As I may have mentioned before, things are different over here in England. And one thing that is drastically different is their treatment of head lice in school age children! In America, if you have head lice then you have to get treated and you aren't allowed back in school if there is any sign of nits or eggs. Here, no one checks, at.all.
So it was, that I found myself watching The Boy-child scratching vigorously at his head during dinner. He was really, really scratching. I got up and spread his hair and there WERE BUGS IN HIS HAIR. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF THEM. (It must have been going on for quite a while, which is horrendous. But I don't touch his hair every day. He's gotten to the point where he washes it on his own and we just do a visual once over to make sure that his hair is all rinsed off.) I picked up the couple I could see and then excused myself (and him) from our dinner guests. We went directly upstairs and I started treating him right away.
I'm not going to lie. I was freaking out. Thankfully our dinner guests are close friends of ours AND they recently had head lice and they totally understood.
I did everything that you are supposed to, including combing, picking through and pulling out the eggs and live bugs and then treated his head with lice poison. (He's been growing out his hair, though, so it was quite a lot to go through. I did tell him that we could deal with the problem very quickly by just giving him a buzz cut, but he was not interested in that.) After three hours of working on him, I finally put him to bed. (New blankets, sheets and pillow of course.) It probably was obsessive, but I really.really.really didn't want to have to deal with a lice infestation for weeks or even months!
Like many things in life, the unknown is definitely the most worrisome. I have always dreaded that my kids would get head lice because it seems like such a Big Deal. Add to that, blood sucking insects that live in ones hair is a fairly disgusting thought. But after experiencing it, I can now say: I can deal with that. I know what to look for, how to treat it and that we will all live through it, even if I make the children sit for hours on end while I pick eggs and lice off their hair.
All that being said, I do hope we can keep from getting it again. And you bet your bottom dollar I'll be checking their heads once a week from now on.