Monday, January 14, 2008

charily we roll along...

here's a fun topic of conversation for monday morning. i wasn't going to blog about this, as it is a somewhat, ah, sensitive subject. however, having noted april's word of the week, i see it as a sure sign that this little story was meant to be recorded for good times' sake. or some such. read on...

charily /adv./ gingerly, carefully. warily. guardedly. cautiously. also sparingly or frugally.

every morning, for the past week, i have risen from bed, enjoyed a cup of coffee, absorbed the first sobering twenty minutes of the daily news, taken three or four good, deep, soul-cleansing breaths, and commenced the business of charily picking. through. my. son's. head.

yes, you guessed it, jack has head lice. three days back to school after winter break, and he's scratching like a madman. (and i know, due to the incubation period of said head lice, he probably picked it up during winter break, not back at school.) but still, the irony.

never mind the fact that on day two back to school, he was *given* a brand new stocking cap, that someone had crocheted for all of the children. never mind that he got a purple hat and his friend got an orange hat, and they decided to trade. due to the incubation period, blah blah blah, he probably picked it up before the hat trade. but still.

before i continue, i must add that this comes on the heels of a crazy case of ringworm of the scalp. which he may, or may not, have picked up from a stray cat last fall. which did, undoubtedly, leave a 3 inch bald spot on the back of his head (oddly shaped like the entire African continent). head lice and ringworm of the scalp are not related. the bald spot becomes important later, however.

if you are still reading (and thank you, THANK YOU if you are still reading), we are back at day eight of the head lice experience, the second time i have tried to take him back to school, only to be turned away after the very kind and sympathetic admin assistant at school found two more buggers on his head. after i had charily (or not so charily) picked through his head already.

i have done the RID. i was at my least favorite store in the whole wide world last sunday night at 10:30 buying the RID. the 3-step-kit. i have washed and picked and combed and laundered and boiled for the past week. i was even tempted to try the mayonnaise thing, until i found out that i was supposed to leave the mayonnaise on his head for 4 to 6 hours!! i can't even type that out without gagging a little bit.

jack has had very short hair most of his life. at the hair cutting place, they know his clipper number. but i've resisted the head shaving thing for two reasons. number one, of course, is the aforementioned bald spot. number two is that the day before Christmas, we took the cousins for a portrait sitting, and i had jack's hair cut (keeping it longer in the back than i usually do because of said bald spot.) and i think it's the best haircut he's ever had!! i mean, see for yourself:

i am on the verge of throwing excuses one and two out the window. it's only hair, right? it WILL grow back.

i just fear that if we go the head shaving route, i will be left charily comforting my child when the kid who sits behind him tries to use the back of his head in a geography lesson.


donna said...

Oh wow! so sorry about the head lice. BUMMER!
Yes, hair does grow back :)!!!!!!!

crystal said...

Shave it, sister. Shave it bald. Boys are resilient.

And that really SUCKS! The whole boiling, mayo-ing, picking, worrying THING! Poor you. I live in mortal fear of head lice. I'm just not up to it.

April said...

Oh my. I hardly know what to say. First I am overjoyed that you are word-of-the-weeking with me. But I am so sorry that you are embattled with head lice. He does look so cute with his longer haircut, but maybe retreat is the best plan of attack.

Bless you for charily picking and boiling. Curse the lice! I am wishing for their immediate demise!

michelle said...

NO!!! Jessie got lice at school when she was about 7 or 8, I think. I remember it as a HUGE nightmare for my mom. Poor Lelly!

I guess I don't understand the Africa-shaped bald spot problem. If you shave his whole head, then won't it no longer be visible?

lelly said...

if Africa were *only* a bald spot - but it is also dry and scaly. we've been able to cover it with hair so far, but i fear it will soon be out there for all to see!

Kelly A. said...

Oh you poor, poor thing! I feel! Lice just went thought our school. Knock on the whole forrest of wood, we never got it, but listening to friends and neighbors ordeals, I just don't know if I could handle it.

And the bald spot. I have a hair twirler to the point of pulling it out and making bald spots. I know bald spots shaped like continents.

My heart is busting forth with compassion! But I say shave it. He's still young, it will grow fast, and maybe without any hair around the dry scaly will be easier to lotion or condition there anything you do for dry scaly?

Poor Lelly!

pjmesser said...

Oh my goodness I feel so bad for you!
I am so sorry- I had it when I was a kid but again knock on wood because my kids haven't ever gotten it- YET!!! (Oh please, Oh Please, no)
His hair is so cute- dangit- it will grow back though.
Have you ever seen on PBS when Arthur gets head lice?
What a nightmare- good luck lelly!

Missy said...

Oh, no!!!! That is terrible! I am so sorry. I, too, live in fear of head lice. It icks me out just to think about it.
Hang in there!

