While You Were Sleeping

I love a good bedtime routine. I just finished putting my kids to bed. After a quick teeth brushing and a spot check for head lice, we went upstairs and read a chapter of Judy Blume's "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing." Then we said prayers and blessings, gave kisses and goodnights.

And then just before I turned out the light, my youngest daughter just happened to scratch her head.

I said, "Are you itchy, honey?"

She said, "Mom, you don't need to check - it's just that my skin is dry"

I said, "C'mon, sweetie. You know what I've gotta do."

So, while she was lying down, I started going through my daughter's hair with just my fingers on the lookout for eggs and bugs. I found a nit (egg). I told her that there was a good chance that she had a bug on her head but that we would really deal with it in the morning. Then I kept looking for a few more minutes, fingering through her hair so gently, my little girl fell fast asleep. Then I turned out the light, went downstairs, grabbed my head lamp and went back to her bed to look at her head for 10 more minutes or so. While she was sleeping, I found about 8 eggs. After that, I went through the hair of my other two sleeping children and found nothing - no nits, no lice. A more thorough lice check for the entire family will take place, but not until the morning.
I asked myself how I had not found these lice before and then remembered that I was out of town on the weekend and that I've been sick for the past 3 days. So the routine has relaxed. Also, my spot check this evening was just that, a spot check and no replacement for regular extensive searches. A more thorough check will take place in the morning.

I am so happy that I found these nits before things got too out of control. And now I'm going to tell you what I'm doing next. I'm going to do all I can tonight to make sure that I have time in the morning to take care of the head lice issue before school. Before I go to bed, I will be making lunches, checking homework, and laying out clothes. I am also moving my morning shower to an evening bath where I will comb through my own hair with a lice comb. I will not be staying up late frantically cleaning or getting my children up earlier than usual.

With all of this, I should have this problem under control before the 8:40 AM school bell.

Update: The next morning, I found 1 adult bug, 3 nymphs and 4 more eggs. After school, I found 2 more nymphs. And that was all that we ever found. Regular checking really nips those nits in the bud.

1 comment:

Amanda Husko said...

I'd love an in-depth description of your checking routine. Spot checks daily -- what does that mean? Just a couple glimpses randomly on every head? And then I think you said a wet comb weekly? Like a full-on conditioner slathered comb-out of the entire head? Sorry, we're currently trying to clear up an infestation that I'm confident we'll beat after reading for hours on your blog. Once it's gone I'd love to have the confidence that I'm doing everything I can to detect it early.