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A lesson on lice

September 27, 2008

tiny-town-funny-girl-scratching-head.jpgThere are certain events in our lives that we never forget. Some good. Some bad. This week I have been reminded of one of the bad ones. As most of you know I am a teacher and one of the problems public schools face is dealing with lice. They are pesky, persistant little bugs and once you get them they don’t want to leave you. (Is your head itching yet?) Anyway our school is no different than other schools and several children have had to go home this week because of lice. All week long my head has itched. I couldn’t decide if I was imagining it (why is it just hearing the word “lice” can make itching begin) or if it was real. So I talked to the principal who said if I was worried I should get the nurse to check me. You are probably wondering why I just didn’t get my husband to check my hair and keep my mouth shut. There are two reasons. First, even if I did have lice Bill couldn’t see them. He’s had lasik surgery and his vision is better, but it isn’t that good. Second, I can’t keep my mouth shut. I’m a writer. If I feel the need to say something I say it. I felt like one reason we have so many cases at school is because kids don’t understand how to get rid of them and so I suggested to the principal that we have a “lice lesson”.  Sometimes treating a child’s head isn’t enough. If the child has had them awhile then the home has to be treated as well or they will come back. How do I know this?

The year was 1990 and it was one of the worst years of my life. My mother had terminal cancer. My husband was in graduate school and working full time and I had three young children to take care of. I had just started teaching and I was trying to juggle kids, job, and caring for my mom. I was beyond stressed and way into “disstressed.” For weeks my little girl had been saying her head itched. I’d bought different kinds of shampoos thinking that she was allergic to what we were using. If my life had been normal I think I would have caught on sooner, but like I said I was very distracted and I missed all the signs. By the time my sister-in-law discovered the problem (she was an elementary teacher and an expert lice patrol person) there is no telling how long my daughter had had them.

I don’t know why there is a stigma about having lice, but there is. Supposedly “good families” don’t have lice. Hog wash! Anyone can get it. All it takes is getting close to someone who has it and those little bugs see “vacancy” signs all over your head and jump in your hair. I think my daughter got it because of a coat closet where all the children put their coats and hats in the winter time, but I never knew for sure. By the time we discovered it on my daughter’s head— we all had it. Yes, even my sick mother had to be treated. We’d all used the same hair brushes. My cousins from Florida had been visiting and I had to call them and tell them to get checked. They had it too! What a thing to take home from a family vacation.

It took at least a week of treating everyone’s head. Getting new brushes (I was told I could boil the old ones and kill the little devils that way but I didn’t want to take a chance). I threw away all my daughter’s hairbows and put her stuffed animals in garbage bags, sprayed them and left them tied up for weeks. Then I did the same thing with couch cushions. I stripped all the beds and washed everything in hot water, twice.  Every hat and cap was placed in garbage bags, sprayed and left tied for weeks. It was an expensive, exhausting, unpleasant experience. And so this week when my head itched, I remembered what it was like to go through this and went straight to the nurse.

Years after our Lice-capades (we’ve had mouse-capades too) one of our boys decorated a plastic plate for me for Mother’s Day. He handpainted a little poem on it and drew bugs around it. It said, “Dear mom, you are so nice. You loved us even when we had lice.”  I still treasure the plate…and I still hate lice.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. I went to the school nurse and she declared me “bug free.” So I went to the principal and sang him a little song. It’s the song the big fluffy dog sings on television for a flea shampoo, “Ain’t no bugs on me, on me. Ain’t no bugs on me!” And that’s what I’m thankful for this week!

What about you? Have you ever had a close encounter with pestilence of any kind? How did you deal with it?

Barak and the “sweetie” problem

May 16, 2008

Just in case you live in a cave and don’t have a television set, apparently the big blunder of the political day goes to Barak Obama for calling a female reporter “sweetie.” Evidently someone decided this was not appropriate and researched how many times during the campaign he’s called a woman by the “s” word. My opinion on this…..whoever is behind the “sweetie” scandal needs to get a life.

