Kind of OT WWYD?
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|Fri, 08-27-2010 - 3:42pm|
Hi there. I think I need a little perspective with what's going on. My DH and I are grandparents to an eighteen month old little guy. His mom is my step-daughter (I've been in her life for 9 years...since she was 12yo).
My grandson (20mo) has head lice. I first noticed it (and was the first one to notice it) in February when he was 14mo. I was watching him for my step-daughter who had a job interview that day. I called her when I identified the problem (DH and I were going to be keeping him for longer than her interview) and then I picked out as many of the nits as I could (what a patient little guy he was for grandma).
On our way to drop him off, we picked up some insecticide that the pharmacist said was not only safe for babies/toddlers, but had enough in the bottle for his parents as well. When we got there, I offered to look through their hair to see if they were infested as well, but they refused, saying that they would take care of it themselves.
A little backstory: my step-daughter had issues as a teen with chronic head lice and an unwillingness to participate in the treatment (i.e., sitting while someone picked out the nits), in allowing us to check between outbreaks, and in telling us in a timely manner when she noticed itching and nits. There was also a bio-mom, with whom she lived for 10 months during this time, who would not pick nits, would tell her that we were lying about the lice, and would tell her that our wanting to check her hair periodically was treating her like a "second-class citizen".
Her last infestation before moving out on her own came shortly before her 18th birthday. Her dad handled the nit removal (she and I were barely on speaking terms at that time...during an earlier infestation I spent a week removing nits from her hair, she had literally thousands of nits at that time) and I was never sure whether her hair was rid of them completely.
Ok, back to now. When I last found nits in the little guys hair, I said nothing to anyone. I just felt so sick of being the one to find it (I was always the one to identify it in step-daughter's hair), and to be honest, felt sure that his parents had to know (he's got baby-fine, short hair...he's barely a toddler after all).
The next weekend we all went to a wedding. I made a point to position myself where I could have a discreet, hands-off looksy at her hair. A couple of times when the wind blew the hair around her ears (it was an outdoor wedding), I was sure that I could see nits on the hairs (about 95% sure and I've got an unfortunately very experienced eye for spotting them). It looks like she's the one who's passing on the lice to my grandson (and she has to be aware, but in deep denial, or just hoping that nobody notices...maybe she thinks her boyfriend will dump her if he knows that she's infested...IDK).
So, I said nothing to my DH until about a week later. Still not happy about always being the messenger. I told him that until he's seen nits with his own eyes that I don't want him to mention anything to his daughter or her boyfriend. I just don't want to be involved anymore. The crazy thing is that there are two other sets of grandparents who spend time with my grandson. Do they know? Are they now infested and don't know. There's the million-dollar question.
So for now, when they visit (about twice per month for Sunday dinner, and occasionally DH will pick him up after work and then drive him home before bedtime), DH will help me vacuum the carpets and wipe down the couches (all leather) when they leave. Other than that, there will just be no head-to-head contact with anyone.
Oh, and btw, where I live, lice is not a health issue, so health and social services people would not intervene in any way. Not until he's in first grade (or higher) and missing school due to lice issues (which is years away).
So, any words of advice or wisdom? Would anyone handle this situation differently.