August 26, 2013

How To Kill Lice, In Letters

Dear Local Pharmacist,

My daughter has lice. I think I have lice. I'm pretty sure my shag rug has lice. This is my very first time doing this, so I trust you as a respected representative of the medical establishment to dispense the most effective product with the clearest instructions.

Kind Regards,


Dear Sandi,

Use Nix. Comb or pick out all of the nits (the lice will be dead) with this helpfully included lice comb. Wash all of the bedding and dry on the hot setting for at least fifteen minutes. Pack up in plastic bags anything that isn't washable and don't take them out for two weeks. Vacuum the mattresses. Repeat the Nix after seven days.

In two weeks, you and your family will be lice free. Congratulations, and you're welcome.

Your Local Pharmacist


Dear Local Pharmacist,

Um. Are you sure about all that? We just did everything you said, and I'm still finding live lice two weeks later. Lots of them.



Dear Sandi,

No, really. Use Nix. Did you do all of the things on the list? You probably didn't comb out every single nit, and one was left and it started a whole new colony of lice, or else maybe someone came over to your house and re-infested it. Do it again, and be more careful this time.



Hey, you in the white coat:

I'm not stupid. Admittedly, I have one functioning eyeball and the other one has cataracts, but I'm doing all the things, and everyone in my house has lice now. I'm afraid to talk to anyone on the phone, for fear that the lice are going to transmit themselves out of here and my family will be responsible for ALL OF THE LICE.

I just rinsed out a second round of Nix from my daughter's hair, and the lice are still very much alive. In fact, I think I can hear them laughing uproariously in their tiny little lice voices every time I show them this:

So unless you're going to come over here and pick every nit off of every strand of my five year old's head, Superman, don't tell me I'm doing it wrong.



Dear Internet,

Help. Me.



Dear Sandi,

Mayonnaise. LiceMD, Natroba, You're doing it wrong, Nix, Error 404 Not Found, Crazy mother and olive oil, combing out every nit is impossible, Lindane, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE NOT LINDANE, You must be a horrible mother who doesn't care about the safety of other children, Pictures of lice (better than pictures of dust mites), Why won't anyone think of the children, Lice can develop immunity to treatment, Peanut butter, Here's a Slate article that actually makes sense.

With Love and Affection,
The Internet


Dear Metal Lice Comb,

This is a little hard to say, since I'm a staunch member of the Ironic Generation, but I love you. I took this picture of you when you were looking the other way.

The way the light gleams off of your shiny teeth is mesmerizing, and I have deep respect for the authoritative way you comb out nits and lice like you're The Boss of Hair or something.



Dear Internet,

Some advice to add to the maelstrom: by all means, try the lice treatment, but throw away the plastic comb. Get thee a metal comb, and comb, comb, comb every morning and every night. You won't know if it was the treatment or the combing, and (believe me) you won't care.


p.s. The other parents are just as helpless as you.


The Great Lice Outbreak of 2013 is mostly over, but it threatened most ominously to turn me into a crazy woman.

August 19, 2013

Thirteen Things That Are Awesome

ONE: Oscar still says "flumb" instead of "thumb".

TWO: Our twelfth anniversary was yesterday. We remembered at around four o'clock, while I was outside with the kids and Seth was making meatball sandwiches for supper, and celebrated later with ice cream and an episode of Dr. Who. Fortunately, the quality of a marriage isn't determined by the quality of its annual celebration.*

THREE: My parents took Norah to Manitoulin Island with them this weekend, and here's her list of things to pack. (Note that she included "Grammy" and "Poppa" in her list. Thorough, is my girl.)

FOUR: Housecleaner. Friday.**

FIVE: Lucy, who at a year and a half still doesn't have much to say, fake burps at the table and then laughs like an idiot.

SIX: My front door looks like this.

