Here I am combing Walter's hair to get all the lice out. That's right; we had lice.
A couple thoughts about de-lousing our house, in no particular order.
1. We had a near family-wide case of lice, except that David escaped the plague. Do you know why I got lice and David didn't? Because I am the parent that lies down next to the kids at bedtime, and I am the parent that sleeps right next to Walter, sharing a pillow with him, if Walter wakes up during the night. I am the night time parent, and as a result I haven't had a solid 8 hours of sleep in seven years. My reward for this selfless behavior? Lice.
Universe, you might want to check your karma, because that is seriously messed up.
2. Lice are tiny. I was expecting something the size of a grain of rice, but the ones I saw were much smaller than that -- maybe about the size of the period at the end of a sentence. How are you supposed to get 100% of something that small out of your hair?
And the nits! Those are lice eggs, which are stuck to the hair shaft with special louse-glue. Nits are even tinier! You have to comb (or more likely, pull out with your fingernails) every single nit from the hair. I have spent hours going through Stella's hair looking for nits, trying to get every single one. The next time somebody tells me I am being "nitpicky," I will say THAT'S RIGHT and THANK YOU and YOU BETCHA. And then I will offer to check that person's hair for nits.
3. I was all prepared to make lots of jokes that whatever I found in the kids' hair I could eat, sort of like how monkeys grooming their young eat the bugs they find in the kids' fur. But lice are so tiny they wouldn't have made much of a satisfying snack. THANKS A LOT FOR RUINING MY JOKE, LICE.
4. If you are not feeling well, don't say that you are feeling "lousy." That's lice-ist.
5. I spent hours combing the kids' hair with a special lice comb, and to keep them entertained while I did that, I let them play with the iPad. They were ecstatic because usually they only get to play with the iPad while we are on an airplane. The kids love the iPad so much that they BEGGED me to comb their hair with the lice comb. "Mama, Mama! Check me!" "No, check ME!" "No, I said it first!"
Since the only other time my kids get to play with the iPad is on the airplane, my kids will forever associate air travel with having lice. If I were forced to choose between having lice and air travel, it would be kind of a toss-up -- in many ways, the two experiences are equally unpleasant. In fact, isn't there an airline called LiceAir? Wait, no, I'm thinking of United.
6. Some cuteness did happen. Here is Stella, combing my hair. She loved to comb it. I told her that whatever she found in my hair she could eat, even if it only added up to a snack.