Family Matters

The Meaning of Lice: Hello friends

Simian monkey picking

They’re baaaaaack.

Every year around this time we can count on a few things. A copious amount of leftover candy, fear/excitement/stress over the upcoming Christmas season, general complaints as the weather dips below zero, and that proverbial letter home….The school has seen a case of lice. 

By the mere mention of that word, I start scratching my scalp. I can feel that heebie jeebie grossness and am convinced they are everywhere in our house.

Chris watches as I go on high alert. Raising it up to Defcon 2 and start mimicking that of a simian monkey mom, carefully hunting for dinner in my children’s locks.

I 100% desperately don’t want them back. Desperately.  I OCD over toys, sheets, brushes, you name it. If it has any textile possibility of getting an egg on it, I will steam, cook and hot water bathe that sucker till the cows come home…

The reason why?

I have never heard my kids scream and cry like that before in my life.

You see we got that letter home last year around the exact same time (for those of you new to the world of school, keep an eye out…’Tis the season).

We google searched the crap out of how to get rid of lice and combed methodically the kids hair nightly. They both ended up having it. Every day we would go to school to go through the check before heading into school. As much as we thought we had gone through every possible nit and combed it out, they would find one and send us home.

Nooo, we were THOSE parents. The ones getting the look like we were trying to pass off kids with lice back into the school. Admittedly maybe once on the second week of this going on, I looked at Chris and said “Good enough right?”.

No. Not good enough. Thankfully we have very diligent nit-pickers at our school.

For reference, a nit looks like a piece of dandruff. If you can flick it off the strand of hair, its dandruff. If its stuck, its those fabulous Mother f’ers.

We quickly put up the surrender sign and sought professional help. We went to a professional lice removal clinic and while it was fabulous because it got rid of the lice, but it was one of the hardest things to watch the kids go through.

To truly get rid of the lice requires methodically coming through the hair with a specific fine toothed comb. For kids with straight hair this might not be too bad but for kids with curly, natty hair this led to getting snagged, having to comb it out reduced the kids to screaming, begging to stop behaviour which is not typical of our kids.  As they work out more knots out, it becomes awful and near unbearable. It finally got to the point where I had to run the comb through under their supervision because the kids were just so upset. NB: Autism and anything unexpected DOES NOT mix. Not only was it a shift in routine, it was a painful one. You can only imagine.

I have never given more “treats” after an experience like I did that day. If they had asked I would have bought them an Xbox One.

My monkey picking (c) Can Stock Photo

So as we are hanging out in the “season”, here are a few tips to keep watch for lice.

1) When you hear of lice doing the rounds, add Tea tree oil to the kids shampoo (Lice tends not to stick to it)

2) Keep long hair in pony tails to prevent “jumpers”

3) Check, check and double check.

4) Put all toys, stufties, etc…into plastic bags for 3+ days outside & suffocate those suckers

5) If they do get lice, its as simple as going to the store to get a treatment.

6) Do not panic. It totally freaks the kids out.

7) Notify any friends the kids have hung out with in the past week

8) This will be the hardest to do…take a deep breath. You will get through it but in the thick of it, it feels never-ending.

May the force be with you.

If you are looking for a Toronto Lice clinic, the following are two we recommend.

Nitwits  & LiceSquad


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