I received a phone call yesterday on my direct line at work. When I picked up, it was Dean from the daycare. My spidey senses started to tingle. "Don’t freak out…"
Who starts a conversation on the phone with "Don’t freak out," and really expects you to not freak out??
"Aitch garble-jumblemumble…." Dean said.
"Aitch has head lice."
They wanted her to be picked up. Like now (which after some preliminary research, is not necessary. head lice is not a social disease…or something…you know, like the flu). I simply could not get away from my office for what I considered a non-emergent issue. Not to mention they didn’t want her back until Monday (again, totally an overkill since many policies indicate children can return to daycare after a single properly administered treatment, but obviously some parents don’t care if they drop off their lice-ridden children to play around otherwise unaffected children. Assholes.).
Sparring Partner graciously offered to get both kids (Doodicus was declared bug-free) and then return to work after I got home. This was about 3:00 p.m. yesterday, so it wasn’t long before I switched places with him. Before heading home, I went to the drugstore and bought a couple boxes of lice treatment and hoped that anyone who saw me standing in my muted leopard skirt, nude pumps and peplum-trimmed jacked buying lice killing shampoo thought I was doing so for the community soup kitchen (we don’t have a soup kitchen). I then got off my high-horse and reminded myself that head-lice is not an indication of cleanliness or social class. It would seem that as long as there is blood in your head (which given zombies horrific appearances, they at least do not carry lice), you are fair game for an infestation.
One of the daycare staff tried to throw the newly-opened water park in our town under the bus by claiming that the common denominator with the children who are currently infected was that all the kids had been there. Since this was said to my husband and not myself, I didn’t have the opportunity to respond, "The OTHER common denominator is that all the children go to THIS daycare! What a coincidence!"
I’m not mad at the daycare. Annoyed, maybe. Annoyed that they really don’t have a policy to address the problem ("We don’t know how long she can’t come back to daycare…how about Monday, at the soonest?"); annoyed with the act of trying to convince a three-year old that it’s OK that mommy is messing up her hair and that she has to sit with some stinky medicine on her head to "get rid of the bugs"; and sure, VERY annoyed that while my husband pulled all the sheets and pillowcases off of the beds, he didn’t bother starting a load of laundry in the two hours he was home alone with the kids…annoyed, yes, but no, not mad.
I treated both kids and wondered briefly if I shouldn’t put some in my hair, just to be safe, but by the time I had combed through one little girl’s long, fine, tangley-beyond-fuck hair and my son’s thick-as-a-saskwatch’s-ass-fur hair (let’s not even talk about how every time I dragged that stupid lice comb over his scalp he’d flinch and whimper and tuck his head down under the collar of his robe), I was so done with hair. Instead I will wonder if every little tingle or itch I get today isn’t the result of one of those suckers feasting.
My mom happily accepted the opportunity to come up and watch the kids today so SP and I could go back to work. She was in a surprisingly chipper and chatty mood, which is the complete opposite of what she’s been lately. The past couple of times, she’s been somber and silent. The alzheimer’s has been like a vampire keeping its victim alive for later. Not to get sidetracked by that issue, but I don’t see her being able to stay out of some kind of assisted living after this coming year, the disease has progressed rapidly.
But for today…today, the kid’s have immaculate hair and an adoring grandma who will let them eat oreos in the living room and watch movies on two different TVs and color Dora exactly like the cartoon without deviating and trying to make her hair green like mama prefers to do. Next time, I’ll throw in a couple of polka-dots and explain to Aitch that even Dora gets "bugs".