‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Monday, November 8, 2010

Warning: reading this post may result in psychosomatic itching

This is one of those "I wish the post I'm about to write had been posted a week ago so I could read it" posts. In fairness, it probably was posted somewhere - I was just too freaked out to find it.

I mean, my friend was too freaked out. I'm writing this post for a friend. Ahem.

My friend has a child named Pat. It could be a girl or boy - I can't remember. All I know is that Pat was sent home from school with lice. My friend, Mrs. Full Tilt Panic the third, did what she did best. She freaked out.

It's possible that Mrs. P cried more than Pat did. She did a lot of hand-wringing. It was one of those times when you look around for someone who knows what to do and you're the only one standing there. 

As Mrs. P put lice shampoo on her child, Pat said "let me get this straight, the shampoo kills things, so you're putting it on my head."

"That's right," said Mrs. P. "Now be a good little Pat and close your eyes tight."

The shampoo killed neither Pat nor the lice.

So they moved to Plan B (which in this case has nothing to do with birth control, so don't try it for that). The school nurse, God love her, suggested they use olive oil. The olive oil made Pat's hair shiny and Mrs. P's cuticles have never looked better. Olive oil smothers lice, so in no time at all not a creature was stirring on Pat's head.

But Pat still couldn't go to school because it would have taken 3 weeks to get the nits out. So they had a nit-picker come, and here's what they learned: Nit-pickers are awesome.

They also learned how to do it themselves. You just need the right tools. 

Don't bother with the shampoo because the bugs have outsmarted it and become immune. Instead, slather hair with olive oil before bed and put it up in a shower cap. It needs to be on the hair for 8 hours. In the morning, comb hair with a LiceMeister comb. That comb is your ticket to back-to-school, because it gets the nits out. Comb thoroughly (you'll need to brush the tangles out first). Swish the comb in a bowl of water after each swipe, so anything you catch can be dumped and not relocated. Boil the brush and comb.

Wash hair with dish soap to cut the grease (lather up twice with dish soap and then shampoo normally).

Repeat nightly until you're not getting anything out. After that, comb every 4 days in case anything got through.

Wash clothes as soon as you change, and put bed linens in the dryer on hot for half an hour every day until the coast is clear. Rule of thumb: if it won't fit in the dryer, vacuum it.

The Nit Picker told Mrs. P that lice have a way of resurfacing at school, so it's a good idea to comb once a week. That way you comb them out before they have a chance to do their thing.

I guess it's about birth control after all.

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