being a mom

Lice Do Not Last Forever. Your Kid Is Going To Be Ok.

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He agreed to meet me at the house and incinerate our bedding, being utterly squicked out by the whole lice thing. I will say this about my partner: we’re on the same page when it comes to hair parasites. I went to the school to pick up my daughter, and when I got there, she was nowhere to be found.

“We sent her back to class,” said the nurse. It was around lunch time, and lots of parents were gathering in the office to bring their kids Whataburger—something I don’t do because I don’t love my kid enough, I guess—and a crowd was forming.

“Really?” I whispered, “don’t you want to, I don’t know, quarantine them or something?”

“Lice has a stigma,” the nurse informed me. “That’s why we don’t separate the kids. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone that Duckie has lice,” she finished loudly, before going to fetch her, leaving me alone with multiple dagger-eyed stares, the smell of deep-fried shame permeating the office.

While I waited, I frantically Googled “lice” and came to the conclusion that it needed to be gone, now. I didn’t care what it took. The nurse handed me a pamphlet about a place just around the corner that removes lice for you, which I considered to be perfect, because ew. “Between you and me,” she practically yelled, “this is the worst case of lice I’ve ever seen.”

When we got to the place, located in a gross strip mall not far from the school, the woman informed me that the process was 90 dollars an hour—they were very thorough, she assured me, combing the hair twice with a 40 dollar comb (not included) and then going through with tweezers under a magnifier, getting all of the adults and eggs at one go. My eyes widened at the sticker shock, but she assured me that it rarely took a full hour. She ushered us back to a room with what looked like a dentist chair and a TV.

First, she combed a hank of my hair.

“You have lice,” she concluded, dropping my 40 dollar comb and ripping open the package on my daughter’s 40 dollar comb. She offered to comb mine out, but I told her to deal with Duckie first. Then we’d see whether or not I could mortgage the house before closing time.

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