send wine….

so want to know about lice?  I know a ton now, I took a crash course! As I walked out of Costco on Friday with a detailed yet doable to-do list Lars called and said the school nurse found a live lice on Niamh and he was going to go pick up Niamh and Zoe.

Que the over-reaction.  The stress reflex.  The idiotic shame over something I and they can’t control.  The google of ‘lice removal’ and ‘lice today party tomorrow?’.  Oh, and the laundry.

We called in Vacation partner (because life isn’t always a vacation) because she knew more than I did and we team washed, treated, inspect/combed all 3 kids and ourselves AND based on CDC saying kids can go to school post NIX treatment decided to have the party.  If you are googling and find this here is what we thought;

  1. CDC recommendation of treatment seems reasonable
  2. We were going to keep Niamh – the only one with any real sign – with hair up tight and away from the kids
  3. It was Zoe’s birthday and we really didn’t want to wreck the sister bond they have by having her big sister need to cancel the party.
  4. Almost all the party guests are classmates so they saw Zoe yesterday, and, as one parent said “we roll these dice every day anyway with school and gymnastics and sports etc”

So we greeted each parent with the situation and I think the winning line was “better yesterday than tomorrow” because, in reality, we were very safe post treatment.  It didn’t change the party really, the weather was nice so we were outside a bunch and they loved all the party games and activities.  I wish I could have enjoyed it more myself but I think they all really did.  There were many moments throughout Friday and Saturday getting ready that I wished I could quit but there is no quitting in baseball or motherhood and I powered through.

Sunday, the actual day of Zoe’s birth, we all woke up still stressed out but with some nice plans.  The way the killing shampoo works is that it kills everything alive BUT it does not kill eggs so you have 3 days or so before eggs hatch to get rid of the eggs.  I was under the impression our NIX killed the eggs BUT NO OVER THE COUNTER BRANDS DO THAT!!! so hello stress again!  Clock ticking I try the dr to call in a prescription.  They refuse because they have not seen Niamh in a year (her well child is next Monday by the way) and they say to go to urgent care.  Fat chance…  Then I find a place locally that will remove the eggs.  I mention it to Lars and Niamh over hears and jumps on it like a starving lion.  She is feeling guilty and sorry and like she caused it all and she just wants it over. They have Sunday hours so I book it and we head out.  Sorry Zoe… your birthday just went off the rails.

The place we went, nitpickers, could not have been more professional and understanding.  It is expensive but I think worth it to know that we really really are clear of it.  Fortunately, Lars finished the event he was at and joined us in time to take Zoe and Fiona out to the mall for some birthday fun while Niamh and I finished our treatments.  Poor Niamh, waist length hair is not easy and she had a lot to get out.  They did me because they found 2 eggs and probably more because who would take care of the mom in a family?  Fiona had zero, and Zoe had 6.  After dinner when they usually get a show Fiona  actually said she already watched too much tv because for 5 hours that what they did to stay still…



lets just call it a spa day….


I think Zoe still had a decent birthday, there were presents and cake and all but it was not up to my standard.  She opened brown packing boxes from amazon and closed her eyes as we handed her unwrapped gifts.  She accepted brownies with a single candle and pizza at the mall instead of the out to dinner we were planning.  We held it together… just… but I’m holding on to my sanity with a slippy grip.  What is NOT helping is the freakouts from everyone else around me.  Guess what?  they can’t live off a human head so rather than bleaching everything; get a good check of your head if your head touched her head.



those black sticks were sparklers


Today I called the school nurse to tell him what we did but also confirm that he checked the rest of the class and he avoided that question.  I forced him to answer and even though he told Niamh he would, he did not.  Poor guy – he got a bit yelled at.  They are ‘keeping an eye on people itching’ and I told him that was not even really a good symptom because plenty of people never itch!  lice are nocturnal and are dormant in the day…  I read a very informative book on the subject in the 5 hours I was sitting there.  I’m not an expert but I know a lot more now and I feel like I might as well turn this horrific stress party of a weekend into a semi-positive that now I know how to deal with something and I can also list here some facts I got from the book that might help you not be so much of a stress ball.



Enter a caption


  1. lice like to, no love to, stay on the person they are on.
    • they actually CAN’T feed from a person with a different blood type, it kills them
      • they could lay eggs and then die and those eggs would tune to the first meal so that is probably why I didn’t get this much because I’m O and Niamh is A.  Rh factor is also a thing too so different is good here!
  2. They have to feed every 4 hours but after 2 hours they are so dehydrated that they can’t lay eggs so you don’t have to go crazy cleaning because if they somehow got off, they are basically dead
    • eggs can’t hatch once they are out of the ‘goldy locks’ zone of perfect heat about a quarter inch off the scalp.
      • unfortunately if you think “I’ll just shave my head” you need to bic it to skin because you will miss eggs if you don’t.
  3. They move to a new head by hair or head touching when there are too many on the host head because remember, they love to stay where they are.
  4. Lice prefer dark so thick hair is their favorite, and, they dislike curly hair or dirty hair.  Short or thin hair where you can see the scalp are not a favorite either so if your balding (male or female) think of this as a side bonus.
    • However! live lice can’t be showered off, they can survive 2 hours under water and cling like crazy to your hair.
    • the olive oil or mayo method is a maybe because it makes it too hard for the eggs to adhere like ‘dirty’ hair

I can’t really describe what each stage looks like any better than the internet at large but I hope these tips help you not freak out like I did.  You don’t really need to wash everything they ever touched.  You don’t need to take things away for weeks to ‘be sure’.  You DO need to clean where they have been in the past 4 hours – I was cycling things through the dryer and hot washer until midnight the night before a party and then all morning too and that was just wasted energy!

Tomorrow I’m sure I’ll be back to normal.  I didn’t get to work out or eat right all weekend so that added to my stress load.  I had a nice morning with some friends and Fiona is being sweet and the sun is shining so I think we will have good afternoon and an early night and tomorrow I can be happy-shiny about Zoe’s puppy party.  I’m also buying a pro lice comb and we get to do some checks every 2 weeks for the rest of their lives…

11nncznc3bl with twisted teeth to really kill the buggers!



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10 responses to “send wine….”

  1. Heartafire says :

    this certainly brings back memories! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fancypaperblog says :

    You sound so stressed. sorry that happened to you all. Niamh is super brave though and a great girl. These lice are the worst and happen to us all even though just before a party is a cruel twist. I hope you can all move past it soon. I would have shouted too BTW.


    • kateluthner79 says :

      Here in the midwest where I live shouting is almost NEVER done, they are a calm people here. I grew up in NY and shouting is a thing so people there are immune but if you shout here, its about as good as holding a gun to them because they are positive you are going to come unglued. He did the check, nobody else had any so that leaves girl scouts… I’m much better today after a normal nice day with friends. We ‘had tea’ 😉 even (coffee, pink lemonade and brownies count right?)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. fancypaperblog says :

    Just to add, I got them when I was five. I told all my neighbour kids not to come near me because I had head lights …


  4. Eanraig Maceanraig says :

    Yup. I remember when Brendan, Victoria and Vivie got them. Fun times, I got to do all the “hunt and destroy” missions.


    • kateluthner79 says :

      Aw! I didn’t know you even read Uncle! I’m sure you were better than Lars, it was frustration city here so even at $80 an hour it was worth it to go to the ladies!


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