Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Labors of Love

Remember how often you were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? My answer to that was always a wife and mom, though I rarely said it out loud. As I approached marriage, I had a fair idea of what my roll was to be, at least regarding housework, meals, etc.. A few of my expectations didn't mesh with Husband's, but nothing monumental. It was little things like who's responsible for taking out the garbage or putting away his laundry. When we started our family, we both approached it with preconceived ideas as to what it would entail. We knew it wouldn't always be easy. Crying babies, temper tantrums, emotional meltdowns, discipline issues, not always approving of friends, you get the idea.  But there are always things that catch you off guard, things you never considered.

Like your daughter slipping on ice at the bus stop, landing on her head and having the bus driver so concerned that she was actually dropped off at the house. Or getting a phone call from the school saying lice was found on your child's head.

Yesterday was a very long day. The girls' bus stop is just down the street from our place; I can actually see them from the kitchen window. Typically, I walk them down the driveway, watch them cross the street and go back inside. I then feed Little Guy breakfast and frequently look out the window to check on the girls. I watch them get onto the bus and then go about my day. Yesterday was no different. I watched the girls get on the bus, turned away from the window and the back door opened. There stand the girls, Kiddlet sobbing with a huge bump on her forehead. Strong-Willed One quickly explains what happened, runs back to the bus and the bus pulls away. And there I stand in my kitchen watching my plans for the day fly out the window. Within a half hour it's clear that Kiddlet is just fine. She hadn't passed out when she hit the ground, she remembered everything, was speaking clearly, didn't have a headache and was very bored. We are a one vehicle family and with Husband working locally this week, I had no way to get the her to school, so I listened to many a chorus of I'm bored. Don't misunderstand me. I would rather have had her home where I could monitor her when I consider the possibility of a concussion. I simply hadn't been mentally prepared to have her home. But we both adjusted.

Then at 10:30 I get a phone call from the school principal. The first thing she did was ask about Kiddlet, running through all the symptoms of a head injury to make sure she really was okay. Next, she mentions that they were doing head lice screening that morning and that 'a few' nits were found on Strong-Willed One's head. Three people actually checked her to be sure because she has a very dry scalp resulting in tiny skin flakes all through her hair. The only good news in all of this is that as long as she is being treated, I can still send her to school. Now, I've never had head lice (at least not that I remember) and have never seen head lice or the eggs. The principal was good enough to explain to me how to tell a nit from a flake of dead skin and I jumped on-line and googled head lice to learn as much as I could. I then stripped both girls' beds, gathered all their pillows and stuffed animals (which live on their beds), and the blankets and throw pillows off the couch. The stuffed animals and spot clean only pillows went into a black garbage bag that I'll open in 2 weeks. The sheets and blankets were put into the basement for washing and all the other pillows got tossed in the dryer for a 30 minute ride. Next came the vacuuming of furniture. The futon couch I laid out and literally took the vacuum to it. I did the same thing with the recliner. I made phone calls to the local drugstore making sure they had tea tree oil and lice combs, then called Husband to have him pick them up before he came home from work. When Strong-Willed One got home from school and learned she had head lice, she did not take it well. And she was stuck keeping her hat on because I'd already vacuumed the furniture and couldn't treat her until Husband came home. She did however do her homework with no prompting and no complaining; that doesn't happen very often. I looked over her head, but couldn't find anything that seemed like what I should be looking for. That just means that I don't have a clue, right?

After a late supper (due to a misunderstanding of the recipe), I massaged the oils into Strong-Willed One's head, let it sit for 20 minutes, washed it out with tea tree oil shampoo and started with the lice comb. This is where I began to feel completely inadequate and in over my head. I'm combing through like the videos show and looking and looking, but still not seeing anything that I could recognize as lice or nits. Finally get the girls into bed at 9pm, the boy by 9:45. I didn't get to start cleaning up the kitchen until almost 10pm. Little Guy woke screaming and 10:45. It was, I'm not kidding, 1am before I was done and got to go to bed. Little Guy woke at 2am and we ended up falling asleep in the recliner downstairs. Husband sent me back to bed at 5am and Little Guy was up for the day at 6am.

I'm tired today and feel like I'm going to be walking uphill all day. I've modified my goals for the day. I'm going to make a spaghetti dinner; I can make the sauce before the girls get home and just heat it up at dinner time. I will do a lice treatment on both girls when they get home, to be washed and combed out after dinner. I will begin thinking over next week's menu. That is all I'm planning to accomplish today. And now that Little Guy is down for a nap, I'm going back to bed.


  1. Oh lady. You are having a doozy of a day. I'm sorry. :( Glad kiddlet is ok. Just remember...this too shall pass. Hang in there.

  2. Thanks! We'll get through it. It helps that Husband is around.