It’s never a good thing when there’s a sign on the daycare door that starts with “Attention Parents”. Today was the first time I experienced this event since peanut started going to the center. Apparently, there were two confirmed cases of head lice in the school yesterday. One case was a classmate in her room and the other was in the room she was in when I got there.
I know it could be much worse. At the same time, that sign gave me flashbacks of my own childhood. I had long, thick hair as a child. I know we had many bouts with lice, but there is one memory that sticks out. I had to have been in first or second grade and I was taken into the school kitchen (sounds gross, but that’s where we went) and two aides were combing our hair looking for nits. I remember feeling like I had done something bad. I remember swearing to them that mom washed my hair.
The other thing I can remember is how awful kids can be. I remember other kids picking on those of us who had lice. I would go home and cry to my mom, asking why this happened to me.
As I drove to work this morning, my head was racing. Not that it mattered, but I started trying to think of who in peanut’s room has a sibling in the other room. I was angry. I shouldn’t have been, and I’m not now, but I was upset that my daughter could have them. The protective mommy in me kicked in, wanting to spare her from the humiliation I felt as a child. I know that children her age aren’t going to realize what’s going on, don’t have the mean nature that some will have in a few short years. None of that mattered.
Luckily, other events of the day took precedence and the lice became a mere annoyance. I’ll be sure to check her and keep an eye on things, but it’s not the end of the world. And in hindsight, it’s better that I know what’s going on, that way if I did notice anything, I wouldn’t automatically wonder what I’m doing wrong at home.