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Wednesday, December 2, 2015


When I wrote yesterday's post, I honestly didn't think there would be any need for a follow up. Ain't nobody wants a "part two" of a lice story, you know what I'm saying?

I guess God knew I've been a little short on material lately, and in His infinite wisdom (and probably stifling a heavenly chuckle) he decided to give me more to write about.

MUCH more, actually. Like, dozens and dozens more.

I woke up this morning and prepared to take my oldest to the lice removal specialists.
AN ASIDE: Did you even know there was such an industry?? I most certainly did not. I've gotta say with some level of pride that today we visited the world's LARGEST and MOST ADVANCED lice eradication facility. Twice. No joke! These people are legit.

I got the boys off to school, packed Em up in the van, and we headed off to Head Hunters (not even kidding - my friend whose husband is looking for a job asked me if she should send him their way - ROTFL!). I was tired, as I didn't sleep well last night because LICE. Obvi.

We showed up at Head Hunters, and, first things first, I've gotta them props. When I pulled up I had to do a double take, because it looked so upscale that I thought I might've made a wrong turn and gone to Spa Sydell. Nope, just a fancy lice eradication place. The facility was beautiful and it really felt like we were at a high end hair salon. Well, except for the extra-large canvases hanging in the front lobby that showed lice in their different stages of growth.


They took us back to the room (insert evil laugh here), and they popped Emerson up into a hair salon chair. The did a quick scalp check to confirm my worst fear (or what I thought was my worst fear): she did, indeed, have lice.

In that moment, I wished the fire of a thousand suns would rain down on Head Hunters (and Emerson's pillow) and annihilate every lice within a 50-mile radius. The fire of a thousand suns did not rain down, but they DID drench her hair in some sort of (probably chemical-filled and harmful) lice repellant solution, then immediately got to work with a lice comb (WHO KNEW??), picking every single nit (egg sac), baby, adolescent, and adult out of her hair (again, WHO KNEW??).

The owner walked in, and I told him I'd been itching since last night. He laughed and told me it was psychopsychotic.

Yeah...something like that.

I told him I felt strongly that I needed a head check, and he obliged. I sat in the other salon chair in the room, and he drenched my hair and brushed and brushed to get my curls untangled enough for the lice comb to slide through.

He began combing. And combing. And combing. He combed and didn't find anything. I began to relax and even chuckled at myself for being so paranoid.

Then, "Uh-oh." -- Head Hunters dude

"What, uh-oh? Huh? No, no uh-oh! What's wrong?? Don't say uh-oh!" -- me

Enter my ACTUAL worst fear.

"No, it's fine...I just found a nit. But I'm sure it's nothing, just due to exposure. We have to find four (YES, FOUR) nits or babies to consider you infested." - Head Hunters dude

I, meanwhile, was still stuck on the uh-oh.

"What do you MEAN you have to find FOUR?? You found ONE? WHAT? Isn't one ENOUGH? Holy mother of all good things, this is NOT happening! You HAVE to treat me! You CAN'T call this 'exposure.' It's a FREAKING LICE!!!" - me, on the verge of a panic attack

Well, turns out that I didn't need to worry about the four-lice-to-be-infested rule.

I had more than four. I'm trying not to vomit as I type this.

That's right, my friends. I. Had. Lice. I say "had" because they're gone now. They BETTER be for $150 (that's what it cost to "eradicate them" from my scalp). Don't judge - if you were me, you'd have paid it, too. Trying to run a comb through this hair is like trying to untangle a Brillo pad. They had their work cut out for them.

The Head Hunters man laughed, I dry heaved, and Emerson watched a movie. All while we had, between the two of us, approximately 50 nits, babies, adolescents, and adults removed.

Britney's approach really was looking more and more appealing.

Two hours later (and with a much lighter wallet), we walked out of Head Hunters, utterly repulsed and smelling like licorice (that's what the spray smelled like...not sure why). I knew that I had to check the boys as soon as they got home from school, and that Brandon would DEFINITELY need a good once over.

Foster came home and I started the process of checking his head. I was quite familiar with how to do it at this point. I wet his hair and went over every strand with a fine-toothed comb. Literally - it looks like this:

He appeared to be okay. *PHEW*

Not long after that, Sutton got home. I met him at the bus stop and walked him home, telling him I needed to check his head immediately.

"Mom, my head doesn't ITCH!" -- Sutton

"Tough luck, big guy - go to my bathroom immediately and wait for me there." -- me

I wet his hair down and brushed the tangles out. I grabbed the lice comb and took a swipe.

Holy. Mother. Of. Pearl.

I seriously might barf right now just thinking about it. I am feeling psychopsychotic.

The comb was covered -- COVERED -- in nits, babies, and even adult lice. I wanted to cry, but you'll be proud to know that I laughed.

