Head Lice, man.
We found it after 9:00 on Sunday night. We’d checked on Saturday. Nothing. Checked again Sunday? Lice. One solitary lice.
In elementary school it was the worst thing you could level against a person, that they had lice. The associations with grossness and deformity were direct. Lice was leprosy for the suburban third graders in the 80’s. I never got it, which means that my social marginalization was entirely self-imposed, the result of persisting in short-sighted fashion choices, like the shoes emblazoned with the Road Runner and plastic batting helmets for hats.
Still, lice. Now I know it’s not so gross. It’s a parasite. Kids get it all the time.
That it took until she was 10 to contract it is a minor miracle, given three schools and countless summer camps, ballet, gymnastics, and now cheer. And that hair; girl is giving Rapunzel a run.
You know Rapunzel had lice.
It’s fine. Everybody needs the late night Walgreen’s run in their life, and this wasn’t the first. When you’re striding the aisles of the 24 hour pharmacy after dark, whatever you’re there for will be the defining element of your day. There’s no dissembling here, either. At this hour those fluorescent lights lay bare your life for the checker to see quite clearly. But who is he to judge? What is he, 12?
The lice removal kit is like the pregnancy test: nobody needs to ask you how your day is when you’re buying it.
We didn’t find but the one Pidiculus humanus capitis on her the rest of the night. Still, we booked an appointment the next morning for the lice removal place (yes, there is such a place. In fact, it’s a chain of places). So Daughter spent the first day of her new summer camp sitting in a barber chair for over two hours having her hair combed over with the finest of fine-toothed numbers. Mom had told her she could take her phone (relax: it’s not really a phone; okay, it’s a phone but it doesn’t have a SIM card; it can only use wifi), but I vetoed that; I couldn’t stomach the visual of somebody carefully attending to my kid while she completely ignored them to watch YouTube or play Geometry Dash. They learn this stuff young, man.
It’s fine if you don’t bring a phone, though, because they offer you an iPad. Unprompted, Daughter turned it down. Then she sat silently and stared ahead at her compatriot in the opposite chair whose eyes positively bulged at the dinging tablet in her hands. Envy? Maybe. But maybe (hopefully?) judgment.
The haul was minor. Relatively few active crawlers and about 20 eggs. Not contagious. Come back for a final check on Friday. Change her bedding every night until then. Take solace in the availability now of the ultimate comeback to all of her digs at your baldness.