Shame has a name ….

There is actually no other way to put this, other than just saying it.

I realize that this will immediately mean that many of our social engagements will just be cancelled, all in an unexplained manner of course.  We will get those random sms’s saying “sorry, plans have been cancelled, will no longer be doing xyz on so-and-so night” only to discover later as we check Facebook that xyz on so-and-so night did occur, we just were not there.

I realize that my kids will no longer get invites to play dates and birthday parties. People will start de-friending me on Facebook.

Even taking all of that into consideration I do still feel the need to reveal the shame that is our family.

I have no option. 

I apologize now for the immediate physical reaction you will be having – and continue to have several hours after reading this post.

The truth is ….. we have discovered lice in our children’s hair.

Not mice, but lice – mice might have been more socially acceptable. 

Lice is usually associated with the great unwashed and concentration camps, but we have it, which of course brings into question our cleanliness and hygiene.

Yes, I have heard all about how lice like clean hair, as dirty hair is oily, and lice can’t stick to oily hair …. right, I have been trying to repeat than mantra to myself several times since “the discovery” – but then that begs the question, why do the homeless have lice??  Exactly!

Yes, there it is.  We are that family.  That family that other mothers whisper about on the playground.  We are them.  They are us.

Georgia has really long hair, and all of us have a reasonable good head of hair.  I live in perpetual fear of lice. 

That being said, I start treating for lice, before there is lice.  I treat for lice even before the notice goes out that there might be lice.

I started about two months ago – maybe three.

It means a lice shampoo at least twice a week, and then regular spraying of hair with an anti-lice spray.  I also do periodic head-checks.  It does look a bit like a monkey mother checking her monkey babies for fleas, but I do it, I do it while I am waiting for something, I do it when I am brushing hair, I do it a lot.

Notwithstanding all of that, and the fact that my kids get hair washed a minimum of 3 times per week – sometimes more, we still have lice.

I know – my head starts to itch at the thought.  The more you think about it the more you will itch.

It will even start to move down your neck – usually the back area of your neck, just at your hairline.

Last night was lice-control night in the Barlow Manse. 

It requires washing hair with lice shampoo, then sitting and brushing with a metal lice-comb.

In Georgia’s case – as she has hair past her bum – it means an hour of whining (me) and crying (her).  Once that is done,  I coat the hair in a tea-tree-oil stuff, and comb each section again.

Once done, hair is tied up into separate sections, more stuff is sprayed on – and then the hair is left – and then re-combed in the morning – retied up and re-sprayed.

This morning I wrote letters to the respective teachers of my kids telling them that we have lice, and that other moms need to be told.

Connor was horrified when I found lice in his hair – you could see the embarrassment sweep over him.  I think even at his age, he does not want to be ostracized by his friends and called lice-boy or whatever the hip term is now.

Georgia was a bit more excited, and started explaining to me how lice jump (which they don’t) and also which of her friends she was going to tell that I found 15 lice in her hair. 

I thought at this point it might be good to indicate that this might be one of those dark-and-dreadful secrets we should keep in our family and off the playground.

Today is also wash-all-bedding-pillows-and-sleeping-toys in hot water day.

After fetching kids from school, I decided to stop at the chemist and buy a whole new pile of lice-die-cream and shampoo.

I bought a bottle that promises to kill them in one wash, but suggests two washes in a 24 hour window

Tick – we will be doing that today.

I bought another new set of another brand – I figure I will play one brand off against the others, and either kill the lice or create a new super breed that is resistant to everything.  Each child got a nifty lice-and-nit comb – who said we don’t show our kids a good time?

My head has also begun to itch – but only when I think of the word “lice.”

I am probably going to use the lice shampoo this evening and then spend a quiet and meaningful three hours with a new lice-and-nit comb.

I bet your head is itching just thinking about it – my neck and knee have started to itch just writing this post. 

<This is all whilst need to do the home work for my group meeting tomorrow night and watch the stupid DVDs on  Fabulous.>