PS - I am hosting a Valentine's Day swap on my blog if you are interested!

Amy said...

Your writing is fantastic. The head lice, not so much. Something to approach charily, for sure. His longer hair picture IS fantastic...but hair does grow quickly and offering a home for little lice is not a fantastic hair thing anyhow.

Crazy the things you do as a mother. I don't think I could pick little insects otu of someone's hair, but I definitely know the job would be mine if it came down to it. Best of luck to you!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh Lelly, your account is so humorously written...but only because I had to live through the embarrassment of our kids going through it and I know how awful it is. I feel badly for you, but am so glad you recorded it...I think you'll be glad, too, and by then you will have forgotten about his Africa spot and you'll be glad to be reminded of that, too. Thanks for a great post.

Elizabeth said...

Oh so sorry. I hope we make it through the childhood years without this somehow.

Mandy said...

Oh Lelly I am so sorry you have to deal with this! I would be gagging. I hope you don't have to shave his head but if that's what it takes...

Becky Porter said...

This left me scratching my head! :) Great post about a not-so-great week for you..I hope things get better!

P.S. I keep forgetting to e-mail you so I'll take care of it here. First, feel free to add me to your sidebar and second, I've been dying to know what the title of your blog means (amuse-bouche). Thanks!

Denise said...

Oh no! I have so far escaped that particular delight, but dang, no fun for you! Will Africa eventually go away? I don't know how these things work. I have to admit, I wouldn't want to shave it either. Rats!

Rachel said...

His hair is rather smashing, but having gone this long and tried SO many things, I fear, my dear friend, it may be time to bid farewell to his lovely locks! My sympathies go out to you and wish you the best of luck with this tough decision! :)

Susan said...

Oh Lelly, it's just not right! I'm telling you though, shave it off! If it's taken this long to get rid of, I would just get rid of the problem. We've had lice. Just imagine, three girls, all with long hair, all with lice. Then add in the momma. Yep, me too. It was ther worse experience of our lives, and we got to have it twice. Twice!! So hang in there. It will go away at some point, really.

Price Cream Parlor said...

Oh Lelly! I can't imagine what you are going through! I live in fear for things like this! If he is home - do the mayo thing.
Hang in there!

Holly said...

Oh my - the only time we had it in our house was when we had gotten back from hawaii (just me & my hubby) and one of my kids had it - it was a real "welcome back home". AND my daughter had 18" long hair!!!! BTW your son's hair is darling.

Hang in there and I'm crossing my fingers that you WON't have to shave his head (although I think I've heard it doesn't necessarily help either - but we've never tried it) Good luck!!!

Jill said...

What a nightmare for you both!

carlo said...

how did i miss this yesterday?

i am so sorry to hear it.

what a thing to deal with in the morning. i would need a pot of coffee. at least.

keep us posted!

Jenny said...

All I can say is Angie and I had this same fiasco 2 years ago, BUT she had 2 girls with LONG hair. Luckily, we never got it but I washed with the stuff as did my daughter "just in case" I found myself itching anyway just because.

I am so sorry about that---I feel your pain. Hair does grow back, but I can't help feeling sad for his cute haircut. I just grew back my boys after "shaving" it a few months ago and I am really liking it. Hang in there!!

Amanda said... well written for such a topic! I haven't dealt with head lice personally, but at my daughters preschool there was an outbreak and I freaked out. I DID NOT want her to get it. I did a lot of searching on the internet because I wanted to be proactive if possible. I found a product that helps prevent and get rid of lice that is organic. They have great testimonials on their website that really sold me. I use their hair care products on my daughter and they are great. Check them out at But, boys hair will grow back! And then he'll have cute hair just like in that picture!

Amanda :-) said...

I'm glad you blogged about this, Lelly, because it's something that must be frustrating the hell out of you, and where better to vent than here and get so many ladies supporting you and encouraging you?

I'm voting for shave, but agree that that picture of him is adorable. Grrr... what a quandary.

A woman I vaguely knew, whose children were constantly plagued by head lice, once gave me some snippets of advice. I scribbled them down in my Filofax, but thank God have never had to refer to them for myself.

She only said:
Use Lyclear (from a chemist)
Use a Nitty Gritty metal comb (obv. no use if you shave his head)
Don't use Prioderm as it stings the eyes.
And use a spray-in Tea Tree Oil conditioner.
I have heard several people say nits and lice can't stand Tea Tree Oil. It's a bit like a deterrent to any thinking of jumping onto a clean head. Bit like cat pepper I suppose, to cats...

I'm rambling now, so will shut up. Good luck with it.

Barb said...

Poor kid. Our school had a terrible outbreak last year, which we luckily were spared from. He's such a handsome boy in that picture!