Have I told you the Lice Story?

Aug 11, 2020

Have I told you the lice story?

 It was early April and Ryann was helping me refinish our teak patio furniture.  She pulled gently at my arm and motioned for me to turn off the sander.

 “Mama, I have bugs in my head. Sarah had bugs in her head and they can jump super duper far”,  she said in her sweet voice while scratching behind her right ear.

 “Babe, it’s been three weeks since you’ve been in school.  There’s no chance you have lice.  It’s just dandruff.  I’ll get you some shampoo, “ I assured her. 

 Later that week, Kaveh and I were on the back patio after a day of yard work.  He handed me a cold beer. I took off my favorite sunhat and joined him under the misters. He then had the audacity to point out that I was massaging my head. Just what in the Hell was he implying?  Who doesn’t love a good head massage when you take off your sweaty hat?  So maybe denial is a powerful drug. 😒

 Another three days went by and I finally called the lice lady. She came out to the house and confirmed my fears.  The whole family was infested. Based on the location of the empty egg sacks, it is likely we had them for two months. 


 We were quarantined, so it goes without saying that I frequently skipped the bra and makeup.  There was even a day our AC tanked and I opted out of pants for the day (it seemed acceptable at the time, though odd when I admit it now), but so help me God I have bathed every single day! 

 The nice lady assured me it isn’t about cleanliness rather just good ole fashioned crappy luck. She then started the five-hour-long task of picking out every nit from our heads. Thus the term nitpicker. 

 I have thick hair and the nit removal took well over two hours.  We chatted about politics through our masks, as she slowly pulled out each egg, wiping it on a white washcloth.  You know, to show me the fruits of her labor. 🙄

 When it was all over, I was left with a hefty bill to the toon of $450 and five bottles of lice shampoo. She documented everything to report back to her boss and hands me a carbon copy of her notes. 

 Najafi Family Report

Daughter- 200 eggs. 7 live.

Son- 10 eggs. 1 live.

Dad, 3 eggs. 0 live.

Mom- way more than I ever expected.

 What?   She couldn’t even put a number to it?  I laughed. I laughed hard……until I cried.

 Then began the process of washing every single sheet, pillow, comforter, and fluffy unicorn.  This process would continue each morning for the next two weeks.  Each night we washed our hair vigorously with the tea tree oil concoction and combed each strand of hair. It consumed our lives, and still, our brains’ played tricks on us as the itching continued. 

 Sadly, Ryann was also fighting a bladder infection. So pee accidents were a frequent occurrence around the house. Yet another reason why I was washing the sheets nightly.  While cleaning up a piddle accident (this time in the kitchen), she turned to me with her cute little face.  ”It’s just a lot, mama: the coronavirus, the lice, my infection. It’s just a lot,” she cried.  I took her face in my hands and said, ”Yes, babe, it is a lot.  But we are strong women and this too shall pass.”

 On the flip side, there was one thing that did raise her spirits. She felt a sense of achievement for harboring the most eggs. For the next two weeks, she interrupted every phone call I was on and loudly demanded, “mom, don’t forget to tell them I had 200 eggs and 7 live lice”.

 Quickly pulling the phone away, I whispered. “Honey, I’ve told you already. This is just for us to know.”

 “Mama, you said we don’t keep secrets, only surprises.”  She would then patiently wait until I disclosed our infestation to whomever I was speaking with. 

 The Verizon guy’s reaction was best, ”Holy shit that is disgusting.”    I was a little taken back by his words.  Feeling defensive, I lied and said, ”I bathe my kids every night.  It’s just crappy luck!”

 Ryann sternly corrected me, “That’s a fib, mama.  You don’t give me a bath every day.”  She then walked away, staring at me with shameful eyes. 

 The lesson my friends, be careful before you instill honesty and integrity in your kids.  It can, and will come back to bite you in the ass.

 Your friend,


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