Naughty or lice?
This weekend Ryder told me the kids at school were teasing her because she has lice.
I looked at her incredulously and said “but you don’t have lice!”
She said “I know, but the kids all run away from me and say I do. They back away from me in the hallway and walk against the wall like they’re scared of me.”
Well, that sucks. I shrugged my shoulders and waved it away with my hand, stuck my nose in the air and said “Even if you DID have lice, so what?! Pfft.”
Inside I was steaming mad. Not mad at the kids because let’s face it, kids can be assholes. I am more pissed at the parents who should know better, for telling their kids to be scared of kids who have lice! Those kids wouldn’t be tormenting my child if they didn’t hear from their parents that lice are disgusting. I’m pretty sure that kid last year wouldn’t have yelled “Ryder, you have LICE!!!” at the top of their lungs when we saw them at the swimming pool if their parents had only talked to them about it.
Have you ever had lice? I have. Dozens of times. It seemed like we had it all through kindergarden and grade 1. There was one time when we got it from a friend during the summer and I didn’t even think to comb for lice – I pulled out no less than 7 bowls of lice from my OWN head!
But you know what? Adversity makes you stronger. Learning to handle life’s challenges empowers you. Dealing with attackers (or in this case, lice) makes you feel invincible. And dealing with your own shit makes you far more understanding when others are going through it themselves.
If you’re still afraid of lice, you need to ask yourself “why?” The little buggers are eradicated easily, cause no harm to you or yours, and are no indication of the cleanliness of your family. You know what’s gross? Perpetuating your own heebie-jeebies and spreading them to the kids.
I would never “out” the person who actually DOES have lice (because someone in our grade 2 class does), I only offer my help and advice if it’s needed. I am the Lice Terminator! I can have those things gone within hours, all you need to do is ask. While I think it’s important to talk about it in order to end the stigma of lice, I am respectful and discreet when need be.
If you haven’t experienced lice, congrats – you are one of a small group who have dodged the bullet. But please don’t tell your kids to shame those who have (or had) them. Maybe you could educate yourself about lice and talk to your kids about how they are nothing to be afraid of, and how it’s nobody’s fault if they get them.