Luckily, only one of us was contaminated by the little buggers,
and this mama learned a lot.
Ten Things We Learned from "The Infestation":
- My head will itch and CONVINCE me that I have lice even if I have JUST been checked. I was sure that my husband just wasn't looking closely enough. (Yes, I could never handle psychological warfare. If those are the tactics, and you are dependent on me for survival - get your affairs in order, we are all going down.)
- Not too long ago, I wrote a post called "Thank God for Fleas". Well, I recently learned that thankfulness can apply to lice too. Our "lice epidemic" gave me quality time with my little boy. It allowed me to thank God (literally) for every hair on his precious little head.
- We talked about how God knows just how many hairs he has...and how many nits were attached to those hairs. We prayed together that God would lead us to each little egg or Mama...and protect us from their bites - and He did. We learned about trusting God in little things.
- Many lice have grown resistant to the lice shampoos found in stores. Isn't that comforting? We couldn't even kill them! When I combed them out...they were still ALIVE. *shutter* (I've been shuddering a lot lately...luckily we caught it early and there weren't that many to deal with. Is it possible to shudder yourself to death?)
- Plastic lice combs suck. It was time to use those saved up CVS extra care bucks and buy a metal lice comb. WORTH EVERY PENNY.
- Lice has no socioeconomic bounds. When I told a missionary friend that we were dealing with lice, he laughed and said, "Wow, that is so third world." He made me laugh. Lice don't care how clean a house is, how affluent a country of residence is - or how much money a person makes. If there is a human head, lice want a piece of it (literally).
- This particular enemy can't live off a head for more than 2 days and heat can also kill them. Everything went in the dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes. My son got to sleep with his blankie right away without waiting two weeks for it be sealed up in a trash bag (which is what I THOUGHT we would have to do). So we were able to relax (well, kind of) while we kept checking heads knowing that if they were in our house - THEY WOULD DIE.
- Lice don't like hair products. If there is a lice epidemic at school, put some gel in your kids' hair before they leave the house. It's a perfect time to experiment with that mohawk the boy has always wanted...or attempt perfect little immovable curls for little girls.
- I learned how beautiful innocence and vulnerability can be. I love that my son didn't know to be "embarrassed". He did nothing wrong. There was no reason for shame. He happily announced his situation to all his little friends - and their parents. (I internally cringed at times - and made it CLEAR to all that he had been deloused even though we were still avoiding sleepovers and still not sharing hats or brushes with others.) I was struck by his innocence and the freedom that came in not "hiding" things...even when we might be judged.
- I learned that A LOT of people have been infested with lice. Funny how my son's openness caused others to share their own stories freely. Isn't life like that though? When we are vulnerable with others and share our successes through the struggle, others begin to see the value in their own pain - and begin to share.