Hazards of the Doula Heart
Over the weekend I spent some time caring for a fellow birth professional who is laid up for several months with a leg fracture. Just light housekeeping and some visiting with her -- essentially a postpartum visit without the newborn. The next day she called to tell me her daughter had just been diagnosed with an advanced case of head lice. (Is your scalp itching? Just the word lice makes mine itch.)
My spouse was out of the house at the time so I asked my older son to look through my hair. One quick glance at my scalp – apparently his first ever such examination – and he said, “Gross! It’s like a thousand goosebumps.” So I had to wait for Spouse to return to see if he would inspect me. He was equally unwilling and gave only a half-hearted flip through parts of my hair, hitting maybe every 1-2 inches with any kind of attention.
Unless you know me well, you cannot understand the irony in this situation. For I absolutely love any and all types of fussy body grooming, particularly when dermatological afflictions are involved. Peeling sunburn? Call me. Zits that need squeezing? I’m your gal. Dandruff scalp? Hold me back. So to have an excuse to scrutinize each millimeter of head skin, only it’s my own and therefore inaccessible, was agony.
Nonetheless, I made the best of a bad situation and positioned myself in front of our bathroom mirror. I resolutely tipped and twisted my head and during a patient, fifteen-minute inspection examined nearly ¾ of my head (with the help of a hand-mirror).
The result? Several suspicious white objects that on closer inspection turned out to be: couscous, toothpaste (or WhiteOut) and sweater fuzz. Oh, also a piece of blue glitter. Thankfully no nits or lice. And lest you worry, I do wash my hair every day. I think all the items I listed can be traced directly to my children.
The good news is that I was feeling a little itchy today, so I think I get to do another exam tonight!