On Beege's first picture day, I sent her off to school with elaborately braided hair, there were flowers tucked in, just so. They matched the pretty red velvet dress that set off her hair brilliantly. (She started school after lunch, so that kind of thing was totally do-able.)
I found those photos in a box this week, as I was (yes, still) unpacking, and it occurred to me that, although they are lovely pictures, that is not what my child really ever looked like. I think from now on, I'd like pictures of my actual kids, not pictures of my kids as "carefully groomed child 1 and 2." So when they asked what they should wear for picture day, I told them to pick out their favourite outfit.
Beege picked her "Math is Beautiful" shirt, and a pair of pants I'd made her. I hugged her and told her that the outfit was "so totally her", and she grinned a big goofy grin that I hope makes it into the picture too. We braided the front of her hair over to the side, and left the back free.
Picture day is the only day I will let them go to school with their hair down, because I'm completely paranoid about lice.
Kee picked little capri pants that I've never seen before and a frilly shirt. Also totally her. This year's pictures are going to be awesome.
Usually she pitches a fit while I'm braiding her hair in the morning. She screams and cries before I'm even touching her. She mightily objects to this year's french braids, even though that was the deal for growing her hair out. Today however, it being Picture Day, she wanted fancy hair just like Beege's.
Beege was getting antsy at the door. She was all ready to go, and hates being made late by her sister, who doesn't really seem to care whether she's on time. Luckily Husband hadn't left for work yet, so I sent them on their way, telling them I'd bring Kee along when I was finished her fancy hair.
As I combed her hair into sections, I saw something move on her head. Somehow, I decided it was a fruit fly. "Why do you have a fruit fly on your head?" I asked, laughing. Then I saw another one. And another one.
"Looks like you're staying home with me today!" I said brightly, my skin crawling. "You can watch a movie, and mummy's going to comb your hair, okay?"
"I get to watch a movie?" she asked skeptically, furrowing her brow.
"Yup!" I replied, as cheerfully as I could, while twisting my hair into an unforgiving knot at the back of my head.
After calling the school to let them know she wouldn't be in, I texted Husband to melodramatically inform him that we had an infestation on our hands, and he needed to bring supplies. Then I got down to work. While waiting for him to get home with the lice treatment, I stripped all the beds, bagged all soft items, took everything to the basement, and started up a scalding hot load of towels. Anything that may have touched a head was suspect.
|This beautiful, clean, shiny hair? Apparently, lice paradise.|
By the time he got back, it looked like the bedrooms had never been lived in. Kee was happily sitting on a stool in front of me watching Scooby Doo while I meticulously checked tiny sections of hair, scraping the nits off individually with my fingernails and dropping them into a cup partly filled with tea tree oil.
Despite my best efforts. Despite the braids, despite the preventative spray, despite the lectures about not sharing hats. Lice. On my kid. Who I had snuggled in the middle of the night after a bad dream. I had fallen asleep with my head on the pillow next to hers, murmuring that it was only a dream and Mummy was there. My scalp started prickling.
To be continued...