Are you one of those people who get easily disgusted? Are you single and /or child free? If you answered yes to either one, DON’T read along.
Consider yourselves warned.
Now, embrace yourselves for the following wise fact I need to share with you before I begin to tell my story:
Becoming a parent will CHANGE YOU for LIFE. There is no turning back. Long gone are the carefree days. There are all sorts of disgusting little encounters you will have on your day to day life as a parent that you slowly and steadily start getting immune (if there is such a thing) to dirt and stink. It starts slowly. First there are some spit ups (or exorcist style projectile vomits if you are lucky). Then there is pooh which tends to be very liquid if you breastfeed and has the unbelievable power to spread and permanently soil all of those precious little onesies you carefully picked out at the maternity store. Eventually your baby will get a stuffy nose which YOU will have to unblock by sucking out the snort because your baby is well, too young to do it on its own. The older the baby gets, the more disgusting the encounters become. Until you reach the kindergarten/preschool/casual encounter with other small children age where you see your child scratching its head and while you are still ignorant you discover the first louse, which you accidentally and wishfully take as dirt until you see it moving. THIS my friends, will transform you forever.
For the past six and a half years the only encounter I had with these dreadful microscopic insects was at the most inconvenient time of all: when I was pregnant with Iliana. Until that time, I belonged to the ignorant group of people who thought that clean kids don’t get lice. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yes, you can laugh along. I had erased all the bad lice related memories from my mind, the only thing I do remember from that summer is that I had semi-permanently ruined my relationship to vinegar.
When Iliana started kindergarten back in January, I received a 3-page detailed advisory letter from school on how to avoid catching lice and what to do if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation. I quickly read through it and tossed it somewhere in the school file as I considered myself & the kids immune to lice since we hadn’t encountered any for the past 4 years. Little did I know.
Ten days ago as I was blissfully watching my kids play, I saw Yianni scratching his head. Not the 5 scratch a day thing, more like the 5 scratch a minute thing which immediately sent cold shivers down my spine. Could it be….I couldn’t even pronounce the word in my head. No….it can’t be.
So, I did the only thing a mature parent would do in my situation. I looked the other way.
A day later, I started scratching my head. The whole day. I even had N. look at my head. No honey, I can’t see anything, he reassured me.
Later that evening, when Yiannis was already in bed, and after I had just washed my hair I started feeling THE ITCH again. Now, I started to panic. I opened the pharmacy drawer, took the magic lice comb out, stuck it in my hair, pulled half of my hair out, looked at the comb only to find a microscopic particle of dirt. MOVING. S H I T. That can’t be happening….Oh no…How will I get rid of them?? Why me?…. Why now???
While I was in complete self pity mode I broke the news to N., went to Yiannis room, switched on the light, took a good pitiful look at him, visioned the lice that were probably having a party on his head, switched the light off, shut the door and decided to deal with that the following morning.
I went online and started frantically searching for natural remedies to get rid of the nasty intruders only to remember a couple of minutes later that a dear friend of mine had gone through a similar situation while she was breastfeeding her infant daughter last summer.
I immediately rang her up and shared my pain. While I listened carefully to her instructions I asked N. to bring me the mayo we still had (and seldom use) from the refrigerator. After emptying the whole bottle of Heinz Light Low Cholesterol Mayo on my head and wrapping the whole thing in cling film I had two choices. Laugh or cry. I chose option no 1.
While I spent 3 hours on a Saturday night and all Sunday (at least on Sunday I had the company of my son) wrapped in mayo and combing out lice and their offspring, I felt gratitude for two things: Friends who give you priceless advice & Heinz Mayo.
Until next time