Thursday, May 9, 2013

insect-urities

I've noticed something about the flow of life as a mother.

Motherhood comes steeped in insecurities.  More than I could have ever anticipated. And it seems that those insecurities are always exposed at the most sensitive of times, or in moments when I am just beginning to feel a rare glimmer of confidence. Riiiight when I begin to feel good and comfortable is the exact time I should have braced myself for a mortifying moment to completely blindside me.
 
Like, for instance, two years ago, in an interview with Avery's preschool's owner, I requested my daughter be admitted early as a two-year-old because she had been potty trained obnoxiously early and was soOoOoo advanced. It was on that day, in that interview, Avery shit her pants for the first time ever. I politely asked if we may use their toilet, calmly walked to the bathroom, then frantically scrubbed her little panties in her school's cute li'l sink where I then shoved the soiled underwear in my pocket for the rest of the interview so her teacher wouldn't know.
 
It's all those times your toddler perfectly recites her alphabet at home, until you ask her to do it in front of people you're trying to impress, and she pretends like she's never heard the English language before. Then some asshole makes a comment about some "kids developing slower than others", and that's when you consider taking up a life of crime instead of a life of mommyhood.

Or it's when your darling two-year-old fiiiinally starts talking. You want to shout his new achievement from the rooftops. "Everyone! I told you he'd do it! He speaks!" The little guy loves trucks. Unfortunately for the proud mommy, he happens to pronounce "truck" as "cock". Clear as day. Constantly it's, "blue cock" "huuuuuuge cock" "daddy's cock" "awww wittle baby cock". We're working on it.
 
For me, this time, it was cleanliness-related. While I'm not the cleanest cleanest person on the planet, it can be noted that unmade beds and dirty dishes give me anxiety. I'm a bit obsessive about my kids' hygiene and have been known to pin down my children and wipe their faces. Sometimes they'll cry from the weight of their mother's insane body holding them down until I scoop out every last trace of a booger from their dirty little noses. It's happened. Maybe I took a razor blade to the crevices of our refrigerator last month and it was absolutely exhilarating. Let's just say, if you called me a perfectionist, I wouldn't call you a liar.  I've come a long way from my cocktailing days where I would sometimes touch up last night's leftover smudged clubbing eyeliner for work the next day. What? Don't judge me I was drunk.
 
So, what I'm trying to say is, with a lot of hard work and re-teaching on my part, we're now a relatively clean family. Cleaner than most, I'd even venture to say. My kids clothes are almost always spotless, their hair is combed and freshly done when we leave the house. I was proud of that.
 

So, when I saw the fucker scurry across my always-bathed daughter's hair while at the beginning of our family weekend in Newport Beach, I didn't believe it at first. But, lo and behold, it was me shouting a panicked, "WE HAVE LICE!!!" at my husband as he returned back from lunch with his Californian best friend. Understandably, it was at that time Brian remembered he suddenly had to immediately return home, and as soon as he left, (which was very quickly) sheer hysteria struck the Beer family. I started pacing back and forth. Avery started to cry. Landon, well, Landon just sat there and continued to be squishy. Troy immediately Googled and found a lice removal company (yes, they exist), whom he called to come ASAP and rid us of the plague that was surely going to destroy and dismember us. Upon waiting for this company to arrive, my whole body started to itch. My mind raced. Were they fire-breathing flesh-eating lice? Probably. I think they're in my eyelashes. Am I going blind? Is that a side effect? Do I have a will? I need a will. How am I going to sign the will? I can't see! I think I'd like to be cremated.

Hours that felt like days passed as we waited for this company. Then. More anxiety. Wait. A "lice removal company?!" Like... mobile? All the neighbors are going to know. Do they come in an ice cream-like truck? Does the lice-cream truck play music? Will they post a condemned note to the front door? "BEWARE: These people are super disgusting." ?! I tried not to move and fought every possible urge to saturate my scalp with kerosene and throw a match to it.

Finally FINALLY she arrives. Two hours late and in a megaphone-less, "you've got lice"-siren-less vehicle, thank god. She comes in, gives us the "lice-prefer-clean-hair-calm-down-psycho-they're-not-going-to-kill-you" shpeal, and then she asks who of us four would like to be inspected and stripped of the ungodly buggies first. And as the matriarch of the family and brave protector of my children, I frantically twitched, itched, then squealed a , "MEEE!!!! For the love of Christ do me first," then sat in the specified chair, where she began to lather my head with insecticides.

"This is it", I think. "Just a few more minutes and I'm free and clear". I'm feeling hopeful, relieved.

Not five minutes into my treatment, the woman's fingers stop massaging. She swallows hard. She whispers, "Can I please have some water? I don't feel well." I complied, and she sipped some water.

She slowly begins again. Two minutes later it's, "I don't know what's going on. I'm so dizzy. Can I use your restroom?"

My head is partially lathered, partially infested at this point. I would give her a kidney, I've decided, for her to finish the job. I show her to the bathroom, where she spends the next twenty minutes flushing the toilet and running the faucet. The woman is seriously ill. She comes out, apologizes profusely, and nauseously digs back into my scalp. Three minutes later she asks for a pretzel because her head is spinning. Two minutes after that she asks if it would be alright to sit in her car for a while. I am thisclose to accompanying her because I'm terrified she's going to leave. Fix meeeee! Another twenty minutes pass as I sit in a chair, helpless, infested, draped with a towel and doused with chemicals, trying not to claw my hair out. It's at that moment I had decided that was the most excruciating hour of my life.

Anyway, she finally, dizzily, finished ridding Avery and me (the boys, come to find out, didn't have them) of each louse and it's horrible, repulsive eggs and she left and probably immediately admitted herself into a hospital because she was clearly dying of some sort of horrible, incurable disease. She likely got rid of our lice and gave each of us smallpox or the Spanish flu.

So, since then, whenever we have been around children I creepily sift through their hair when their unsuspecting mommies aren't looking because I have NO idea how we became infected. It was bizarre. I called Avery's school to ask and the only thing her teacher could respond with was, "Ew. Gross." So, that's where I'm at with getting to the bottom of that.

Either way, we didn't tell anyone because we didn't want our friends to be repulsed by us, but there ya go. Hi, we had lice. It happened. It's over. I don't know how or from who or where but it happened.

Disgusting, maybe. But be careful about letting this post convince you of your supposed superiority to my little infected family. Before you know it, you could be feeling realllly good about yourself one day. Maybe you even have a babysitter and you're running errands. I bet you have cute heels on too. Maybe even a hat! You're feeling fancy, thinking about how cool you are, then all of a sudden, BAM! you roll your ankle or get a speeding ticket or have explosive diarrhea. Stay on your toes. And, DON'T share your hat with anyone. Just in case.



 

 



3 comments:

  1. I am not looking forward to the day when lice invades. It seems so common again. I am itchy just thinking about it. Lice sucks.

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  2. My friend had lice invade once. I'm pretty sure her experience was very similar to yours. She's a cleanliness NAZI so she was NOT SO PLEASED when her daughter came home (sent home from school with a NOTE, so much for anonymity, lol).

    I'm glad you're unscathed. And hopefully free and clear FOR. FUCKING. EVER. For your sanity's sake :)

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  3. Working with kiddos, lice is REALLY common. Don't think it's a dirty thing, though! Lice only like clean hair, no joke. If you use a TON of product they won't like you. That's why after you hear of lice "outbreak" at schools all of the folks send their kids with greasy & slick hair. Fun fact: African Americans cant get lice. CRAY. CRAY.

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