My fear of lice is partially irrational because I have never had them, but I have known many families who have been afflicted, and I am smart enough to know that I never want to meet a dirty, blood-sucking louse. I have heard the tales of woe: how the damn things keep coming back even after people used creams and picked-nits and bagged favorite pillows, washed towels and linens, even threw out hair brushes, combs and expensive hair accessories. I have long, thick, curly hair and it seems like clippers would be inevitable. Like Samson, I am nothing without my hair, so every time that damn letter comes home saying someone in my child’s class has contracted lice, I feel a little sick inside. …
It’s Tingo Tuesday!
Today, I’m sharing the Hawaiian word, pana po’o.
Have you ever scratched your head to help you remember something you’ve forgotten? Well, then you were pana po’oing.
I do that all the time. Lose stuff, like my car keys. Then I’ll stand there, scratching my head, trying to think where I was the last time I had them. But as I’m scratching, I worry that I might actually have head lice, so I usually call a friend and make her come over to check. I haven’t ever had lice. At least, so far. But you never know. And by the time my friend leaves, and I’ve shampooed with Kwell (because what does she know?), I remember I still don’t have my car keys. So then I stand there pana po’oing again. And as I am scratching my head, I wonder if I might have head lice. Some days, I don’t get very far.
I love how other cultures have language for the actions and concepts for which we haven’t necessarily got the right words.
Now it’s your turn!
Leave me a comment about a time when you pana po’oed
and received a coupon good for one box of Nix worth $15.76 at Walgreens.
If I love your comment the way I hate vermin, I’ll slip a photo of you into my sidebar so folks can check you out all month!
If you’re not a blogger, don’t worry. I have plans for you, too.
You have to give it up to Mary for admitting she loves her thong-tha-thong-tha-thong!
Tell me about a real or fictional time you experienced pana po’o moment. What did you lose? And did scratching help you find it?
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You have until May 31st, to enter! NOTE: I’m taking May off for my blogoversary, but a new winner will be revealed on the first Tuesday in June!
I am not a fearful person. I’m not afraid of roaches. I’m not afraid of spiders and have been known to pick them up by their legs and toss them out of the house onto the grass. I’m not afraid of snakes and have enjoyed the cool squeeze of a constrictor as it wrapped around my torso. While I do not like the idea of suffering, I am not afraid of death. I’m not afraid that someone will try to steal my child. I’m not afraid of fire and, once, in a New Orleans restaurant, a waiter whisked away my pretty red candle because I kept pouring hot wax onto my palm (and the fancy tablecloth). I’m not afraid of the dark and have taken long walks on overcast nights when there is no moon or stars. I’m not afraid of thunder and lightning, and while a young’un at Camp Seneca Lake, I used to run outside into torrential downpours with a bottle of shampoo to wash my hair while the sky reverberated and flickered. (I didn’t say I was smart; I just said I wasn’t scared.) There are plenty of other things I’m not afraid of.
I am, however, terrified of lice.
My fear of lice is partially irrational because I have never had them, but I have known many families who have been afflicted, and I am smart enough to know that I never want to meet a dirty, blood-sucking louse. I have heard the tales of woe: how the damn things keep coming back even after people picked-nits and bagged favorite pillows, washed towels and linens, even threw out hair brushes, combs and expensive hair accessories.
I have long, thick, curly hair and it seems like clippers would be inevitable. Like Samson from the Old Testament, I am nothing without my hair, so every time that damn letter comes home saying someone in my child’s class has contracted lice, I feel a little sick inside.
The tiny bugs, no bigger than sesame seeds, spread easily among children who are most likely to come into close head-to-head contact with one another. So while I don’t fall into the “at-risk category,” I do have a 10-year old son who ships out to summer camp each year for three weeks, so I feel my worries aren’t completely unwarranted as someone always comes home with the little buggers.
My good friend has sworn on a bottle of Quell that in the unlikely event I should ever contract lice, she would be my nitpicker. She is a very good friend.
I recently learned that some lice have become resistant to over-the counter remedies. (Be still, my heart!) When that happens, pediatricians sometimes choose to provide prescriptions for heavy-duty pesticides. Although some experts believe exposure in small doses to these chemicals is perfectly safe, these days many parents worry about dumping toxic substances on their children’s heads. (Note: I am not afraid of chemicals.) That said, I just happened to come across a great article about treating lice that talks about using Cetaphil skin cleanser and a hair dryer that “had a 95% success rate when repeated once a week for three weeks.”
So while I am still revolted by the possibility that lice could come into my life, I feel armed with more information and as children head off to summer camps across this great land – perhaps, this cheap and seemingly effective treatment might bring some relief to other moms who live in fear of lice.
Is it just me or is anyone else’s head really itchy?