Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Great Plague Of '09

Remember when I posted a video of "Cousins Gone Wild" ? We were hanging in our quaint cabin on the Kibbutz, and the kiddies were rolling around together. I asked you to pay attention to their close proximity.

This moment may or may not, have contributed to the "Great Plague of '09".

I did not want to talk about this before the Plague became contained and the "all clear" could be sounded, but it made the last couple of weeks this past summer, just a JOY. (DO NOTE SARCASM)

The day after we returned to the USA, my kids returned to camp. They were a bit jet lagged, but they were excited to see their friends. That day, I went to camp at 1:00 to pick up Ate, and there was a note in his cubby, that a case of head lice was making its way through camp. I pretty much ignored the note.

My brother and sister-in-law returned to the USA a few days after we did, because they decided to spend a few extra days in Israel.

They returned on a Thursday and my SIL called me on a Sunday.

SIL "Uh, do you know what nits look like?"

"Yes, I am pretty sure I do."

"Well, I think Y (her daughter) may have nits, and now I am kinda itchy as well."

(I was getting itchy while talking to her)

"Would you like me to come over and confirm?"

"Would you be so kind?"

So I went over, and long story, short -


I only found a few though, so this was probably a pretty recent case. At this time, my SIL who was staying in my sister's apartment in Israel, and furthermore, whose girls were sleeping with my sister's six year old daughter, informed me, that at some point she heard my sister talk about T. (my sister's daughter) and "eggs" in the same sentence, and she somehow did not think she was referring to the, full of protein, chicken laying kind of eggs. But she ignored it, sort of like I ignored the note from camp.

So while I was standing there, and subsequently finding myself scratching my own head, it finally occurred to me, that if her kids caught lice from my sister's lice infested kids (because all kids in Israel, pretty much are always lice infested), then my kids could very possibly be infested as well. And this did not sit well with me.

So I went home and did a little lookie look, and there was nothing. NADA!

But I know, that it was still possible that they had lice, and that the life cycle had only just begun. So I continued checking for two weeks, and still, I did not find anything.

And at this time, I figured,

And Summer went on...

The children continued camp as any liceless children would do.

They had dress up days -

This was "CLUE" day at camp. So decided to be Miss. Peacock.
She also dressed up as Dorothy from "The Wizard Of Oz" at which time I gave her two lovely French braids.

We had movie in the park...

At which time there was plenty of rolling around on the blanket.

We had plenty of carnivals that yielded plenty of painted faces....

Which required someone to lean in very close.

We even had our first ever sleepover -

And even though E. did bring her own sleeping bag, they HAD to share So's bed.

I washed all my kids hair every night.

I combed all their hair every morning.

I hated that the chlorine and sun was turning their hair to straw and it was getting hard to comb through it.

And yes, you may have noticed that the previous pictures were concentrated on So, specifically.

Her hair was just unmanageable and I planned to give her a good hair cut,


Summer was not over, we still had my nieces combined birthday. At this time, my niece and her husband were in town from Israel and the kids were all over him...

I even made So's usual "get your gross hair out of your face" ponytail, that morning.

As I did as well, the next day, after the birthday party, when I noticed ....


It was now, the two weeks of time between the end of camp and the beginning of school, and my first thought,

"Yay, now I KNOW how I will be spending these two campless, schoolless, weeks with my kids."

My second thought,

"Holy Mother of blood sucking parasites, all the kids at the birthday party, the kids on the carnival rides, the kids rolling around on the blanket, the kids at camp .....

OH MY G-D, E.! Why did you have to share a bed???

I decided, the only people to call at the time, were the people who most RECENTLY came in contact with So, and the mother of the child who came in CLOSEST contact with So.

I called my SIL to let her know, and I was nice enough to leave the job of phone calls to her birthday attendees up to her.

I called E.'s Mom, and she was kind enough to not kill me.

Everyone else - well, I figured it can't really be proven that they got it from my daughter.

At this point, there was no way to even know if So did indeed catch the generous egg laying louse in Israel or right when she returned to camp. For all I know, some other child in camp is the generous donor.

But it doesn't really matter.

Lice is a right of passage for any child, right?

I scrupulously checked and rechecked my other kids, but I did not see anything. I combed through with a lice comb, and still, there was nothing to be found on anyone elses head.

And then I did what any other lazy desperate responsible mother would do.

I called "Hair Fairies".

I had two weeks, before lice check day to get this infestation under control, and I went to the specialists.

"Hair Fairies" is a salon like atmosphere that was created for one purpose and one purpose only - getting rid of lice.

