11 Feb
Skkkkratch That Itch!

It’s Guest Post Friday! Hooray! Today we welcome a personal friend of mine, Heather aka Hokgardner! You may have seen her lovely pinks socks somewhere around the Internets, but she can always be found over on her wonderful blog that’s all about her four gorgeous children, her knitting and her awesome running. Heather is a truly delightful person, so let’s all show her some love today as she tackles a most unpleasant subject. Thanks, Heather! –Wendi

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Last week, my son had a sleep over at his classmate “John’s” house. When I went to pick him up the next morning, John’s head and his two brothers’ heads were shaved. John said his mom did that “because of the little bugs,” but when I asked her about it, she just mumbled and changed the subject.

Two days later, my son was sent home from school with lice. I’m pissed off because not only does everyone in the class think he was the originator, but John’s mom could have prevented my son from getting it by canceling the sleepover. Should I call her up and bitch? Would that do any good?


Lice Is So Not Nice


Dear Lice is So Not Nice,

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a mother faster than the word “lice.” My head started itching in sympathy as I read your question, and I’ll probably be scratching compulsively all day.

Unfortunately, I am a veteran in the war against lice. Thanks to our school district’s new policy of not sending kids with lice home, our school has had wave after wave of infestation. My kids just finished their second round of lice since the school year began. I’ve been up to my elbows in laundry and lice shampoo for months.

First off, don’t worry about people thinking your son was the originator. They are certain to think that some other child brought the little bloodsuckers to school and give you a pass on it. And any parent who has had to deal with lice will look at you with sympathy; they know what you’re up against.

Second, it won’t do any good to bitch the other mom out. She is probably already mortified enough that her kids had lice. And when she hears that your son had lice, most likely as a result of spending the night at her house, she’ll be hoping the earth will swallow her up the next time she sees you.

Finally, some tips on getting rid of lice. The first time my kids got lice, I went the all-natural, chemical-free route: olive oil, vinegar rinses, cetaphil treatments. When the lice re-emerged six weeks later, I went for the chemicals big time. I suggest going straight to the lice shampoo and skipping the all-natural route. It’ll save time. You also need to be dedicated to spending every evening combing your kid’s hair with the special lice comb for at least 10 days. Don’t even bother with the cheap plastic comb that comes with the shampoo; get a good metal toothed one.  A good preventive measure is shampoo with tea tree oil in it. Lice can’t stand the stuff.

Good luck. Someday you’ll be able to look back at this and laugh without compulsively scratching your head.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wash my hair.


Heather, Guest TMH

17 Responses to “Skkkkratch That Itch!”


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

I totally agree with Heather, lice waves come and go in school.
I was lucky enough to escape them in my time, but my nephew and niece already got them twice each since starting school.

True, the other mom could have cancelled the sleepover, but what use is it bitching her now, apart from leading to future embarassment when the kids play together?

Just don’t let your kids feel bad about having lice telling them these things happen, and that’s all.

hokgardner Reply:

The advice about not letting your kids feel bad about lice is excellent. My kids now know it’s just a part of childhood and don’t worry about it too much.


Comment by Sara.

Love the mouthy housewives and great answer Heather. But I must really disagree over the chemical lice treatments. Completely toxic and terrible for children. They are not good for adults either. The natural treatments are 100% as effective. I’m a veteran myself on these lice issues with three girls. The real key is making sure you properly comb through the hair and get rid of all the nits. If you stop combing too soon, the lice comes back. The tree oil sprays are a great idea for prevention.


Comment by Diane.

As Allison Pearson writes in one of my favorite books ‘I don’t know how she does it’, lice has become v. middle classs. EVERYONE gets it – no stigma anymore. It’s all part of the parenting experience these days – and what would we have to blog about were it not for nasty vermin? And from my personal experience, go with the chems. They work. There is also a neat little tube of goo called ‘Lice Ice’ that you put on heads before bed – freezes the little buggers. You comb, shampoo in the morning – just like a little spa treatment.


Comment by Kelcey, TMH.

I feel so itchy!!


Comment by annie.

do all that and don’t forget to vacuum the seats in the car!

I’ve been through it twice with very long, very thick haired daughters. I found the combs could miss nits so be sure you visually do tiny section by section as well. Those buggers are glued on!

I agree with the others not to bring it up with the mom. I’m sure she’s horrified enough.

hokgardner Reply:

On our last go round, I sat in the sun in the front yard and went through my son’s hair by hand, picking out the nits. I felt like a mama monkey.


Comment by Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up).

i wouldn’t let my kids feel bad about it but yeah, i would kick that mom’s ass. My kids school had lice plenty of times but it seems like lice like lanky haired blondes. Not thick haired brunettes. Just lucky i guess.

Steph Reply:

you might have been lucky. in my (most humbling)experience they ADORED my super-thick-long haired brunette child more than my blondie. Although I don’t think I would have the nerve to say anything to the other mom, I would never let my children go back there if I thought she knew about it before my child arrived. It has been three years (knock on wood) and I am NOT over it.


Comment by Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole.

I love how compassionate Heather is because it’s so true that lice is just one of those icky things that goes along with having kids.

However…I wouldn’t be able to keep my mouth shut with the mom. Their heads were shaved?? That’s a fresh incident. She “mumbled and changed the subject”?? I mean seriously, be a grownup and fess up.

It sucks to be the mom on the block with lice, but it sucks worse to be the deceitful mom who would rather spread lice than cancel a sleepover.


Comment by amy.

Lice, been there and done that with my daughter in grade 5 with her thick super long hair. Toxic chemical bomb shampoo 2x did not work btw. Our saving grace was covering her head with tea tree oil, letting her sleep with it on her hair (pillow covered) and then spend 4 hours picking out the eggs. Luckily she fell asleep.

Am I the only one that thinks the mom was out of line for shaving this woman’s kid’s hair?!


Comment by amy.

sorry, re-reading. Thought her kid came home with a shaved head and it infuriated me! I blame the Shiraz.


Comment by JennyP.

On the TV Show “Dirty Jobs”, they visited a business in San Francisco that combs the lice out of your hair. They sprayed the hair and kept it braided tightly until they got all the nits out. Maybe you can open a franchise!


Comment by marie.

Am shocked that moms are saying this is just part of parenting… it has to start somewhere… so some mom has to be responsible for sending it into school in the first place, yes? And, if we teach our kids no sharing hats/combs/etc… doesnt that help? I’m scared!!!

amy Reply:

We did the whole no sharing stuff but still got them. One hairdresser suggested could be due to the kids all hanging up their coats together.


Comment by Hokgardner.

We watched that very show while doing the first lice treatment. The kids loved it.


Comment by Alexandra.

Oh, it can be a scary thing…but it is common.

One thing I do is use the upholstery spray on the headrests in the car, b/c so many kids are in there…

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