"Awesome how?" you say? Awesome in that the plywood is only there so random vagrants don't wander into my home to watch David Tennant make angry muppet faces while our real front door is in the shop, getting painted glossy red. Glossy, glossy red.

SEVEN: Also I am awesome at photography.

EIGHT: Seth has been offered a job. Repeatedly. At first we were like "no, way", then we were like "how much, you say?" then we were like "where does he sign?". It means that his time will be less flexible, his piece of garbage truck can be sent to the scrapyard where it belongs, and I won't have to feel guilty about not doing his books when I'm not doing his books. Two out of three ain't too shabby.

NINE: I spent my hard-earned money on a laptop (a cheap one, don't get all carried away), which means that - since the siren song of the couch still lures me as I stumble downstairs at five in the morning - I'm writing this (and all of my other Great Work) wrapped in a blanket and partially reclining.

TEN: I fell down the stairs and broke the baby gate at the bottom. That wasn't awesome, but the fact that I'm the only person to have done it*** is.

ELEVEN: Football season is here, and we're so excited that we re-attached the cable to the television box. Joy and unicorns and such. Not awesome is the fact that - because I'm a sober, responsible adult - I left my fantasy football league this year. Sad face.

TWELVE: Did I mention the housecleaner?

THIRTEEN: Food. The end.****


*Especially because the last episode was The Idiot's Lantern, in which David Tennant does this with his face. Not cool, David.

**Which is not to say that I've Made It, except in the sense that I've made it to the point where I can choose between having any two of clients and/or a clean house and/or non-feral children.


****When, in all these years, have you known me to actually finish a list? Never, that's when.*****

*****Does anybody else think that the number of stars is getting ridiculous?

August 12, 2013

The Lofty Pinnacle of Success

Do I want to drive a fancy car? Not really.

I'd like to drive a car without crumbs on the floor, or without a dent in the front bumper (it's a total mystery how that happened, but my money's on very lumpy air), but fancy? Meh.

Do I want a bigger house? Maybe if it was on a lake. I can't deny that would be cool, until Lucy realized there was water nearby, and walked straight in until it was over her head.

That wouldn't be cool.

No, fancy cars, big houses, la-de-dah clothes, these aren't the things I yearn for, and won't be the signal (to myself) that we've Made It.

What will be the signal that I've arrived?

When the cleaning lady does.


August 5, 2013

How to Compensate for Your (My) Crappy Lunch Packing Skills

Guys, at the risk of beating a dead horse (or any other kind of horse), I'm busy.

When I whine about it to my mother, or the lady at the grocery store, or strangers on the street, I hear this: "Well, at least Norah will be in school soon."

People. No.

Norah in school means the return of the forty-five minute hobbit walk to school and back. Twice a day. Every day.

Back to school means rushing to get naps done before it's time to run out the door to go get The One Who Will No Longer Nap. And - worst of all - back to school means lunches that have to be prepared more than five minutes before eating.

To compensate for my inability in the lunch-packing department (remember this?), I'm getting these:

These are scratch off notes that you write yourself and tuck into your sweet little girl's lunchbox.

Scratch off.


That you write yourself.


Guys, seriously.


They're from the brain of my dear friend Lindsay of Inklings Paperie. I love her stuff, but when she showed these to me I kind of squealed. (Uh, kind of a lot.)

I want them, and I want you to have them so we can all squeal together.

Now, we all know I'm not an obedient blogger, with the giveaways that I don't really do well, and the link-parties that I don't really do at all, and the other stuff that I don't even know I should be doing but definitely am not doing anyway, but this here? This I want to do well. I want everyone you know to know about these Lunchbox Notes.

So: because I want you to have these, AND I want the entire continent to know about them, the only way you can get them is to tell everyone you know about them.

Share this link to the Lunchbox Notes on Facebook and you're entered to win a set. That's all. You can share it every day until next Monday for more entries, because I'm nice like that, and on Tuesday I'll announce the winner.

Also: don't cheat. I hate that.

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