Lousy Advice

My girls are in 4th and 6th grades now, and we haven’t had a case of pediculosis for a year or two now, but back in the early elementary school years, we got them a lot. I became surprisingly skilled at seeking out and destroying the little buggers and their hard-to-spot nits. Once I got past the ick factor and realized that (contrary to popular belief) lice aren’t a sign of uncleanliness, it became kind of fun. Like a game. (Yeah, I know. That’s weird.)

When I read a recent New York Times article about professional de-lousers charging squeamish parents $300 a head for their services, I began to wonder if I’d missed my calling. After all, I’ve always been detail-oriented. But this would be taking “professional nitpicker” to a whole other level…

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Lousy Advice

Lice aren’t nice,
but if you want my advice,
don’t sweat ‘em
‘cause you’ll get ‘em — if you’ve got kids — maybe twice.

How does a critterful collection
sprout without a mom’s detection?
Well, it happens to the best of us
and even to the rest of us:
that sighting on the head
as you tuck the kids in bed…
or the letter they bring home
suggesting chemicals and combs.

Sure, you’ll start to feel lousy
once you know they’re in your housey
as you scratch throughout your hair
though there may be nothing there.

You know what you gotta do:
get a lotta that shampoo,
and although it’s rather icky,
take that comb and get nit-picky.
It’s not as bad as you might think;
you just wash ‘em down the sink,
then you scour clothes and sheets
till the creatures meet defeat.

Lest you start to feel ashamed
make sure other kids are blamed
long before it is suggested
that your home was first infested.

Lice aren’t nice,
but if you want my advice,
don’t sweat ‘em
’cause you’ll get ‘em — if you’ve got kids — maybe thrice.

©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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