Roughly a week ago my daughter came to me midday and told me her head was itchy. My first thought always goes to lice, so we took a time out to hunt for these annoying little bugs. She sat down on the couch and I combed through her hair with a little metal wand but found nothing. I was thankful as I did not have to deal with the whole cleaning process. For safe measures I checked my son and I had the kids check my head too. We felt like we had dodged a bullet. We went on with our day as normal.
That evening as my kids were getting ready for bed, my daughter approached me and asked if I could squeeze the toothpaste out onto her toothbrush for her. As she came closer I noticed a little brown bug peeking out from her hairline. Oh no! Lice!
I sat her down once again and used my metal wand to go through her hair. This time I found 3 bugs! It was already a little bit later of an evening for us because we had a lot of activities going on that day, so instead of going to bed at 8 it was 8:45. Murphy’s Law had hit again. It was going to be a very late night.
We had not yet dealt with lice in our home, but I do remember the nightmare effort my own family went through when we had gotten lice as kids. Everything needs to be bagged or washed. My mom used this horrible chemical solution we had to put on our heads which burned and itched my scalp. And then mom had to comb out our knotty hair in order to get all the bugs out. What a nightmare!
We had dodged several bullets this year in regards to lice. For a while it seemed like every week there was an announcement that another kid had it in class, but we were able to narrowly avoid it. I sent my husband across the street to the drugstore to pick up the only solution I knew for lice – RID.
My daughter had gone to a birthday party that day as well as a play date, so I quickly contacted both parents to let them know to check their own children for the little buggers. I know without question that lice is not caused by having dirty kids. In fact it’s quite the opposite – lice actually clings to clean hair more so than dirty, BUT , I still felt pretty embarrassed to have to contact the parents. It was probably less about being embarrassed that my child had lice, and more disappointed that I was the bearer of bad news and could have negatively impacted their own evening. Luckily neither family was afflicted.
Our luck did not run out there! Both sets of parents had dealt with lice previously and offered support and tips. One of the moms was actually a huge game-changer in our lice killing plans. She said that every time they had gotten lice in their family, they used Listerine and vinegar to get rid of the pests.
She recommended the original Listerine – the gold colored one – and said to douse the hair with it, cover it in a shower cap for 2 hours. and once the two hours are up, to rinse the hair with white vinegar. After the hair is rinsed you can then comb the dead bugs out. BRILLIANT!!! She even walked over to let us borrow her incredible lice comb! How about that for support?!?!?
I called my husband really quickly and asked him to change his purchase agenda to Listerine, white vinegar, and 4 shower caps. He obliged and was home shortly. In the meantime I started taking all the sheets, comforters, pillows and toys off of the bed to wash. We threw all the stuffed animals and non-essentials in a garbage bag and tied them up air tight and put them aside for two weeks. If we were not paying per load for our apartment washing machines I may have just gone ahead and washed everything, but this lice ordeal was getting expensive fast!
I had just started the first load when my husband got home. Perfect timing. We doused our heads with Listerine and all threw on shower caps. We found a family friendly movie, grabbed some popcorn and drinks, and made a night of it!
Within a few hours we were all lice free and in bed with clean sheets. In the end, it turned out that only my daughter had lice, but I figured if we were going to put in all the effort to clean the sheets we had better be safe than sorry and all go through the process together in order to guarantee that no one would find out they have lice the next day.
All in all, it wasn’t a horrible experience. We enjoyed the bonding and made some fun memories with our silly looking shower caps and a movie night. I was absolutely thrilled that this approach worked so brilliantly. It was so much gentler on our scalps than the chemicals we used growing up. Hopefully we can avoid lice in the future, but at least we have a great safe way to fight the little buggers. I think Ellie may have picked it up from tennis camp as they were all doing each other’s hair during their lunch break, but who knows. It sort of feels like a Rite of Passage.
Now I have a question for you…
Were you able to get through this entire story without scratching your head? LOL.