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Last week, with a couple of days off in a row to look forward to, I drove a few hours to visit a friend whom I haven’t seen awhile. When I walked in the house and asked, “Whose dog?”, I got a look that made me know it had been entirely too look since I’ve visited. It had been almost a year since the family’s brought a dog into the fold and while my friend has made the 2+ hour drive to visit me  multiple times, I have (clearly) been very negligent in my friend duties.

Our plans for catching up over wine and movies was waylaid, however, when we discovered that my friend’s eight year old had head lice. After the initial freak-out (as in, “How did this happen?” and “Oh my God, she was at a sleepover and now I have to call that mom and tell her that my daughter has head lice!”), the forces were mobilized post-haste.

I don’t have children of my own, but  after this experience (should I ever pro-create and should any of those fruit-of-my-loins come home from school with head lice), I feel like I am fully prepared to handle the situation.

The survival kit includes:

  1. Zippered vinyl mattress protectors
  2. Zippered vinyl pillow covers
  3. RID head lice shampoo
  4. RID head lice spray (for all objects that cannot be washed)
  5. A very large container of detergent for the 15 loads of laundry you will have to do
  6. Large plastic trash bags to house the toys that will have to be quarantined in the garage (interesting side story: another friend told me that when she was young, ALL SIX children got head lice and of course, the toys were all bagged and put outside. She and her sister decided that the dolls were suffocating and had to be rescued so they went and opened all the bags in order that the dolls could breathe. So awesome.)
  7. Olive oil (apparently, if you don’t have head lice, but are in a house where one of the occupants does, the best way to prevent yourself from getting it – after shampooing and de-lousing the afflicted – is to thoroughly douse your hair with olive oil. My friend and I did this to ourselves and after a solid 4 hours of soaking and two shampoos, our hair emerged not only louse free, but beautifully shiny and soft.)
  8. Shower caps (to wear while your hair is soaking in olive oil)
  9. A laptop to play videos so that your child will be entertained as you spend a good hour or more de-lousing his or her hair
  10. Wine so that you don’t completely lose your mind
And the vino of choice on that particular Monday evening? Hecht & Bannier’s 2010 Minervois. Originally intended to be drunk when the kids were in bed and my friend’s husband was occupied by his guitar, this herbal tinged Languedoc-Roussillon blend had just the right combination of spicy Syrah and lush, fruity Grenache to take the edge off of what my friend referred to “as the worst thing I have ever had to deal with as a mother.”


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  1. Ugh! Double ugh! I used to hate when those bright pink half-sheets of paper would come home in my kids’ backpacks, warning us that someone in class had the critters! Makes you itch just thinking about it!

  2. Only a good friend would stay and help …. Without running away screaming!! A year gone by or a week… You are a wonderful friend.

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