conveyed information that had me debating the quickest way to burn my house and all of its contents to the ground. Even my new couch that I'm still in the groping inappropriately and making out with phase. I grieved for my poor car that was surely going to have to be driven off a cliff.

I continued to read; {hatch} the note shaking in my hands. {small eggs} The words! Those awful evil words. I began to scratch involuntarily. {multiply rapidly} I couldn't stop. {not fly or jump but can crawl very fast} I was getting all twitchy. {nits} I ran to my daughter and started scrupulously inspecting her scalp. {signs of head lice infestation...} and to my relief (???) Girl-Child says, "Mommy, the lady at school already did this today". To which I asked, and did she say you were fine? "Yes".

LICE. FORTHELOVEOFGODNOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo. Do you know what else this note of doom had the audacity to say? "Head lice is a rather misunderstood nuisance". Oh. Well. The poor dear. Hopefully its health insurance will cover its therapy bills. And who will help this family? Because sohelpmegod if even ONE of those parasites makes an appearance, this family will be homeless, without car, and bald.

Amen.

47 comments:

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I say let them go be misunderstood on the NOTE WRITER'S head, then we'll see how many rights the little buggers have.

Misunderstood nuisance, indeed.

dorothy said...

Have my eyes gotten even bigger or did the words on this comment page shrink? Or am I going crazy?

Lice? WTF. Stayyyy awayyyyyy.

Jill said...

You're lucky. At my daughter's open house, her teacher told us they don't inform the parents about children who have lice... they just send the kid home and tell them they can't return until they're de-loused.

Uh, WTF?

Same goes with pink eye, strep throat, and any other ailment that could potentially affect YOUR child too...

Again, WTF?

mannequin said...

"Misunderstood"?
What a politically correct attitude towards head lice and their owners.

Mary Anne said...

One time, my son's school had class pets they auctioned off at carnival. The stuffed animals were sent home with a notebook and camera and the kids would sleep with them. (You have to know where this is going...) Anywho, our classes animal apparently had one too many sleepovers and became a carrier, spreading it to almost the entire class. I'm lucky, my son's name starts with a C so we had it early on before it got "infested". The infested animal was "disposed of" (read burned alive) and an identical was subbed in with strong caution not to sleep with it. I just dry heaved reliving that memory. The best part was, some of the Momzillas still threw elbows at the silent auction to win it! (The newer, supposedly not liced up version obviously).

Anyway, love your blog. I am a friend of Janett Haas...she told me about your blog and that you are friends with Steven. It's really great, I'll be a regular reader!

Daalelli said...

Like -Jill- our school told us it would be an infringment of the childs HIPPA rights to notify any one that there was a case in the school or her class. um... WTF they don't have to tell me who but I sure as hell would like to know what!!! It's all nice that they're respecting health privacy laws, but isn't that a little extensive?!?

O'Neal (The woman in charge around here) said...

Ohhhh, I've clutched that same letter in total disgust and fear and wondered who the "dirty" kid was in class. Of course by privacy laws they couldn't say *who*, but it became obvious when the class picture came home a few weeks later and there was a little girl on the 2nd row with a completely shaven head!

When we were little, my lil sis came home with it. Several times my Mom locked the two of them in the bathroom with the tub of Nix. But it kept coming home with her! At the time my Mom was one of the room Moms (more like gang members), and she took the bucket of supplies with her to school. Upon learning the child AND her parents didn't speak a bit of English (hence not understanding the notes home), my Mom along with the other room ladies took the girl in the bathroom for a good ol fashion scrubb'n. My Mom was also the swish (fluoride rinse)lady. Nobody liked to see my Mom pull up in the front circle!

hulagirlatheart said...

Lice...The reason I scream, "Don't put that on your head!" every time my daughter comes close to trying on hats or Halloween costumes.

Steph said...

I think I know what they mean using the word "misunderstood"...I used to be a serious LICE SNOB! NOT MY KIDS...NO WAY...NEVER! till my kids came home with it...and I was snubbed by the other carpool mom. hate those little buggers!

