Just when we thought our plight could not worsen, we arrived at the entrance of the state park only to realize that RM’s mom was no longer behind us. She had a tire blowout on her boat trailer and was waiting for a tow truck. We opted to head to the boat launch where we would sail to our campsite before someone else snagged it and wait for RM’s mom there.
We treated RM’s oldest when we got to the lake, just for good measure—she was the one who had it a month prior, so we figured chances were high that she either still had it or had it again. The next 48 hours were spent swimming, boating, relaxing, and pretending we didn’t have lice, to the best of our ability. (I think this was easier for the kids than it was for me.) We did countless, useless shampoos with tea tree oil in the lake, at my behest, thinking it might make a difference, only to find out we were probably just washing out the lice shampoo and making it less effective. Apparently lice prefer clean hair. Awesome.
We awoke the following day, eager to start fresh. RM looked at me and said, “We made it. Yesterday is over!” There was no way it could get worse, right? Little did we know…
We enjoyed a day at the beach—swimming, kneeboarding, and cliff jumping. We went to sleep that night feeling fulfilled and happy, despite those bloodsucking buggers on our heads. We awoke at 2:00 AM to three continuous hours of 30-40 mph winds, lightning, thunder, and hail. I consoled the crying kids in the collapsed tent while RM held onto our sailboat for dear life, praying it wouldn’t tip over and break or damage the boats next to it. We managed to get a few hours of sleep once the storm died down, but we awoke to a war zone, spending the next few hours sweeping sand out of the tent and collecting all of our belongings (and trash) that had scattered during the high winds.
After taking a peek at what that night’s weather report promised, we decided to hit the road. But first, the kids and I would do one more lice shampoo. I figured the house was safe by this point, so I didn’t want us bringing any of those suckers back with us. What came next was a pre-teen breakdown from RM’s oldest, who couldn’t bear stripping down in front of me, followed by my own breakdown of feeling completely inadequate in my quest to take care of her. Who was I fooling? I wasn’t her mother. I was soon comforted by RM’s mom singing James Blunt’s “So You Had a Bad Day.” Boy, did I!
This brings me to the bat. I know, I know—you were wondering when I was going to get to that, right? After the girls were successfully shampooed by moi—we figured out a way to keep towels wrapped around them so no one was embarrassed—it was my turn. There I stood, in those terrible hiking sandals, stifling back tears. I was without a watch and alone in the bathroom, so I took a tip from the Friends episode, “The One with Ross’ Tan,” and counted. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi. Let me tell you, 10 minutes feels a lot longer when you’re counting by the second.
After my 10 minutes were up, I began to rinse when RM cracked the ladies’ room door open to ask me how it was going. That is when he alerted me of the bat.
I slowly bent my knees and looked up cautiously. Sure enough, I saw a bat, hanging upside down, only inches from my face. Its furry little head nuzzling in its wings. I proceeded to run out of the bathroom at full speed, carrying my towel in one hand, all the while crying, screaming, and laughing into RM’s arms. What else could I do?
I was at the end of my rope.
Check back for the next post in the “Lice Happens” series to find out what we happened when we returned home and the experience in which RM and I never thought we would find ourselves!