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The Louse And The Microscope

September 14, 2017

Head lice are like a creepy, crawly, itchy, twitchy rite of passage for school age children. If you never got them… congratulations, you’re very fortunate, but most kids will have them at least once, and that’s a fact.

It’s up to us, as parents to keep on top of the infestations that will inevitably set up shop on the heads of our hairy, mammalian offspring.

Though it’s not the easiest job in the world to eradicate lice, in Scotland we are lucky because the treatment is at least free on the NHS… (NHS I LOVE YOU!!) , and it is so much easier to use than I remember from when I had them as a child. Also odorless!

Anyhoo… as you have probably assumed by this point, our daughter came home with her first ever case of critters during her very first freaking week of school. We didn’t find them until the second week as it took them a wee while to get going… but that tell tale head scratching is unmistakable!

When I discovered a tiny baby one on her head, I decided to be honest and just told her that she had little bugs in her hair, but we could get rid of them with special medicine.

At first she was really upset, however this only lasted for about 30 seconds before her quick thinking daddy told her that they just wanted to make a nest to have their babies in, which may sound weird and gross but it’s actually incredibly accurate… and oddly enough, she was cool with it!

We also mentioned that they thought she was good food and she was good with that too since, I guess, they were just trying to feed their babies.

He’s an awesome daddy. :)

Anyhoo, we got the treatment from the chemist and a nit comb, then proceeded to go home and pick out all of the wee beasties. Throughout her treatment, she repeatedly (and kindly) told them that they couldn’t live in her hair

(The butt was her favorite part)

anymore because she didn’t want to be their nest. Fair enough.

During the process it occurred to me that she had gotten her very first microscope last Christmas from her great grandparents, and this could potentially be a great, practical learning opportunity. Again, I know that a lot of people would think this was gross and weird, but we aren’t most people and she thought it was SO COOL…. (That’s MY girl!)

We all  had a shot inspecting an adult bug’s individual body parts, as well as an egg attached to a hair. We even used our camera and our phones to take some photos through the microscope (just to see if we could) which I’ve included in this post.

Looking back on this experience, I am so pleased that we were able to turn it around from something potentially mildly traumatic, to something fun. I am proud of her and I’m proud of us. In the future I  hope that we get a lot of opportunities to use her microscope (though  no more lice please) and that she continues to keep such an open mind about the natural world.

You can stop scratching your head now!


From → Mommy-ness

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