It seems that no matter how much planning and preparing I do for times such as these Chaos will find me and challenge me to a dual. Well you fought well Chaos, you lead a surprise attack on the eve of Christmas Eve,, you held your ground, and for a while there I did think you were going to pull off the win. However, I am strong, I am organized, I am fearless (until I am done anyway), I have the gift of power, and I have an incredible husband on my side! Not today Chaos, not today!
I decided to double the batch of fudge. I had all the ingredients ready, lined up, measured out and my stand mixer ready to go. I could do this. After all since the humidity here is so high I had decided to use a Tablespoon of corn syrup and not risk the "sugaring" of my fudge. I was ready. I began the process. I chatted with my husband as he kept our two year old son away from the hot mixture on the stove. And just as the boiling began a frantic child ran into the kitchen wearing her bath towel in total hysterics.
I love my children. And let me tell you before we get into all this, I am a clean freak! I hate going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, I steam our kitchen floors often (because my son insists on eating whatever he drops on them), there is no food or drink aloud outside of the kitchen (and I am huge on this one, I go crazy when the border is breached), my children are not aloud to wear the same clothes two days in a row (no matter how hard they try), I even get irritated when they don't wear pj's to bed (it isn't good for your clothes), I change my children's sheets often, and I bully my children to bath if they have gone more than 2 days without a shower (I don't care if it's vacation and all you've done is sleep). So the residents of my house have no choice but to be clean. The problem is that for the majority of children who have the issue we had last night, it isn't about being clean. It is about contact with the wrong person.
So back to the hysterics. My daughter says I have to talk to mom...so I ask my husband to stir the sugar cooking that will be fudge. I casually walk over to my beautiful daughter and say yes? The tears start to stream, she is a mess and can barely get the words out. But she manages and the 7 words every mother in the world fears come out of her mouth, "Mom, I have bugs in my hair"!
Oh, CRAP! Maybe she is wrong, let me see honey, turn around. Deep breath. Nope, she is right. A full blown case of Head Lice, on the eve of Christmas Eve!
The orders are being directed now, they may be polite orders, but they are orders! I sent her back to the shower, continue washing your hair in as hot of water as you can stand. Husband, "Honey please go to CVS and get at least 3 Lice kits and a heavy duty lice comb. I know the kits come with one, but since our girls all have very long hair, we need the heavy duty metal kind. And please make sure that there is the disinfecting spray in the kits, otherwise get 2 or 3 of them as well. Done...husband grabs keys and is out the door.
Now I have 2 more minutes of stirring and the sugar mixture is ready for mixing into fudge. I am not going to waste a double batch just because utter chaos has hit my home. So I finish the fudge, it only took me 5-6 minutes. Fudge in pan, counters a mess, I grab the olive oil and I am off to the bathroom.
So I learned over 13 years ago that olive oil when used properly can help get rid of lice. That's the last time I had to deal with this, 13 years ago!!!So I coat my daughters long hair in olive oil as she is standing naked in the warm shower. She is really freaking out now because you can see the adults that are going down the drain. After her hair is coated, an entire bottle, I covered her head with saran wrap and she stood there while my husband continued his trip to the pharmacy. Meanwhile, as she is standing helpless in the shower, I make every other child in the house come to me and check their hair. I was just sure that there was no way one of them could have a full blown case without another having it too. Nothing so far, and my head starts to itch like crazy! I couldn't tell if I had the heebie jeebies or if I had it too. Nope, no freaking out. Deep breathes!
The husband comes in with exactly what I asked for (he really is a wonderful man, definitely a keeper). So with comb in hand I thoroughly check every child in the house and Christmas miracle...no one else has it! Although the supplies not including the olive oil was over 75$! Then I check myself with the comb. Oh thank you lord! I don't have it either. I still don't get how she is the only one with it, but I have more important things to do.
So we wash out the olive oil with hot water and shampoo. Did I mention that my daughter was freaking out? Well now it was worse, because olive oil does work wonders (although I wouldn't trust in it to do the whole trick, but it does condition the hair and scalp well for the poison to come). I would say that after the olive oil and regular shampoo 99% of the adults were gone. So then she sat on the toilet while I blew dried her hair. The medicated shampoo is to be applied to dry hair, and I am in no way going to stray from the exact directions. Shampoo applied. She sits there helplessly.
Meanwhile, the beds in the house are being stripped into black bags. Everything! Spray is being applied to furniture and beds. I start the sanitation process in the laundry (I am so glad we got that washer and dryer set with the sanitize setting). And then I decided to treat the daughter in my house with more hair than three of us put together with olive oil. Just to be on the safe side. Her hair is almost to her butt. So I get that on her hair, manage to clip it up, and put it under a shower cap.
Back to the poor girl sitting on the toilet with her hair covered in medicated shampoo, we wash it out. There is much less chaos as she has calmed down. She at one point was worried her sisters would embarrass her by telling friends she had lice. I told her I would keep that from happening, if they told anyone we would spread the rumor that they all had it. And finally, I got my first smile of the night from her.
We finished the showering (I checked my hair probably 5-7 times throughout this) and she got to put on jammies. We went downstairs, sat in the comfy chair, and applied the gel to kill and strip nits and began the painful scraping combing of the hair. All of it. Strand by strand, section by section. Then she had to go upstairs and rinse her hair again. She decided to lean over the bathtub instead of getting in. Can't say that I blame her after about an hour and a half in the shower earlier.
Then I did my freaking out...checking bedding, stripping my clothes, respraying everything, sending the vacuum from room to room. Checking my hair again, checking the other children's hair again, oh and letting the olive oil soaked one finally shower.
Somewhere in the middle of all that my husband cooked dinner. Fed the ones who were not as affected by all this chaos (other than my constant checking of their hair). I love him and can't imagine life without him. Later we retired to our room and began wrapping presents, watched the football game (that was recorded thankfully), and actually relaxed. We even got all the wrapping done! HA!
So Chaos, if was a good fight, but you lost. Until another day my old foe, until another day!
So if you have had a stressful holiday season so far, maybe just maybe this lovely story will help you put things into perspective and feel a bit less stressed. Happy holidays to everyone! (I am now up to about 15-17 times of checking my own hair and really have the heebie jeebies)!