Then I shouted, "Straight to the car, son - we're going to Head Hunters!" The other two kids threw their shoes on and we jumped in the car, and I was yelling, "Kids, don't TOUCH your brother - he is COVERED in lice!," which prompted him to cry out of fear of dying of lice and the other kids to scream, "EWWWWWW" out of disgust. Nothing like a little family-wide humiliation, right Middle Child? We peeled out of the our neighborhood like we were driving a Maserati.

I called Head Hunters and told them we were on our way, and that my husband would be arriving shortly as well for a head check. They didn't even have to ask who I was - we're close like that now.

When we arrived, we went back to the delousing room (I knew the drill at this point). Sutton climbed up in the chair and they wet him down and went to town combing and cleaning, combing and cleaning. I stood next to the technician and stared at the paper towel they wiped with, knowing I'd never be able to unsee the creatures they were pulling off of my son's scalp, but also unable to look away, like I was staring at the scene of a bad accident.

They finally got his head clean, and then my husband walked in.

"Sit down, Babe. They have GOT to check you. There is NO WAY you don't have lice!" -- me

"Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, Dear." -- Brandon

I'm not gonna lie - I secretly hoped he had lice and that they had migrated to his too-bushy, too-majestic, pubic-hair-looking beard that he's been sporting for the last couple of years, and that he'd have to shave it all off so he didn't have beard lice.

Head lice can't live off beards, in case you were wondering. Another kind of lice can, though...

I digress.

They wet his hair and started combing. Nothing.

Then, something.

"Oooh, this looks like an empty casing." -- lady tech

"What does that mean?" -- me

"Oh, it's probably just exposure." - lady tech

Oh, for the LOVE, here we go again!

After finding one empty casing and one nit, she declared him lice free and said he didn't need a treatment.


Lice FREE? One casing and one nit? That ain't exposure, that's LICE, baby!

She didn't agree and reitterated that finding four warrants a treatment, and no less.

Barf. Gag. Dry Heave. Gross. Me. Out.

But I trusted their expertise, because, after all, they are the largest lice eradication facility in the world. So I guess they should know...right?

This brings me to tonight. I'm currently on my fourth load of laundry (out of six). Sheets, pillow cases, comfortors, towels, coats - they ALL have to be washed and dried using high heat. All stuffed animals must be bagged and put away for a few days to suffocate any remaining lice (hurl). Hair brushes, hair ties, hair accessories must be put in the freezer to kill any nits that might be on them (puke).

The next week will consist of me doing lice checks on my entire family to ensure we have no more activity. Next Monday we will visit Head Hunters for a recheck, and for the next month Emerson has to wear her hair up and tucked away at school, because those of us who had lice (Em, Sutton, and (gulp) me) are more succeptible to getting them again because they leave behind their scent via their saliva (ok, seriously, I'm ill), which attracts other lice.

I don't typically attract a lot of why do I have to attract lice? For the love...

I feel like realistically I'm left with two options. 1) Douse my family's hair in lice-prevention spray every morning before we leave the house for the rest of our lives. 2) Homeschool my children through...forever so we never have to encounter lice ever, ever again.

Ok, I admit, that might be a bit much.

This should work just fine:

Feel free to laugh!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holy LICE, Batman - We've Got a Problem! (PART ONE)

That's right friends. We have (excuse me while I throw up in my mouth) a LICE SITUATION in the Watts home.

In the words of Jimmy Fallon, "EW."

Actually, EW doesn't begin to do it justice. Barf, gag, blech, HOLY MOTHER OF ALL GOOD THINGS, maybe, but not a simple EW.

Some of you might feel that I'm overreacting a bit. To you I simply say this: SHUT IT.

My kids getting lice has been the one strange phobia I've battled as a parent. It’s the one non-life-and-death thing I’ve overly worried about, but, 'til now, we've never had it. I think one of my children does have it every few months, which prompts me to go through their hair with a fine-toothed comb (literally). I've done it so many times that I've started to question my sanity, which is why this time (the time when my kid actually DOES have lice), I ignored the telltale symptoms and told my daughter she had dry scalp issues. 

For two weeks.

Yes, this means her lice have gone untreated for two weeks. Two Wednesdays ago she came to me as we were walking out the door for school, and she told me her head itched badly and that she thought she had lice. I quickly parted her hair and glanced at her scalp. I didn't see any lice, so I proclaimed, "NO LICE!" She started crying because her head was so itchy and I told her to quit being so dramatic. #momwin

The scratching continued.

"Of COURSE your head is gonna itch if you keep scratching it, Em," I said, exasperated. "Just stop scratching. It's psychosomatic. That means you’re letting your mind get the best of you.”

Even as I type this I feel incredible horrible and guilty. And itchy.

Then we went to the beach for Thanksgiving. 

“My head still itches, mom,” Emerson said.

“That’s because you have sand in your hair, ding dong,” I said, again #winning.