And, because I was scratching, I was checked as well. But I had nothing. So I guess it was sympathetic scratching.

And let me tell you, going almost every 3 days for treatment and nit removal, it took exactly that - TWO WEEKS to get rid of ALL her lice.

Her last check was the day before lice check at school, and that is when she got the "all clear", just in the nit nick of time. (I know, corny, but I had to.)

Oh, but it was not just treatments at "Hair Fairies". No. Of all the possible weeks my washing machine could break down, you guessed it...

I needed to wash sheets every night. I had to wash all the clothing and objects So came into contact with. I refused to let her sleep with her stuffed "Fiona" doll or anything else because I wanted nothing extra to wash. I already had to drag 4 kids, baby paraphernalia, and mounds of linen and towels and dirty clothing to my Mom's house to be washed. I was so adamant about her not sleeping with any sort of object that required use of washing machines, that when she kept waking up, telling me she needed a doll to hold onto, I gave her a hot water bottle instead, because at least I could wash that in the sink.

I was so sick of washing sheets and blankets, that I went out and bought a whole new bed set, just to have some relief.

I have no idea why she was the ONLY one in the household to get the plague. I even had my housekeeper go to "Hair Fairies" to be checked.

I never realized how thick So's hair actually was, until the great plague of '09 was upon us.

She actually has beautiful hair.

The plague has passed. My washing machine is in working order again. I did not find many heads of nits when I did lice check in So's school. (which means, either this was not a huge summer of infestation, or I am a really crappy lice check lady)











8 have shown Orah a little love:

Heidi @ Tayterjaq's Rebels said...

You poor thing! We have never..(knock on wood) had the girls have to go through that particular childhood predicament. I, on the other hand, can vividly remember when my entire school closed for a week in 3rd or 4th grade because the lice had gotten so bad. I truly hope that is my only visit with those little buggies.
At least you kept on top of it and it didn't go through your whole family...(both my parents got it when it went through the school and even the principal)

Donna said...

Eww this made my head itch. Glad it's over and hopefully no new reocurrences. Good luck with the other kiddos.

adinab said...

so first i'm reading your blog and was all, hey!!! there's estee!! shout out to me!!!! i made it into orah's blog! then i kept reading and i'm like.....crap! i want to go check her head again RIGHT NOW!!!! plus my head is itching me!!!!!!! do you think it's wrong to wake her in the middle of the night to make myself feel better????
(and by the way, you need to send me those pics! they're so cute!)

Shosh said...

when i was in 8th grade my school had an outbreak. it was so bad that they had the 8th graders working as checkers to check the little kids. every kid in school got checked twice a day.
and then....a 4th grade girl got it...and her father, who was a teacher at the school, GOT IT IN HIS BEARD FROM HER!!!!! It was a long Lubavitch beard.
I find this to be the most disgusting lice story EVER.

Anonymous said...

YUMMMMMMM, ur lovely lice saga right as Im about to chow down on my lunch. What am I eating u may ask. My, ohh so yummy in the tummy, Tradition Soup, which is looking even less appetizing right about now, if that's even possible!
Too bad, I am eating it anyway!!

- Miss S.

elisha said...

my kids were at E's house-did she get it? i haven't seen my kids scratching but maybe I should check them anyway. I'm sorry you had to go through that-so NOT fun!!
no more traveling for awhile, huh?

Admin said...

Head lice prevention? its almost like an oxy moron, how do you prevent the common cold? Yes you do all the right things food choices, exercise, but at the end of the day you are vulnerable to situations beyond your control. Case in point, I am sure that my girls got them from the movie theater outing with her friends. I volunteered to take a group of girls 8 to the movies. The theater had the high back chairs. After that outing we found that 3 of the girls had lice. When I found it on my daughter I called the other parents and the two other cases were confirmed. As the three parents retraced and notified other children’s parent and the school the only place all three of us could come up with was the movies. So on that note sally, mom used nix on her, Cheryl’s mom called and a service head lice hero, and I used the mayo and olive oil treatment. All I can say is that god for Cheryl’s mom, Susan. The service,, used a product called lice safe , all natural and chemical free, but it was very expensive she paid over $300 plus the cost of extra product. So I went online and found got the product myself for only $40 the website was So the moral of the story is you can get it anywhere no matter who you are. said...

we did this with the princess in 1st grade...WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And her hair was so fine the combs did not grab onto the...

did i say NIGHTMARE!!!

Glad you did not lose your mind!