Friday, January 8, 2010

The week of the lice***

                                But his hair's too pretty to shave

The effects of difficulty can be cumulative.  I forget the efforts of the past 6 weeks when I consider how drained I feel, right this moment.  I don't even feel equal to the decision of whether or not to wake Scott for his half day of school (Fridays).  And I certainly don't feel equal to what the morning would require of me:

  • wake Scott; who was awake far too late last night (details follow)
  • shepherd him through the dressing process, returning several times to reawaken him (he loves his sleep)
  • listen to Scott and Connor bicker, intervene as necessary, while simultaneously urging them forward, while getting myself dressed, the dog fed and pottied--the morning juggling act
  • check for nits
  • try to leave early for school in order to open the dojo on the way so I can
  • go to breakfast with some long-ago co-workers who are nice enough but my duration at that job was very short and so I don't share much history with them but maybe I can keep up with the job market but isn't that a cynical reason to breakfast with these people who welcome me but I don't have much connection to...
Yesterday started fairly well.  I'd found nits in Scott's hair, and so had done another treatment with a product called Lice MD.  Since this was just before my appointment with Sharon I'd left the follow-through to Gary.

In fairness to Gary these things are really small, and similar in color to Scott's hair coloring, so they're easy to miss.  There was nothing alive and moving on his head.  I'm not sure Gary realized our city's school district has a no-nits policy.  Neither did we realize the depths of our son's altruism.

So, when he was playing at school during morning recess, his buddy had come over and hugged him.  In a fit of worry that he may have infected his friend he went and confided to his substitute teacher that he had had lice.  So the teacher sent him to the school nurse, who found the nits and called me, around noon, to come and get him.  I'd thought I'd gotten them all, and since I'd treated him I thought we were in the clear, and we probably were, except he called their attention to it.

I went and got him and spent the rest of the day playing needle in a haystack, literally.  We'd take a break, and I'd check him again and find more where I'd thought were none.  These things were too small, even for the nit comb to catch.  Again I bundled up coats, pillows, bedding, clothing, and trundled them to the laundry.  This is the 4th bed change since Sunday.

I did another check before bedtime and found a few more.  So this made his sleep location a problem.  He's been sleeping with us, in a king bed.  I don't want to have to launder it yet again.  I told him he'd have to sleep in"his" room, downstairs, with bunk beds.  Instant dismay:  the bed's not comfortable, he's scared, he doesn't want to be by himself.  He wanted to sleep with Connor (whose bedding I'd just laundered; I also found nits on him, but nothing live.) in his double bed.

Last night's TV programming are the current seasons of "The Office" and"30 Rock".  I'm a latter-day fan of The Office and the holidays have disrupted my viewing schedule.  I was really looking forward to  seeing it, but it was not to be.  Every few moments Scott was yelling that he was scared, he'd heard a noise, he was crying and didn't I care?

I felt about as ground down and full of self-pity as I have in years.  This was the perfect storm of frustration and weariness.  I was missing most of the jokes on the program that Connor was laughing at and he looked at me questioningly.  "I don't have a sense of humor right now, Connor."

I was downstairs talking with Scott again, when Gary went and talked to Connor.  Connor agreed that this night he'd sleep in the same room, in the top bunk.  "Keep the little guy company."

Scott was instantly relieved.  Spindly arms reached for me and I pulled his little body close.

"Will you be the grandmother of my children?"

(chokes back a snort of laughter)..."Yes, Scott, I'll be the grandmother of your children."

Decision this morning:  let him sleep; it's not worth the effort to get him to school for a half day.  Skip breakfast.

***they're still totally worth it if they're the reason my MIL didn't come to stay...


PaleMother said...

Hi Ex!

I have been trying to leave a comment all day; I keep getting interrupted.

"I felt about as ground down and full of self-pity as I have in years. This was the perfect storm of frustration and weariness."

Man, I am sorry. Isn't that the tagline of the most challenging days with a family?

I hope it lightens up soon. The laundry and bed making alone are enough to push you over the edge. Forget about the gross bugs. And having to tediously remove them. Again and again.

On the worst days, parenting is a lot like the character from mythology pushing the stone up the hill only to have it roll back down at night ... unto eternity. There is another, more graphically painful mythology character just like that ... but I just erased it because I don't think this imagery is helpful for you right now. LOL. I just mean to say, I know the feeling. If that helps.

I was hopeful to note while reading that you had not mentioned your MIL. !! At least one problem (sort of) solved the other!! Right now I would take the bugs over the houseguests myself. ;)

Hang in there.


Kristin said...

What a complete LOVE that boy is, and so adorable, too--love those coppery curls!

Sorry that he shared way TMI at school. In my opinion, the “no nit” policy is senseless and untenable--the equivalent of saying no child with a runny nose should be allowed in school.

I would have let him sleep as well--just not worth it for half a day. I'm sorry the day was shot, but what a sweetheart you have--I am still giggling over the "grandmother of my children" comment! And Big Brother was pretty nice too to "help the little guy out." You're raising wonderful boys, Ex--their altruism shines through.

Quiet Dreams said...

So sorry! Sounds awful. I hope you are all nit-free ASAP.