Last week my featured Monday Mom was Monica Veley, who recently started a lice removal business in Green Bay. I promised that there would be a blog about her new business following soon, and it will! In fact, you can look for it tomorrow. But before I share Monica’s story, I feel the need to share my own “LICE STORY” and why I was so excited to hear that Monica was starting this amazing service for families! (Get ready for a ‘head-scratching’ good story.)
It was the summer of 2015 and we were on the last day of our 3-week visit at my parents’ house in Kentucky when my daughter Meg came in the house and said that her head was itching. I automatically started checking for lice, but not really expecting to find anything. I mean, I had gotten the dreaded “lice letter” from daycare and school over the last 7+ years and had yet to find these little nuisances in my own kids’ heads. I was hoping it would never happen to us…I have 3 girls, after all, and what a miserable experience it would be to get lice! Well, after looking at the top of her scalp in her part line, sure enough, there were bugs. At first I was in denial, thinking they were just some outdoor bugs in her hair. But after a short amount of time and research, I came to terms with the reality that this was indeed lice…the tiny, sesame-shaped minuscule bugs that would become my worst enemy. And it gets worse. Meg had been sleeping with me and sharing pillows with me during the last week at my parents’ house because my husband was back home and she and her older sister don’t do so well sharing a bed. So I had lice, too! I spent the rest of that day and night stocking up on “Rid” products and going through the 3-step process of finding and picking out the lice in Meg’s hair and my hair (luckily my mom was a huge help). We also treated my other two daughters’ hair as a precautionary measure as well as my mom’s. We didn’t find any live bugs in the other girls, but some possible nits, so that meant everyone had to be re-treated again in 10 days. We delayed our trip back home by a couple of days due to all of this and then headed back home after all of our clothes, pillows, etc had either been washed & dried or left out in the 90+ degree heat to get rid of any possible eggs or bugs. After we got back home we sequestered ourselves for about a week and I had to comb through everyone’s hair strand-by-strand EVERY NIGHT for 10 days looking for bugs and nits. I repeat: three heads of girls’ hair–1 very thick head of hair, all medium-long in length–every night for 10 days!! (And by the way, finding nits in hair is basically like finding a grain of sand on a strand of hair, and if the hair is white-blonde like Meg’s, it’s even more difficult because it blends in so much.) Another frustrating thing about lice is that you don’t know where you got it from. To this day I have no idea where or when Meg got it…and as much as I would like to know, it just isn’t possible or worth the energy thinking about it!
I know there are MUCH WORSE things in this world than lice and it may sound ridiculous that I’m complaining about this minor inconvenience, but it was truly my own personal nightmare for about a month. Ever since this happened to our family our girls have no longer shared a comb and brush with each other. They each have their own comb/brush in separate plastic bags. Everyday I spray their hair with tea-tree oil (which lice supposedly don’t like) and I try to put their hair up as much as possible so they have less chance of hair-to-hair contact with other kids. I also find myself avoiding those “hello/goodbye” hugs with my girlfriends because all I can think about is our hair touching and that maybe I will get or give lice again.
I was hoping we were done with lice for good after that summer and with all of our precautions, but low and behold, my oldest daughter ended up with it at the end of the school year. I think this just goes to show that no matter how hard you try or what precautions you take, anyone can get lice at any time! I wasn’t quite as freaked this time, since I knew what to do, but I was still very frustrated as it is such a HUGE inconvenience to everyday life if you are going to follow the necessary measures to get rid of it. This is why I’m so glad to know that now, if/when we ever get it again, there is a place we can go that provides professional help if needed. This is a much-needed service for a much-avoided topic of conversation!
Stay tuned tomorrow for the blog with Monica’s story and all the details about her new business Bug-a-boo! In the meantime, here are a few of my own personal “lice tips” for parents:
- Don’t share combs/brushes–even in your own home.
- Never share helmets, hats, etc. (I now refuse to let my girls wear any helmet at softball if it’s not their own…sorry, they won’t be the catcher unless they can use their own helmet for it. They also don’t get to go on those fun things like rock-climbing walls at the fair if it means wearing a helmet that someone else wore. Kind of a bummer, but not worth the risk after you’ve been through it.)
- If your child has medium to long hair, put their hair up in a ponytail or etc when they are going to be around other kids. (Especially if you’ve gotten a letter from school saying that there is lice in the classroom!)
- Spray hair with tea-tree oil daily.
- If you find lice, tell the school or people your kids have been/will be around ASAP.
- Don’t waste time or energy trying to figure out WHERE or WHO you/your child got it from, just get to work getting rid of it! Believe me…that will keep you busy enough.