Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Oh my. As I lay in bed this morning cuddled head to head with Quincy I noticed Aidan standing at the base of the bed, freshly showered and shampooed, scratch scratch scratch on his head. Uh oh. Over to the light for you young lad. Sure enough I remove about 5 eggs in no time. Phyllis is just about to head off to the airport - well, since I'll be keeping the kids home from school they can accompany Nanma to the airport with their daddy. There is some magically folk called "the Hair Fairies" and another mom tells me a friend had a great experience with them. I call their # but they don't open until 10. I trek down to Walgreens and ponder the chemical shampoos instead. I select one that claims to be a fun "blue" color with a watermelon scent, metal combs, and some combing gel product that professed to make the combing easier. I did take a peak at Quincy's hair and indeed he too was infested - or at least had eggs.

The boys and I all shampoo up for the requisite 10 minutes. After the gel I start combing. Wait a minute! There are LIVE lice coming out on the comb!! Weren't the chemicals supposed to kill them?!? No matter. Out them and their little eggs come. Aidan led the way, Quincy had a few and I think I had one. ICK. I realized of course we needed new towels as the old ones might possibly still have critters on them. So I reach for new ones - but OH NO! Turns out MICE have been pooping on them! A couple of weeks ago I found the same and washed them all. I couldn't figure out what the mice wanted with towels - this time it was clear - apparently the Aveno oatmeal stuff for bath in the wire basket directly above is tasty. That is now gone from the house and more towels needed to be washed... Stupid (or should I say clever) mice. We discovered that we had some a few weeks back. We managed to catch a couple in traps and put most everything away and Simple Greened the heck out of all sorts of places. I even put out poison - which seems to have been completely ignored (perhaps for the best as I have heard horror stories subsequently from friends about the smelly messes that can't be found). One eve we were awoken by a mouse chowing down on a dark chocolate bar in a plastic bag that was stashed in the bookcase near our bed. No more of that! They also enjoyed a bag of dried cranberries before I discovered that that cupboard was not secure. Turns out they like to hang out on the TOP of our fridge. They like walnuts. They are especially fond of grocery store "everything" bagels. They completely ignore peanut butter baited traps. (the manufacturers recommended bait).

Back to lice day. We broke the news to Pete who enjoyed an itchy day. Turns out he seems to be louse free lucky guy! Just thinking about it makes you itchy though. The kids did a good job vacuuming up and stripping their beds - and even submitting to hair treatments. On-line I did some reading (esp after the chemicals seemed to have had such limited success). Mayo encased heads overnight seem to be popular. Also salad dressing - or at least oil mixed with or followed by vinegar. OK - smother the beasties with oil and then vinegar dissolves away the "glue" that holds the eggs in place. Sounds like a plan (oh yeah - invest in tea tree oil to add to shampoo and maybe some tea tree shampoo as well and heavy conditioner). Oil for 3 hours. OK. First up, Aidan. Olive oil. Ziplock baggie. Oops - dripping/oozing out of the bag... Lots of protests. I recall the person saying petroleum jelly much less messy than oil. DON'T DO IT! I switched for Quincy and myself. All seemed fine. Until time to wash it out. Aidan's washed out well (I did use Dawn dish soap - they all said use DAWN and only Dawn) and I managed to comb out one additional egg. Did I mention that earlier in the day I did a dry hair head check? Couldn't find any on Aidan but cut out an additional 6 eggs off Quincy. I washed my hair multiple times with Dawn, then shampoo. Upon multiple website recommendations I powdered up in gobs of cornstarch. Later on I also tried Simple Green and bar soap. Hah. I need to figure out a hair do that will work for me that has a "wet" look. Quincy seems to be in even a worse state. He may end up shaved if things don't improve.

I feel that we will win against the lice. Thanks to preschool experience (watching others) I know how hard you have to work at it. I also feel we can eventually get the mice to give up and leave us alone. Apparently the school had someone in checking heads today (Quincy's class hasn't been checked yet) and sent home 30 kids from 9 classes. Infestation. Clearly if people are relying on the shampoos they will never get rid of them all.

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