Last week, Luisa was in Atlanta for two days and, on Day 2, Miguel woke up and said, “Mama, my head really itches. I think I have lice.” He said it casually with the tone he might use when saying, “Mama, please pass the Nutella.” I didn’t panic because it seemed more likely that he had dried food in his hair or even small goats. I pulled him into the light and looked through his hair and I did see some little white things but figured it was just dry skin and sent him on his way. But then he came home from school with an Orange Sheet of Doom announcing that there was a documented case of lice in his classroom. Surely this was a coincidence, right? Well, I examined those “little white things” a bit closer and decided that it was possible that they were nits. I hadn’t seen a nit in a long time, not since college when my girlfriend got lice and I spent hours nit-combing her long, tangled hair when I was supposed to be hangin’ with my rugby friends waxing philosophical while examining the bottoms of our empty beer mugs. It all came back to me…the wet hair, the nits, the nit comb and the 40 loads of laundry. I remembered exactly what is required to rid a household of the little buggers and I responded as any rational person would - I began to itch uncontrollably and considered leaving my son in a basket on a neighbor’s doorstep and setting our house on fire. Luisa was on her way back to Minneapolis and I wanted her to know what would be waiting for her so I sent her the following via Twitter:
@geekydyke Miguel might have lice. Just a heads up! Ha. Get it? Yeah. Nothing about this is funny.
When she got home, we made like gorillas and started picking at each other. Do I know how to throw a Welcome Home party or what? Zeca was clear. Luisa was clear. Miguel was questionable. When it came to me, Miguel said, “Oh Mama! I’m so sorry!” I asked why and he said, “Because we’ll never be able to find the lice in your hair because your hair is white!” What a lovely thing to suggest to a person prone to paranoia - Stealth Lice! We treated Miguel and I nit-combed his long, thick hair. We stripped beds, did laundry and vacuumed everything possible. Maybe he had it and we caught it early. Maybe he never had it at all. Who knows? On the upside, by Saturday afternoon, the children had been bathed, the house was clean and the laundry was done. The downside? The Stealth Lice.