My thoughts have nothing to do with my political beliefs, but rather they are based on common sense and living in the south. If I didn’t vote for any politician who ever said the words, “sweetie, honey, sugar, etc.” I wouldn’t have anyone to vote for (truthfully sometimes I don’t feel like I have anyone to vote for anyway, but I vote every election because I believe we should).

I know that part of the reason Barak’s boo-boo is a big deal is because he said it to a female reporter. Of course if he’d said it to a guy reporter it would have been an even bigger deal. In my opinion all this is much ado about nothing. So what? Where I come from sweetie is a nice word. The man was being kind to the reporter, not asking her out on a date!

Why in the world would anyone want to run for political office when every word, every action, every deed you’ve ever done in your whole life is put under a microscope and discussed by Barbara Walters on The View?

How about it ladies, am I right? Are they making a mountain out of a mole hill again, or is it just me.


May 2, 2008

My kids think I’m strange because I like quiet. I don’t have to listen to the radio when I’m driving, in fact most of the time I don’t. I enjoy stillness. I don’t want an ipod in my ear when I go walking outside. I like hearing birds, crickets and frogs. Right this moment I’m alone (that doesn’t happen often) and the house is totally silent and as they say about the popular fast food place “I’m loving it.” Over the years I’ve found that I do my best thinking and my best praying when everything is quiet. I don’t understand how people can be blasted with sound most of the day and not crave silence. I’m afraid that just like writing letters, sitting and listening to the stillness is becoming a lost art. Or maybe it’s just something that comes with age. I probably didn’t appreciate nature sounds so much when I was sixteen either. What do you think? Do you enjoy the quiet?

Ps 46:10
Be still and know that I am God.

Cartoon day

April 19, 2008

When I was a little girl Saturday meant cartoons. I grew up with Yogi Bear, a talking horse that was a sheriff or something (can’t remember his name), and Mighty Mouse. When I was about five years old my parents bought a new television. When they carried the old one out I cried. When mom asked me why I was crying I told her, “They are taking my cartoons away!” This morning I’m enjoying a cup of coffee while I cuddle on the couch with my grandchild, Abby. We are watching cartoons. Later today we will go to the park and tonight her Aunt Rachel is meeting us at the Plaza to watch a the musical Cinderella. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday. Hope each of my blogging buddies have a great weekend spending time with those you love!

Do any of you have any special memories about cartoons? What was your favorite?


April 17, 2008

Why is it when Kentucky weather is at its best, I feel my worst? You guessed it. Seasonal allergies. It seems like such a small thing as illnesses go. It’s temporary and it’s not life threatening, but it sure does make me think about moving to a place where there isn’t pollen. Wait a minute, did I just say “move,” as in pack up my things and go somewhere else to live? After all the chaos, work and stress of our last move? Quick-I take it back. I’ll put up with the allergies and do my best not to grumble.

Php 2:14 -
In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing,

Anyone who has helpful hints for dealing with seasonal allergies feel free to chime in!

Thoughts on Moms Snooping

April 15, 2008

The other day I overheard some women discussing whether or not they had the right to “snoop” on their teenage children. The lady who supported it said, “It’s my house and they are my children, even if they are teens. I have the right to know what is going on.” The lady who was against it said, “I have taught my children right from wrong but they need to make their own decisions and mistakes. I don’t have the right to spy on them.”

So which is it, moms and future moms? Is it snooping or spying and is it right or wrong?

Mom Moments on WBKO 13

April 1, 2008

For almost one year now I’ve been appearing on Midday Live with Whitney Ray. My segment is called “Mom Moments” and Whitney and I discuss everything from how to handle sibling rilvary– to ways to keep your kids busy inside when the weather is bad outside. My next appearance is in two weeks, April 16th. If anyone has suggestions for the segment or something they would liked discussed, feel free to post it here on the blog! If this is your first visit to my site…welcome! I hope you’ll stop by often. If you are a return visitor and have suggestions or comments for my new blog let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. Teresa