Lice Mom: the saga continues

I'm beginning to think I should start a new blog just on my encounters with Lice Mom. She came in for a "check" for her daughter, and in our twenty minutes together, I nearly lost my mind. I began by carefully checking the scalp, and found it to be nearly spotless with the exception of a posssible nit or two. I showed Lice Mom what I believed might be nits, and she said they were dandruff flakes. I agreed they might be, removed them, and continued my overly thorough check. I then made the mistake of saying what was on my mind: "I know you came here to pick up your daughter's homework, but I'm inclined to have her stay because her scalp is so clean." She looked at me with disgust, and said, "Are you kidding me?" I got a lecture about how if her daughter returns to school she will of course get lice again, which ended with, "If that happens, I will kill you." I let out an uncomfortable laugh, the kind you do when you're not sure if someone is kidding or not, and all I got was a nasty stare in return. 
There were many responses I wanted to give her, most of all, IT'S NOT MY FAULT. Also, if your daughter is so freaking knowledgeable about and petrified of lice as you have made her, and she is not sharing hats/combs/brushes/jackets/etc. with anyone at school, she isn't getting it at school. Period. Out of fear of retribution though, I kept my mouth shut in meek silence. I don't actually think she will kill me, mostly because she's smarter than that. No, she would do something worse, like find a way to sue me even if it's not for lice, or find out which car mine is out in the parking lot and have that destroyed. Regardless, I fear the day her daughter gets lice again, and rather than have the guts to talk back to this woman - and perhaps I should have - I emailed the prinicpal our conversation so it's at least on record. 
What really, really got me though, more than her threat toward me, was her attitude about letting her daughter be in school. First, when I found what might be a nit and showed her, she denied any such possibility. Then when I suggested she stay in school if her head was indeed as spotless as she insisted it was, she began making excuses, saying Lice Daughter was on the verge of a UTI and bronchitis due to stress from the lice. Then, she looked and looked, until she found a nit herself and proclaimed it as such - and therefore her daughter couldn't be at school. She'll take any excuse to not have her daughter in school, her daughter that is so shy and scared - of her mom, no doubt - it's pathetic. The situation is making me ill, but I can't think of anything I can do for her without putting myself or my job in danger.

1 comment:

  1. At some point, isn't community health able to get involved here? I mean, the child is obviously being reinfected at home, which means the mother isn't doing the stringent and necessary isolating/cleaning to kill the lice once and for all. This child is missing out on a quality education and needed social growth because the mother is too pissed off at the world to take advice. It's sad.