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Husband is handy for treating louse in the house

September 07, 2007|By LISA PREJEAN

Our day was totally planned.

We knew what we were going to wear.

Every piece of clothing that we owned was clean, thanks to the 15 or so loads of laundry that I did over Labor Day weekend.

Our lunches had been packed the night before.

Everything we needed for school was by the door.

We got up on time.

Then we discovered some unexpected guests, and our entire household was turned upside down.

So this is what I get for writing last week's column on having an organized start to the school year?

See if I'll do that again.

Wash all the bed linens? Yeah, we did that before school started and ended up doing it again Tuesday.


My sweet, squeaky clean daughter discovered some critters on her scalp.

Initially, I was in a state of denial.

Not MY daughter. Not in MY house.

We are very, very clean.

Apparently, that is part of the problem.

Tiny, wingless, parasitic insects like clean hair.

So, at 7:10 a.m., we were scrambling, trying to decide how to handle the practical side of things.

Actually, my husband was handling the practical side.

He brought forth my son's microscope and proceeded to place one of the critters on a slide.


I cast a glance in his direction, bracing for the news.

"I think I smashed him."

By this point, I was bordering hysterics.

How could he make light of such a gross thing?

"We'll have to look at another one," he said matter-of-factly.

He and my daughter both thought it was very interesting to look at the louse - there, I wrote that word - under the microscope. They thought we had a really good specimen. It looked just like the one in our medical book. My daughter even wanted me to write about her experience so other children wouldn't feel bad if they get lice.

My son and I just stared at them from a distance, trying to resist the urge to scratch our heads.

(Your scalp is probably feeling rather itchy by now, too, eh?)

Dealing with the discovery was only the first step in a long line of unpleasantries.

While I took my son to school and broke the news to the parents of my students, my husband went to the store and bought a kit complete with creams, gels, sprays and a comb specially made to tackle this problem.

He carefully read the directions while my daughter asked an abundance of questions. She obviously thought this was very interesting and wanted to learn as much as she could.

They are so alike.

He said she took the treatment well, carefully listening as he explained the directions.

Place the solution on dry hair, starting behind the ears and at the back of the neck. Wait 10 minutes. Rinse. Remove lice and their eggs (nits) by using a fine-tooth comb.

(Just when you think it's getting to be more than you can handle, there's more.)

Apply comb-out gel to scalp. Comb again. Rinse.

Treat again in seven to 10 days to kill any newly hatched lice.

(Please don't hatch. Please don't hatch.)

After her hair was treated, she and her daddy spent the day washing sheets, blankets and bedspreads, and vacuuming carpets, mattresses, furniture and upholstery.

Then they used home lice control spray on everything.

Not only did my husband read the directions, he actually followed them.

His report at the end of the day: "I'm sure there's probably more we could have done, but we did as much as we could do with the time allotted."

I know, I owe him. He's the kind of guy to have around when there's a louse in the house.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at

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