Friday, December 27, 2013

The Louse who stole Christmas

Our new family shampoo
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a LOUSE...

Ok, that was definitely not true in my house this Christmas Eve. Nope, there was a party going on because along with the sugar plums, mama and papa louse were dancing, dining and laying little Christmas babies all throughout my son's and my head!  

And if you have followed my blog long, then you know that my biggest fear of the motherhood journey is the possibility of getting Lice!

Yep, Junior and I had the creepy crawlies for Christmas. I knew there was a case in his class last week and his head and mine for that matter had been itching, but I had been checking for eggs daily. NADA!

Then all of a sudden after Christmas brunch, I discovered not only was Santa busy on Christmas Eve, but also mama Louse and her egg laying machine - my son's head was full of eggs. 

My sis-in-law grabbed a comb and combed through my son's beautiful thick-as-hell-Lice-breeding paradise and what happened next changed my life: a live creepy crawly was on the comb.

I suddenly felt like I was in a bad dream where I couldn't run from the monster. I had avoided this fear for 40 years and now on Christmas day they show up.

Then when I thought it couldn't get any worse, the comb ran through my hair and out popped twin creepy crawlies.

I felt dizzy for a moment, but then quickly realized I had to take action. We had a Christmas dinner in exactly 3 hours. I had to eliminate these Christmas wreckers!

Thank goodness I had already bought a bottle of Listerine to kill those bastards just in case. An email was sent around last week warning parents that the LICE were rampant in Luca's class. You see, in Holland lice are very common and don't really have the stigma that they do in America. Thank God, or I would be double traumatized. The Dutch are very pragmatic and open about lice and Dutch mothers are always willing to give advice. I guess they have realized that it takes a village to get rid of the lice!

Back to my trauma...We rushed home and faster than you could say Santa Clause. We soaked our heads with Listerine under a shower cap and Saran wrap for two long mouth-washingly tingly hours.

Then I went on a bed stripping frenzy! I spent Christmas afternoon frying lice with Listerine mouthwash and washing everything in my house that could fit into the washer and dryer!

Our two hours were up and it was the moment of truth, time to comb out the Listerine. I bravely combed my own hair first. But I wasn't psychologically prepared for what happened next: dead lice everywhere. No way, this couldn't be happening!

I wanted to vomit, shave off my hair and run away. And that's when it hit me. It wasn't only happening to me, I had to comb out the corpses from my son's hair too.

I choked back the tears and the urge to cry for my mommy and grabbed my Mommy Balls. I WAS the mommy and I was going to kick these nasty little pest's ass. 

I combed my son's hair with vinegar until every little dead body was out. It was a battlefield and we had won this round. And I had the irritated burning skin on my face to prove it. You see, not only did I have a head full of alcohol based Listerine but I had also gone through a skin cancer treatment on my face days earlier that left my skin raw and peeling off. Dripping Listerine + Raw Skin = Hell on Earth. Merry Christmas!

After our treatments,we were on our way to the family Christmas dinner smelling all minty fresh when I suddenly felt an overwhelming feeling of being proud of myself (because you know that's my new thing anyway). 

But seriously, I felt like I had just laid in a bathtub full of snakes and survived or let a thousand spiders crawl all over my body without dying. I survived my biggest nightmare and I felt like a full-fledged mother.

I know strange, but it was how I least until bedtime when I started processing what I had gone through earlier in the day. The images of dead lice and eggs kept flashing before me every time I closed my eyes. My head began to burn and I began to stress about having to harvest more eggs in the morning. I was battling a case of PTSD and there was no escape. All I could think about was what if there were more bugs in my head running around. I couldn't sleep.

Of course, the exhaustion from the day took over and I finally slept, but I was a basket case the next day thinking about how I was going to get rid of these invaders. I became obsessed and could only think about nits the entire day. I ended up cutting the eggs out of my son's hair and he ended up looking like a mangy dog. Yes, I went crazy.

But I am back to the land of the sane today. I realize it's just a part of life, it could be worse, most kids get them here, they are just bugs, they will eventually go away, its not the end of the world, they don't harm you, we are not dirty, it's all part of being a mother, blah blah blah blah.

But one thing is for sure, I will never ever forget the year the Lice stole my Christmas...I just hope they stay put in 2013!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Are you proud of yourself?

Well are you? Are you proud of yourself? For anything? How many times have you said to yourself, "Self, you rock, I am so proud of you?"

I can honestly say I almost never feel proud of myself.  I try because I know in my head I have lots to be proud of in my life. Yet, there is a little voice saying "Noooo, what matters is what other people think."

Maybe there are people out there who are genuinely proud of themselves. Not the braggers, over confident people, I am talking about the people out there who don't need people to tell them, "Wow, I'm so proud of you."

Well I hope I'm raising two of these such people.

You see, it all started a year or so ago when I saw Marie Osmond being interviewed by Oprah after her son had committed suicide. When talking about his death, she said the one thing she regretted was not asking her son if he was proud of himself.

When I first heard this, I thought huh, that's a strange thing to regret. Did she not regret telling him how much she loved him or how special he was as a person? I was actually kind of shocked at her regret.

Then I started to really think about it and finally my one remaining brain cell went off like flashing ambulance lights.

Why DON'T we ask our kids if they are proud of themselves? Who gives a shit what we think! Marie was right, I should teach my kids that the one person they need to be proud of is themselves and not worry about impressing others. 

So that's exactly what I have been trying to do over the past  year. Every time I wanna say, "Wow, Mama is so proud of you", I say instead, "Sweetie, are you proud of yourself?"

Of course, they first reply, "But mama are you proud of me?" And I then say "Of course, but what matters is if You are proud of YOU. They usually appease me and say "Yeah I guess so Mama". Even though these responses were vague and they only said what they thought I wanted to hear, I persisted.

And guess what? It happened!! Just last week my 5 year old built a Lego helicopter all by himself and he showed it to me proudly. His face was beaming, it was a look I had never really seen before. His head was held high and his chest sticking out.

And that was when he said it, "Mama I'm so proud of myself! And you know why, because I made this all by myself, I did it!"

He really didn't have to say it, I could feel it. Tears in my eyes I said to him, "And that's all that matters!"

"Self, you are far from being Mother of the Year, but you are hanging in there! I'm proud of you."