Bleep Bloop! Bleep Bloop!
I heard this *just* as I was about to step in the shower this morning. My husband was at work and the kids were at school. I thought that weird robotic blooping sound had to be the phone. (We got a new cordless phone for Christmas, and I’m still not used to its bizarre ringtone.).
I investigated and, sure enough, it was the phone “ringing”.
Before me appeared a mother’s most dreaded caller ID: the school’s number.
Now, there is absolutely no *good* reason to get a call from the school number. None. Something has happened. One of the kids is either in trouble or sick. Those are the possibilities (For anything else, you will get an email). I braced myself for the verdict…
“Hello! It’s the Lower School nurse, and there is no emergency!”
I did some quick motherly mental calculations in about three tenths of a second. It’s the Lower School, so it’s got to be about Lucy. It’s the nurse so she’s not in trouble. It’s not an emergency, so she’s not bleeding out. We currently have three epidemics going around school: flu, strep throat, and a GI virus. Although all three of these are heinous, they are not emergencies.
Got it. I was up to speed. Even though she was FINE when she left home, I deduced I was probably about to be on my way to pick up Lucy for having a fever or otherwise being sick. I was sad I was *this close* to actually getting a shower before I answered the phone, but this is neither the first nor the last time that motherhood has denied or delayed my personal hygiene needs.
The nurse continued, “Lucy was complaining to her teacher that her head was itchy.”
Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention the FOURTH outbreak going around the school right now. LICE. Motherf-ing LICE.
Okay, you know that I’m a medical professional. I am not at all squeamish about a pus filled wound. I can deal with a bleeding gash on an arm. I can do rectal exams all day long and never think twice. I can eat and have discussions about things that would turn most people’s stomachs. I am exceedingly hard to gross out.
I CANNOT DEAL WITH BUGS LIVING ON MY CHILDREN or MYSELF! BLECH!
Seriously, I’d rather drive through a CARWASH, than deal with a lice infestation. I felt like curling up in the fetal position and rocking in the corner just thinking about it.
Knowing about the outbreak, I had even run Lucy through the anti-lice paces today before school as I was drying her hair.
Me: What are you NOT to share at school with ANYONE?
Lucy: Jackets, headbands, hats, combs, brushes, and scarves. And you can’t touch each other’s hair to do braids at recess. (She’d been busted for this activity last week).
Me (trying to sound very sweet and innocent so as to lure her into a mistake): What if you just needed to borrow one tiny hairband from someone to put your hair up in a pony tail? That would be okay, right?
Lucy: No. I don’t think so.
Me: You don’t THINK so??!! GAH! Of COURSE NOT! NEVER, EVER use someone else’s hair band. EVER.
Now here I was with the nurse telling me about my daughter’s itchy head. NIGHTMARE.
“So her teacher brought her immediately down to the office here so we could have a look.”
(Of course she did. She’s no fool! Kill me now.)
Dread filled my body. I was envisioning the special shampoo and the de-contaminating of sheets and combing of hair. My own head immediately became itchy. I knew if one of us went down with the nasty critters, we’d all soon fall like dominoes if we weren’t already teeming with them.
“Lucy doesn’t have lice. We looked really thoroughly and she’s fine, but she does have a few patches of dry scalp you might want to do something about. That’s why I’m calling.”
I had a heart stopping 2 minutes for….dandruff. Whew. That was a close one but we’re in the clear…at least for now.
You Know You’re A Mom When….
- The school number on your caller ID fills you with dread
- You can do mental arithmetic on the phone to know in .25 seconds how worried you should be
- You are resigned to the fact that your personal hygiene needs always come last.