Of Lice and Men:
How We Spent Our Spring Break
Do you ever look back on your younger days and think, “Oh my, I was so adorably naive then. I can’t believe I was ever that innocent?”
That’s this week me looking at last week me with all my big spring break plans.
I had originally planned to share pics of our fashion show and cooking adventures over spring break for this week’s blog post.
Instead, I’ve put together this handy little guide to post-spreak lessons I’ve learned this year in the order of which I learned them. As you’ll soon see, they tell a story–a tale as old as time, if you will. A tale of parents realizing that nothing in life with children is ever predictable. But it’s pretty much always hilarious.
1. You can get amazing Remy hair extensions from the Internet for a reasonable price.
We moved into this house almost four years ago right after my mom died. We had been through a ton of emotional trauma including loss and financial woes. One day when I was all up in my feelings, I took a pair of scissors and cut my hair off to the nape of my neck. It sounds intense, but it was one of the most freeing moments I’ve ever experienced as if a tremendous metaphorical weight had been lifted.
For a while, I rocked a long pixie cut and even a pretty slick-looking undercut, but after a couple of years, I started pining for long hair again. About two weeks ago, a friend sent me some Remy tape-in extensions in the mail from Amazon, which I lovingly dyed and applied for a fraction of the price you’d pay at a salon. And they looked completely amazing. Look at these gorgeous locks. Just look at them! They’ll be important later in this list.
2. Recovering from your child’s birthday party when you’re fortysomething can take actual days.
Arthur turned 11 this week, and for his birthday, we had a celebration at The Gathering Place per his request. It was an incredible bluebird Sunday. The weather was unimaginably perfect. The kids’ best friends’ mom made an amazing piñata galaxy cake, and a handful of our favorite friends came to join us.
Arthur was over the moon about all of it. However, lugging all of the party supplies we needed to party at the Gathering Place and hosting a park party was way more exhausting than I expected. I literally spent the entire next day in bed watching Shrill on Hulu–which I highly recommend, by the way.
Happy birthday to Arthur, by the way! This pescatarian anime-loving kid has exceeded all expectations of what an amazing kid can be.
3. If you’re meeting friends at the Gathering Place on a weekend, planning to get there an hour early is not enough.
The Gathering Place is awesome. It’s just simply amazing. But everyone in Tulsa knows that, and they will all be there.
Tl;dr we spent most of an hour either stuck in traffic or walking into the park through thick pedestrian crowds. And Heaven help you if you leave to get pizzas. AKA sorry you missed the party, Arthur’s grandparents, but thank you so much for getting the pizza.
4. If you do not specify, there’s a good chance your seven-year-old will roll around in the playground sand.
That means not only will you spend the next two hours listening to her whine about how she has sand in her clothing, but you’ll also need to vacuum your new-to-you vehicle. And house. And the furniture. Remember the glitter craft project from a couple of years back that’s still haunting your home? Same principle.
5. Several days later, she may ask you why she has tiny bugs in her head.
As you check her scalp, you will hold out a glimmer of hope that she’s simply caught a gnat in her messy tangle of curls, but after careful scrutiny, you will identify a new but very definite family of tiny frenemies who’ve made their summer home in your little sprite’s wild ringlets.
Maybe it’s from the park sand, maybe it’s from the general revelry of being a seven-year-old. It doesn’t matter where the little buggers came from because we all know lice really come from H-E-double hockey sticks.
6. It will be awkward telling the parent of the kid’s friend who just slept over at your house, but you have to do it.
I recommend just ripping off the Band-Aid. After all, most kids get bugs at some point. Plus she made your kid that awesome cake, so you owe it to her to fess up that your kids have probably lousified her kid with their hair bugs.
7. Your friends will have a million suggestions.
They will include any combination of the following: tea tree oil, olive oil, Sea Breeze, coconut oil, Vaseline, mayonnaise, Listerine, vinegar, and head shaving. They’ll all have stories with varying degrees of success to report, and you’ll feel overwhelmed with information. You’ll turn to Dr. Google who will invariably make everything much more confusing.
8. There’s no shame in just going straight for the nuke.
I love the idea of using the crunchy approach to gently coax the little buggos down the river Styx, but warfare is warfare, so don’t feel bad if you just say heck all that and go for the nuclear option.
9. Your dryer will pick exactly then to stop working.
This is an actual principle of physics, and if Stephen Hawking were alive, he could explain why this is. But on the molecular level, if you need your dryer to work for any reason and it’s very serious and/or urgent, it will sacrifice its belt or bearings or whatever clockwork tomfoolery it has inside of it to the dryer gods in protest.
This also applies if you’ve got an important meeting or job interview, class reunion, or just have straight up run out of pants.
10. Tape-in extensions are less fun to remove than to put in.
If you check your other kids’ hair and your own hair and no one else has bugs but then a day later, you find yourself overcome with the old seven-bug-itch, you’ll need to remove those gorgeous extensions if only for the peace of mind.
You’ll saturate your head in oil that may never come out and you’ll spend hours removing all the beautiful hair you lovingly applied, but you’ll do it because straight up, hair bugs are gross.
11. It’s definitely possible to work through the night if you spent your work week dealing with party fallout, head lice, and laundering.
If at the end of a few days of birthday partying, post-party recovery binging, bug massacring, reluctant dryer replacing, and Laundry Mountain Hop-ping, you suddenly realize you still have most of a website to finish writing for the amazing remote job you’d dearly love to not lose due to bug shenanigans, you will be happy to know that you may be physically capable of staying up overnight until you finish your project at 9 in the morning.
Sure, one eye will be closed some of the time and you will feel sleep deprivation drunk and possibly like you’re stroking out a little, but it can be done. And yes, you’ll need to drink a half a case of diet cola and blast music and a fan at your face to keep waking up, but girl, you got this.
Like a Shakespearean comedy, by the end of the week, all of the plot lines were resolved and we got to celebrate a little. All tuckered out from the excitement of items 1 through 11, we settled into our lowkey default: eating nachos straight off the oven sheet, binge-watching Psych in anticipation of the upcoming Lassiter film, playing Portal on the X-Box.
You might think our practice summer ended up being a bit of a bust. But it seems like when we set a course for enforced fun, life always steps in like a Bucket List bully and messes up our big plans. But you know what? Maybe the best kind of fun is the kind you can’t plan for. Anyway, that’s what practice is for, amirite?
How was your spring break, friends? Let me know in the comments, and have a beautiful week!