We are starting this year with an amazing post by Being Beth. Let me introduce to you this simply amazing woman who has a very unique take on life. You will cry. You will laugh bursting at the seams. You will be in awe of how simple moments in this thing called life can transform us as human beings, as individuals, as a Woman.
This first intro post made me happy, though I do know it was not that easy to deal with that stubborn “L” word that sometimes could be nasty.
Without further ado, we are presenting to you Being Beth and her different perspective on the “L” word.
Aaah, Saturday night. Date night. When you have four kids, date nights are not a big deal… they are a huge deal. And my mister had made some fantastic plans.
We had a hotel downtown and sushi and a comedy club on the agenda. Oh yeah. It was going to be a great night.
Once we got to the hotel, we opened a cheap and romantic bottle of red and did a cheers to the evening. Before leaving, I ran to the bathroom. As I was washing my hands, I noticed what I thought was a mascara fleck in my hairline. I absently brushed it on to my finger … Wait. That’s not mascara. That’s a … bug!?
I’ll fast-forward through the next hour and a half. It was not the greatest 90 minutes of either of our lives. I was Googling different lice and bed bugs on my phone, crying and drinking wine … Joe was dutifully combing through sections of my hair and inspecting it. We didn’t end up finding anything else and, let’s face it, the night’s plans were incredibly attractive—especially to Joe, whose other option was more combing while his wife morphed into a purple-teethed, mascara-stained hot(ter) mess.
The bug must have just been a random fluke.
The sushi was incredible, the comedy club was delightful, and back to the hotel we went.
The next morning, I got up and there was another bug. Right there on the bed. If you know me, you know coming in contact with bed bugs is my number two fear and contracting lice is my third. (These fears, of course, are preceded by flocks of birds anywhere near me… but that’s a blog for another time.)
I found a “lice salon” in the Twin Cities. Yes—these are real places! The one I landed on is called Ladibugs and, as luck would have it, they had an appointment open on a Sunday afternoon for a mildly hysterical woman who clarified no less than four times that she was a “grown-up who didn’t share hats.”
I entered the very sparsely furnished, sterile, yet kind of chic little place. Elizabeth was the one lucky enough to be taking care of me, and I proceeded to share every thought in my fragmented stream of consciousness as she started picking through my hair.
“Oop—Here we go,” she said calmly.
“What?!” I asked. “What have you found? Just tell me. Please…”
“I found a little bug,” she replied, confused at my stammering. After all, why else would I be sitting in this place?
At this point, I started bawling. Elizabeth had her hands full.
I was crying for a million reasons, namely—Gross. I have bugs attached to my scalp that feed on the blood of my head. Also, I have four kids. Also, it’s December 30th. We’ve been doing the Traveling Family Christmas Circus for a week. Who is this going to affect? Where did this come from?
What do I do now?!?
She gave me a heat treatment with a vacuum-looking device called the “Louse-Buster 9000” or something awesome.
Then she did a serum and a mousse. She combed through my frizzy, infected locks and told me I was now lice-free!
Don’t people have to do, like, five treatments? Isn’t it supposed to reek like poison? Their formula smelled like peppermint. It didn’t sting or burn my eyes like I was thinking it would. This stuff was all-natural. This was huge to me. I bought a few at-home kits and some magic lice-repellent spray. The bill was hefty, but guess what! They take Health Savings Accounts! So I used that to pay and headed home.
I was the only one at the house for the rest of the day, and I went to town.
Here are my little, licey pearls of wisdom
High heat kills lice—NOT water
So, if it’s not dirty, don’t wash it, but dry everything on the highest heat you can. This was super fun because before we left for our date, I had five—five—loads of post-Christmas laundry folded neatly on our couch, just waiting to be put away. So, back in the dryer for at least 40 minutes per load those clothes went, because who knows what had been crawling on our couch.
Freezing is the other way to kill the little nightmares
I consider the fact that Minnesota’s temperatures in December mimic those of a freezer a “bright side” of this situation. So, I brought our giant rug and all our couch cushions and blankets outside to the front steps. It was gloriously white trash. Especially because I was still rocking my “I just had a lice treatment” shower cap of shame. By the time I was done hauling furniture and clothing outside, it looked like I was slowly kicking Joe out.
As for the rest of the couch and the floors, I vacuumed everything. Over and over.
Vacuuming Is Powerful!
I spot-cleaned every surface in the bathrooms, our bedroom furniture, I vacuumed our bed … Now, when is the last time you vacuumed your bed?
The other bright side in this is the fact that the kids hadn’t been home in over 48 hours. If lice don’t have anything to eat for 48 hours or more, they die. So, I really didn’t have anything to do in their rooms. My sweet shower cap and I steered clear.
The next day, New Year’s Eve Day, I picked up The Blondes (my son and daughter) from their grandma’s house, brought them home and had them change into their bathrobes right there in the garage.
Our other two boys were not far behind. We soon learned all four kids had it. Gross.
For the next three and a half hours, all six of us stayed in the bathroom. Oh yes, we did. I combed and treated, and Joe boiled combs, brought me a glass of wine, took care of the four little squirrels and together, we handled it, yo.
After our “family time” in the bathroom, the kids were quarantined to a sheet in the living room. That’s where we celebrated the New Year. We watched the (11:00) ball drop, drank sparkling juice from fancy glasses, toasted each other, talked about our 2012 highlights and what we wanted for 2013.
We laughed, we took pictures, we were silly… We will never forget ringing in 2013 on a sheet in the middle of the living room! The next day, we all went back to Ladibugs. Guess what! We were all lice-free, baby!!!
Stacy, our …stylist(?) was impressed. My daughter had two “dead” eggs and that was IT. Tonight, we did our last check, and we’re all free and clear! Couch cushions have been put back, bedding has been replaced, laundry is in the closets and the only sign of those nasty little critters is the minty-fresh scent of the lice-repellent spray (quite nice!) and an incredibly clean home!
Oh. Rest assured I’ll still be checking the kids with their own little lice combs like a psycho until they move out. As my son said, “I am NOT going through this again.”
I wrote this post for a few reasons
The main reason is because if you have to deal with lice, you don’t have to resort to dousing your heads in kerosene-chemical cocktails. There are natural options, and they work!
Also, it took a ton of energy and time, and I’m sure I will be nervously scratching my head for the next few weeks, but (finger’s crossed!) the methods I listed above work!
Here’s to Hugs not Bugs in 2013!