As a parent, you yearn for your child to be recognized by theacademic community, but you never really want to see an incoming call from the school.
From what I’ve observed, they rarely call to congratulate you for raising such an exceptional student. These calls are usually reserved for behavioral missteps that, if listed one on top of each other as they happened, would form the rungs of a ladder leading to a teenage pregnancy or, if Lady Luck were shining down my way, a mere incarceration. When I saw that call coming in from my first grader’s school, I answered reluctantly.
Me: Uhhhh, hello?
School:Mr. Bryson, I’m calling to inform you that your daughter Izzy has LIVE LICE in her hair.
Me: … … School:
Mr. Bryson, we’ll need you to come and pick her up as soon as possible.
Me: … … …
School: We’ll see you soon.
Me: … … … … School:
I’m hanging u p now.
Me: … … … … …
There are few people that wouldn’t be taken aback to hear their first born has been harboring her closest associates in
her hair, the very hair she wears on her head every day. Motivated by surprise with a dash of fear and a pinch of
embarrassment, I took off to take an insect infestation off the hands of the community and bring it into my home.
I arrived at the school and strode into the office.
The staff already had her ready to go, sitting a good ten-foot pole’s length from any person who could enter the room.
I took a deep breath, trying to put on a calm and collected front, despite being nervous about being exposed as the parent
who allowed tiny insects to create a glorious, booming metropolis on his daughter’s noggin.
Maybe it was a slight quiver in my voice or the abject terror in my eyes that gave me away, but as hard as I was trying to
act like this was no big deal, my performance could only have been surpassed by Michael Jordan’s turn in Space Jam as the worst in history. It was apparent from the moment I walked in that I was more unhinged than a Waffle House bathroom door and the school staff took a great dealof pity on me.
They kindly explained the three steps that lay ahead if Izzy were to be permitted to return to school the next day and wished me luck.
By the sounds of things, I would need it.
Our first stop was Walgreens, where we had to acquire a special lice-killing shampoo. Having frequented this store for years, I had
confidence that I could logically pinpoint the exact location of the shampoo and be on my way within about three minutes. I made a -beeline for the medicine aisle and then buzzed directly to the children’s shelf, where I presumed I would find the cure for this common children’s malady.
It wasn’t there, so I went with plan “B” and searched for the less familiar shampoo aisle. This, too, was a futile effort, unless I was in the mood to q the color of my ‘do to one of about four hundred different shades of brown, all of which were taking up
valuable shelf space where the lice shampoo should have
been. With the infested and upset Izzy repeating “I want to go home” on an endless loop, I was starting to lose patience in the now bewildering drug store. Luckily, I spotted a manager at the end of the aisle and asked him where I could
-find the elusive lice shampoo.
Hiseyes quickly darted between Izzy and me and back to Izzy as he involuntarily took a small step back. He pointed me in
the right direction and immediately vanished into the safety of an employee-only area.Finally armed with a lice kit, I headed home to douse the louse in my daughter’s hair with a product that, upon closer inspection, was less a shampoo and more a pesticide.
As I massaged the pungent chemical through her thick, black, lion-like mane, two small but noticeable insects fell dead into
If before I had the eebies, now I had the jeebies.
Encouraged by the progress, I continued the process, eventually rinsing out the shampoo, leaving a faint waft of
Raid around my daughter. Step two was to examine Izzy’s hair, strand by strand, for any signs of live critters orti tiny eggs, called nits, which are attached to the hair with nature’s version of Super Kra-zy-Glue Raid around my daughter. Step two was to examine Izzy’s hair, strand by strand, for any signs of live critters orti tiny eggs, called nits, which are attached to the hair with nature’s version of Super Kra-Z Glue.