A little less motion, a lot more chaos



A little less motion, a lot more chaos.

So many of my columns are about motion, but some of them will be about chaos. This one epitomizes the latter.  I was all set to write about something else, but then life happened. You know life, the unpredictable beast that t-bones you out of the blue?  Yup, hit me like a freight train.
            This afternoon we, the parents of kids at Jefferson Elementary, got a phone call from the principal advising us that lice had been found at the school, and we should check our kids when they got home.  “Lice?!” I thought… “I know a funny blog about lice!” So I promptly posted a link to this funny blog about lice on my Facebook page, enjoying reading it once again. This, my friends, is called foreshadowing. 
            I get my little angels home and tell them we are checking for bugs. My oldest, thanks to the haircut I had given him last night, was easy peasy to check and was clear. I then had my daughter sit down.  As I went through her hair practically strand by strand, I noticed that she sure had a lot of glitter left from Halloween and maybe we need to work on washing her hair better. Then I saw it. Or did I? No, I didn’t see anything. Did I? Tiny. Microscopic. Smaller than a grain of rice, and brown. Can they be brown? No! They are white, right?? The bargaining ensues, “Please God, no! Please! I’ll tithe more! I’ll be more patient with the kids! Please don’t let that be a nit!” But there it was… and a friend a couple strands over.  I tried to pull them off. “Please pull off! Then you aren’t a nit.” They stayed fastened like they were crazy glued on.  As my gut sank, I may have internally expressed a few unpleasant words in my head. 
I pinned down the youngest momentarily. Three year olds aren’t too keen on sitting still and they are even less fond of having their hair looked at, strand by strand.  As I pinned him down between my legs, in an almost half Nelson, I managed to get a glimpse of a few hairs on his neck. That was enough to make me about cry. Yup, more critters. 
I promptly bagged them, like they were critical CSI evidence and texted my City County public health nurse friend.  “Can you come identify something for me?”  She obliged my request and unfortunately confirmed my fear.  Ugh.
            The Good Doctor happened to be in Fargo this night so I emailed him to bring Nix or Rid, and wine.  Sadly he didn’t even think I was joking and said, “So we have lice?”  I typed up a shopping list a mile long of things we may need and hit send.  I look around the house and wonder where do I start my combat against things I can’t even see.  The bedroom. I’ll start there… or collapse in tears there… and scratch my head. When did my head start itching so much?
            The kids all sleep in a pile every night. They each have their own bedrooms, but the littlest wants to be like his big brother, his big brother doesn’t like to be alone, and my daughter cleans her room immaculately, and then hermetically seals the door on the room, only to break the seal to change her clothes.  I’ll let you guess who is the mastermind in our household.  They all pile into the eldest’s room each night, and he has bunk beds.  As I look around at all the bedding, and all the clothes strewn around (guess who is our artistic and Type B child?), I’m sure I can hear faint snickering from the lice and their unborn babies.  As I scratch my head, I’m pretty convinced torching the whole joint will be easier at this point. 
            I relinquish to the fact it would be too much work to answer questions about a mysterious house fire and start stripping the bedding.  Into the wash it goes, and I consider cranking the water heater to fry the little beasts, but with my luck I’ll make the water heater explode, so I just choose the hottest setting.  In hindsight, I should tell Maytag they should add a “fry like bacon” setting to their washers strictly for lice infestations. I bag up the pillows and anything else I can’t wash. The North Dakota cold is good for one thing I guess: freezing nits and their egg-laying mothers.
            I convinced the youngest to come with me to the basement where I promised him chocolate if he could sit still for a couple minutes.  5 minutes, a pile of blonde curls, and a shattered heart in my chest later, he shimmied off the chair with his buzz cut.  He looked like a new resident of Leith, ND.  I love his curls. I mean I really love his curls. He is the only one of the children who has them, and because of that, I will grow his hair much longer than I know is acceptable.  But he is my baby, and they are his curls.  At this moment, I really really hated lice and nits.  He ran upstairs oblivious to the infestation that was partying like it was 1999 on his scalp.
            My daughter has been most upset about a birthday party she will miss tomorrow. “I PROMISE I WON’T TOUCH ANYONE!!” she keeps exclaiming. What she doesn’t realize is she may as well have leprosy at this point, because that is how welcome she will be for a few days.  I foresee the next couple days to be craft-project filled sprinkled with some nail polishing and a lot of hair washing and combing with her.  Any jerks living on the youngest boy’s head should now be amply visible, due to his new ‘do, and it should only require a couple Hulk Hogan moves to pin him down to wash his hair.
            I sit here, and write this and wait for my Knight with shining Nix to arrive.  And this is life.  And it is chaotic, and crazy and oh, did I mention we ripped out our bathtub earlier this week, and the youngest hates his hair washed? Soon my Hubby will walk through the door and say something funny, because really, what else is there to do besides laugh? We will sip some wine and spend a romantic evening of him running his fingers through my hair…  as he inspects my locks for nits.