Karen said...

Oh please, us moms have the been there done that conversation about this time every year. My oldest was scratching her head over Christmas break. So we had 2 weeks to boil everything in our house, EVERYDAY. It was lovely.
And the school doesn't notify us if kids are sent home either. But NOW my kids know to report to me when someone in their class was sent home after the lice checks.
ps misunderstood lice like clean hair, put girl child's hair in a pony tail and hair spray it like it's 1988!

Madame Queen said...

Oh I can remember being treated as a child. There was a rash of head lice cases at my preschool that WOULD NOT GO AWAY. We all kept having to be treated. It was miserable, miserable, I tell you.

Manic Mommy said...

We'd need to burn everything, shave our heads and start over in a new town with assumed names.

Thanks, I'm itchy just thinking about it. Bet the playdate queue takes a dive for a while.

Katie said...

Just so you know (but hopefully will never have to use this info) olive oil is a fabulous treatment. I guess the lice have decided to fight for their buggy rights, developing resistance to chemical treatments. After using Nix twice my daughter had chemical burns on her head and LIVE lice. So we turned to olive oil. Had to be re-treated several times and combed out every day (we shall not discuss how many movies I put on for her during the combing sessions) but it WORKED.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh man, my head itches just thinking about it.

smalltownmom said...

This is my 3rd year working as a classroom aide and thankfully none of "my" kiddies have had the little buggers!

Melissa said...

Oh yeah, I'm so agreeing with you on this. Lice is truly one of the notes I'm the most scared about reading, even before MRSA...and that's saying something.

Here's hoping the buggies stay away!

Allison said...

Lice is disgusting. I am also itchy just thinking about it. I had to be checked when I was in first grade and thankfully I was fine. Hopefully baby Tootsie won't get the "misunderstood nuisance" on her pretty little self.

Vicky said...

A little girl at my son's daycare came in with lice the other week. I freaked out just like you, and REFUSED to shave his head. He has a nice shaggy dog look that has taken me 2 years to perfect!
Eww, now I'm itching again.

Amy said...

We've been fortunate this far that there hasn't been any cases of lice in my daughter's class. (Or maybe there have and I was never informed??)

Hopefully we continue our lucky streak and hopefully Girl Child didn't manage to pick it up.

JoeinVegas said...

I thought that was something passed out by the school. Isn't having lice one of the requirements for the no child left behind bill thingie?

mysecondjournal said...

I'm reading your post and scratching my head..eww

Twenty Four At Heart said...

This brings back terrible memories of fear and imaginary itchiness. When my daughter was in 2nd grade they found FIFTY second graders with lice at her school. OMG!! The memory still gives me nightmares! We escaped, but it was a miracle. I had imaginary lice making me itch for months. I was so freaked out!

Undomestic Diva said...

Lice, the kid version of crabs. 'Nuff said.

Rebecca said...

This is my WORST nightmare! We get notes home saying "checking for headlice should be done weekly and part of your child's grooming routine. GAG. It makes my head itch just thinking about it... I hope the nasty things stay off the Farklepants kids.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

It has gone around both my kids' preschools in the past and I can just tell you it is not so bad. However, this comes from a mom whose kids never actually GOT it. and a Mom of boys with short hair IF they had actually gooten it...

KEEP BELIEVING

Greta/Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat? said...

Crap. Is blog-lice contagious?

MamaHenClucks said...

Now my scalp is itchy and I don't even know where you live. I assume that if one school in the country gets it, then immediatly those fast moving little monsters spread out, infecting the entire continent. Twitch.

As much as I loathe strep throat (which turns into scarlet fever at my house - can you say SEVEN times in four months?) I would take that any day.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I lived through the life crisis of 1996. Four times in one month. I am still not strong enough to blog the story.

apathetic bliss said...

I am so itchy reading these comments now! Yikes I HATE LICE!!!! Two of my grrlz have had it on two separate occasions. I became the lice nazi...no one entered the house or lefft the house without me picking at their heads.....bedding, stuffed animals, pillows etc were thoroughly washed and dried on high. I made my girlfriend come over and check my head because I was sure I could feel them crawling around scalp mocking me!

KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said...

I had head lice when I was 9. I got it from a sleep over. My mom cut my waist-length hair jsut below my ears. I was traumatized...freaking lice.

texasholly said...

At least you are being super rational about it.

Jennifer H said...

Misunderstood, my ass.

Last year, in my girl's 1st grade class, they were going around for months. And the school can't notify the parents unless there are 3 simultaneous cases in one classroom. How effed up is that? My daughter wore her hair in a bun or ponytail for 2 months.

Librarian Lee said...

Curious. I've never, ever experienced itchy scalp just from reading blogs!

jenontheedge said...

Shit, now I'm itching all over.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I have lice stories that would curl your hair. So to speak...

And by the time you can see 'em? It's too late. Burn down the house.

MommyTime said...

We went through this in Son's preschool classroom last fall. They starting keeping black trash bags for each kid's bedding, hats, coats, etc., to keep the separate from each other. It was nerve wracking. But we didn't get the little critters here, thank goodness. I might suggest, though, that the plastic bag receptacle is not a bad idea. Can you send something like that to seal your daughter's personal clothing in? Good luck!

EatPlayLove said...

aah, so that's what i'm in for, damn it, I haven't checked the backpack today. Now, I'm scared.

Eve Grey said...

I also live in fear of the lice. The area where I work has quite a few bald-headed girls running around on account of it. Someone told me you can hire a clean-up crew for not much more than the 80 bouts of lice shampoo it takes. Sooo, if it ever strikes here, I will be all.over.that.shit.

Swirl Girl said...

Yipes!

Shave her head, burn her clothes...and never, never, never let your child take home the class stuffed animal in the book bag....

Sadly, even the cleanest children can get this shit.

The Introvert said...

Wow! I haven't even heard about head lice since the nasty case that went around when I was in preschool. It came from the cots we all slept on during nap time. Yuck!

JCK said...

If I see smoke signals coming from your direction, I'll know who needs a rescue...So awful. So good she is clear...

Sunangel said...

The daughter of my "best friend" had lice and we were all hanging out together. I didn't know about it until our mutual hairdresser told me 4 days later! Needless to say, I had the no-seeums until I checked my child. Luckily, none so far through 6th grade but I still cringe when the notes come home!

L said...

Lice..louce? Are not misunderstood I think we all understand that they are freaking disgusting..this is the part of teaching I worry about..I'll do strep..if I get lice i'll cry! I already got ringworm once when I was working with autistic kids.. that was gross

dkuroiwa said...

ewwwwwwwww...i'm all itchy and scratchy just from reading this!
A couple of years ago, the daughter of one of my friends got those lovely little critters and they spread like freaking wildfire through her house!
Oh...and did you know that we don't have hot water for our laundry...makes getting rid of those little guests just. that. much.more.interesting! ewwwwwwwagain.

Susan said...

After practically the whole school was infested a few years back, even though she said my kids were okay, I was so itchy (or was it mental?) I (pathetically) asked school nurse to look at my own head! She was very sweet and kindly said (after reasurring me I was just paranoid and neurotic but bug and nit free) that a lot of the mommies starting getting a little weird about all of it...

Colleen said...

We get the note on the preschool room door, a note in each child's folder, and the teachers sending every last item in each child's cubby home to be washed (even kids who were found lice/nit free).
Funny thing is that we are (1)never told which kid(s) have it, and (2) it only seems to happen at the daycare in the Preschool classes...where non-daycare kids come in for morning preschool with the same age daycare kids. In four years there I've NEVER seen it in any other classrooms. Damn dirty neighborhood preschoolers.

Anna See said...

Guess what? I had lice last week after sleeping in a guest bed on vacation. It's been a crappy, crappy week. I've done all I can and I PRAY they don't come back. Ugh. The nightly lice checks have given me more quality time w/ my husband, but other than that-- pure misery.