Payback's an itch. When my younger sister had a lice scare years ago, I screamed in horror (literally). In light of that episode, I think I handled yesterday rather well. I was about to braid my daughter's hair when I noticed something very tiny and hard to differentiate attached to her hair shaft. I frantically inspected her head to discover a total of five lil specks. Keeping calm and feeling like infestation had taken over my being, I phoned her pediatrician's helpline, a advice nurse hot-line and urgent care to no avail. After comparing what I thought I saw to some Google images, I erred on the side of caution and headed up to the hospital to see if a nurse would check my children. To see what happened,


A careful inspection concluded that they were a few lice eggs. Surprised I caught it, the nurse checked my son and me at my insistence, told us we were in the clear and to buy the over-the-counter medication for my girl. At the drugstore, I was no longer just a shopper, but THAT woman — the one carting her her tots over to peruse lice shampoos and nitpicking combs. I didn't care because the threat of lice and not wanting to freak out my offspring was all I could handle. When we got to the check out, no one seemed to notice the eighty-five dollars worth of goodies in my basket. Until, the clerk scanned them and announced, "Uh, oh — somebody got lice!" I held back the urge to lift my daughter over the counter and have her shake her beautiful long blond hair in the woman's face. Instead, we headed home and cut eight inches off my 4-year-old's never-before-snipped tresses. Then, went to work shampooing and combing her hair (and all of ours as a precaution) and washing everything we own.