Well, now we’re home from the beach, and the head is still itching. I finally did what all doctors advise against but I should have done weeks ago and hopped on the ol’ Google to find out what I should be looking for were my child to have lice.

Note to self: ignore anyone with a PhD. They’re TOO smart. Use common sense and the daggum GOOGLE.

I found, to my amazement, that lice don’t look like large black bugs crawling on the scalp, but that they’re actually tiny and clear-ish and quite hard to spot. I read about the nits (EW), and about the little sacs of eggs lice leave near the base of the hair.

It’s those egg sacks that clued me in.

I called Emerson to my bathroom and started digging through her hair. What I had assumed to be tiny pieces of dandruff from all that dry scalp didn’t move when I flicked at them. They stayed stuck to the hairs…like glue. 

Well, dayyyyuuuuuum!

No thanks, Oprah.

The first thing I had to do was break the news to my sweet eight-year-old daughter that she did, in fact, have lice, and that I had been, in fact, wrong about it for two weeks.

She looked horrified and asked if I’d have to cut off all her hair.


I told her it was no big deal, that we’d take care of it, and that she could go play. As soon as she left my bathroom I started jumping up and down and scratching every square inch of my body. In fact, it's been six hours, and I haven't stopped scratching some part of me for more than five seconds since.

I'm 97% sure I feel like I have lice, and I'm 23% sure I actually have lice. FOR THE LOVE - I USED MY DAUGHTER'S PILLOW IN THE CAR THREE DAYS AGO WHILE WE DROVE HOME FROM THE BEACH! And I know, with my massively curly hair, if lice come to nest, they are getting comfortable and won't want to leave. My curls would provide such nice, cozy little beds for them and their familes.

I might be pulling a Britney tomorrow.

Sorry to make you a scapegoat, Britney. Nobody knew you shaved your head because of lice. And here everyone thought you'd lost your mind...

The crazy part is, I think my "lice" are all in my head. No, not ON my head. IN my in, psychosomatic.

The mind is a peculiar thing. Mine can wander and operate in a haze when I need it functioning at full capacity, and when I need it to calm down and think rationally, it has laser focus on things that aren't even really there. (Please, God, let them not be there!)

I know truth. I can look at scalp and see that there are no signs of lice. But I can't accept the truth, because I FEEL differently about it.

Isn't this the struggle of all struggles? We know the truth, but we don't buy into the truth. We see evidence of what is true all around us, but the lies speak louder than everything else.

One of the biggest lies I buy into is that I am only as good, only as worthy, only as respectable as the condition my physical body is in.


I am overweight. I've never felt so out of control in my life. The enemy, who is as real as you and I are, whispers lies to me all day, every day. He says I'm a disappointment. I'm a failure. I'm an embarrassment. He even goes so far as to tell me that the people who love me are disgusted by me, and that they all pity me behind my back. He tells me that because I'm out of shape, I'm pathetic, and that I deserve to be fat.

And many days, I believe it.

The TRUTH about me is markedly different than the lies Satan taunts me with. And I KNOW what God says about me, the truths He sings over me. I am HIS. I am LOVED. I am VALUABLE. I am MORE THAN MY BODY. I am LOVED BY OTHERS. And so on, and so forth.

I know it, and I see the evidence of His truth in my life. But often I don't buy into it.

I scratch away at my soul, convinced that I'm being eaten alive by failure and shame, sure that I have a parasite that won't relent until it's devoured all of my joy and all of my value.

There's no parasite. I'm clean and I'm free, and I DON'T EVEN KNOW IT. I'm worrying about something that's not even a reality, and it has me so far off focus that I can't see the truth for the lies.

And in those moments, Satan wins. He loves every minutes of it.

Thankfully, there's good news. What's the good news, you ask?

In the end, truth always wins.

I am hidden in Christ, and He is now a part of my DNA. Satan might win for a minute, but Christ wins in the end, and because He is in me and I in Him, His truth WILL win in my heart and in my life.

"Starting from scratch (trying HARD not to laugh at this unintended pun), he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him!" ACTS 17:26-28

No matter how much my brain might tell me that the lies of the enemy are true, and that they define me, in the end, God wins. He always does. His truth prevails and I am reminded, again, that I am so much more than a body.

And so are you.

For example, right now I am a body that feels like the feet of a thousand spiders are walking up and down my legs, arms, back, neck, and scalp. So much more than just a body.

With that, I say goodnight. I've got nothing else for you.

Until tomorrow, when I will fumigate and annihilate and INFURIATE those little creatures that have made a home on my daughter's scalp. I will also be poor from paying for the treatment and all of the lice prevention spray that I can find in the southeastern United States. If you see us around and wonder why our hair looks wet all the time, it will be because it is, indeed, wet all the time. You see, we will be dunking our heads in a bucket of lice prevention solution multiple times daily. Come getcha some.

Also, Ima need you to quit taking selfies, K?

Feel free to itch laugh!