This morning, as I was combing the tangles out of With-a-Why's long hair, I noticed oblong translucent beads clinging to the fine, dark strands. Head lice!
He was thrilled to hear that he could stay home from school. Boy in Black volunteered, nobly, to play computer games with him to keep him sitting still while I treated his hair and combed out the nits. My husband, who gets squirmy at even the thought of head lice, immediately began stripping the beds in the house.
With-a-Why has fine, straight hair — and lots of it. The first louse who leaped to his head must have been thrilled to find such prime real estate.
It's relaxing, really, grooming my youngest child, while he and his oldest brother talk strategy for the computer game they're playing. I'm reminded of the nature show I used to watch when I was a kid: they'd show a bunch of primates — chimps, maybe, or some kind of monkeys — just sitting around picking nits out of each other's hair.
And now when my extras, long-haired teenage boys mostly and two little neighbor kids, come over, I'll be asking them sit down so I can inspect their scalps. I try to think of it as a new way to make them feel welcome.