Friday, May 02, 2008

All our teeny-tiny pets

The girls, especially Rachel, have asked several times for a new pet ever since our dog Sandy died a few years ago. We've always had to say no, because of allergy concerns, but the request resurfaces with some regularity.
It's been a while since either has asked, and Tuesday afternoon I discovered why. While Rachel and I were waiting for Evangeline to come out of the bathroom at the school, I found that Rachel already has pets, several of them in fact, all living in her hair. They've been laying eggs, making her scalp itch, and generally doing all those cute little tricks that lice know how to do.
Like spreading to other people's hair: her sister, her mother and her father.
So Tuesday night we spent hours -- hours! -- combing nits and lice alike out of Evangeline's hair, a thick, lustrous coat of brown hair that's never been cut in her life. Rachel's hair was easier, but still time-consuming. Once the girls were in bed, Natasha and I took turns combing out the bugs and their eggs like a couple of chimpanzees, while the other read Ursula LeGuin's "A Wizard of Earthsea" out loud.
Changed all the bedding yesterday afternoon, and today too. Washed all the towels, all the sweatshirts. Gave everyone's head a good scrubbing to do whatever we could. I even teased Evangeline about having her long, long hair shaved all the way down to the head.
There's at least another week of this to go.
Stupid lice.l

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