Would you rather your kids have lice or the flu?
Both of these have been particularly virulent in my circles lately. Since before Christmas I’ve been getting weekly emails from school alerting us of cases of lice. My daughter babysat for one of the families stricken over Christmas and another family found out their son had lice the day after he was here for a play date. So I’ve been checking heads and praying. And dousing the kids’ heads with Listerine for good measure (it’s suppose to keep the lice away — I’ll let you know if it works).
The truth is, I’d rather my kids have the flu over lice. As I found out last summer — when my entire family had lice — they are a real pain. They take a lot out of a mom. There’s endless washing – first the heads and then the beds and then every other piece of furniture in the house and all the clothes and stuffed animals and then the heads again. Eradicating lice can be a full time job. And what mom has time for this?
The flu is no picnic either. My sister pointed out that the flu is much worse because it can kill. But if it’s not a deadly case, it just means your kids have to lay low for a few days (ok, maybe up to two weeks). That isn’t nice. It’s very distressing when your kids are sick. But at least a mom can lay around with them, serve them popsicles and rub their backs — and get some work done while they are watching TV and convalescing. Selfishly, I have to say, it’s a bit easier than all the washing.
Unless of course, you are talking about the stomach flu. One friend said she would much rather deal with lice than a stomach virus. And she should know, she’s dealt with both this winter. Her kids are little and the virus tends to run through her family over the course of several weeks and often requires as much washing as lice — minus the nit picking.
The problem with playing “would you rather” is, you usually end up with one thing or the other. Two of my kids have come down with fevers this week. All I can hope is that we don’t get lice too. Excuse me while I got get out the Listerine, and maybe a little Lysol to boot.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 12, Adam, 12, and Jonah, 8.