that all depends on who you ask.

today i was going to have a girl’s day out with my daughter at a quasi-spa they have in the seattle-area. there is a business started by a former stay-at-home mom (or so goes the rumor) who saw a niche market that needed to be filled. so she opened a store where they check kids for lice and guaranteed de-louse them. they do some kind of super-thorough super-expensive super-elite job that will absolutely allow your child to gain entrance back into school (often the same day! touts their website… yeah, whatever, i thought…).

they charge an exorbitant rate to wet-comb your child’s hair, millimeter by millimeter, and then viola! your child is once again pure and inviolate! you go back in 3-5 days for a re-check and you are home free.

there is a very off-putting breakdown of why it is actually cost-effective for you to use their services, basically saying that you would normally spend like:

10 zillion dollars to go to the doctor to diagnose the lice

8 million dollars to buy remedies that don’t work from the internet

4,985 euros in lost wages from your white collar job to deal with the lice problem

and so forth…

so when i saw that this is how they justify getting you to come to them, i sort of threw up into my mouth and figured that it was probably more cost effective just to homeschool all of my kids.

the store does have a catchy name, though. it’s a play on words, and it’s like, “it’s been lice having you” or “friendship is lice” or “lice means never having to say you’re sorry” or something similar…

anyhow, we skipped the lice salon and went to have frozen yogurt instead.

interestingly, though, their website did link to an article on the benefits of “wet combing” or “wet checking” (sorry but i’m too lazy at the moment to double check any of this on their site- getting the cute bug cartoon just drained my technology brain cells)- and the article, which was clearly authoritative because the lice authorities said so- said that in europe they are not certain whether finding only nits is even considering having lice and they don’t even treat it with the lice shampoo.

so, long story short, IF WE MOVE TO EUROPE RIGHT NOW, MY DAUGHTER MIGHT NOT EVEN HAVE LICE!

but here in seattle, i drowned her head in really nice smelling strawberry conditioner and wet combed her lice-free and nit-free head tonight while she watched a thoroughly educational program (word girl- hurray for vocabulary lessons!). i plan on blowing off school again tomorrow. we’ll call it an “occupy our house” protest rally… at this point, it’s really more just a reluctance to face the school, coupled with the fact that it’s a waste of time to go in on a friday when she’s missed the whole week, coupled with the fact that i’m too lazy to do a lice check first thing in the morning- and i put her to bed with the conditioner still in her hair and there’s just no way i’m washing her hair first thing in the morning either.

reality check for me: at some point i might have to take her to this lice check place so she can have a super duper certified person give her a gold star or whatever (which is actually cheaper than the de-lice fiasco would be)- but i’m just irritated on principle because i’m feeling like it’s another way that parents get dis-empowered (is that even a real word?).

is that crazy? it’s like the parents who can’t pack their kids’ lunches in chicago.

except that it totally isn’t.

it’s actually really reasonable that most parents really don’t know what the heck to look for and the school really needs to be sure that kids don’t have lice in school because it spreads so readily and it’s such a pain to get rid of.

which i know.

so why am i whining?

because i’m a whiner this week.

on a major happy note, though, we found an awesome terrific electrician who is honest and hard-working and affordable. what a rare gem! (what i haven’t posted about: both of the lights in our kitchen haven’t been working for like 2 weeks, so that’s been a challenge. in case you don’t realize it , i spend most of my life in the kitchen… ;)  )

also happy: a potential plumbing catastrophe turned out to be only a minor glitch. phew!

but let’s get back to the whining, because i know that’s your favorite (hahahaha):

does she or does she not have lice?

will she or won’t she ever go back to school?

am i keeping you on the edge of your seat?

the answer is that i really don’t know about the lice, but it doesn’t pay to even care until sunday. i’ll keep her on precautionary status through the weekend (clean bedding, hair in pony tail, etc.) and then get another box of the killing gel and do another comb-through. then i’ll be able to decide if i should take her in for an actual treatment or just the official check or nothing and just hope i’m thorough on my own.

i’m wondering why i have such a visceral reaction against going for the check. it’s not the money (it’s only like ten or fifteen dollars), but something about having to go to this place really sets my teeth on edge.

part of it is that they’re the only game in town. if you want a stamp of approval you have to go to them. period. i feel like i’m in stalinist russia, only warmer.

maybe part of it is feeling like a failure. after investing a gazillion hours into the great and noble anti-lice campaign of 2012, to have to turn it over to someone else because i’m not deemed capable of finishing what i started just feels wrong.

like, “my daughter got lice and all i got was this lousy t-shirt”.

i’ll keep you posted…