Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Israeli Mothers' Club

This month, I initiated myself into a new exclusive club. The initiation rites were frustratingly annoying, as intiation rites usually are, but once you are in, you're in for life- or at least for what seems like a life sentence.

What did I do to get inducted into this exclusive club? Well, it's not really what I did, but rather what my daughter did, and rather not what she did, but what was done to her. You see, I joined the IMC- Israeli Mothers' Club. This club involves all mommies, Imas, Mamas, and other assorted names, who are now living with their children in Israel.

What is this induction rite of which I speak? Well, the classical one of course. It's a four letter word that might be one of those 10 plagues that God struck Egypt with in days gone by. And yes, my daughter had it.

Yes, I freaked out. No, I had dealt with it before. Yes, I still freaked out. Yes, I called my former neighbor, the Ganenet, who responded with those famous acceptance words: Welcome to the IMC. You're in it for life now.

And then she proceeded to tell me how to handle the scourge that had taken over my house, and most heads in the house as well.

And then I cried. Because, I don't know if I can do this- be the Israeli mother that my kids will probably expect me to be- capable, unflappable, courageous, that strong and comfortable shoulder to lean on, and lap to hug and cuddle.

If I can't even handle a common pest, how could I deal with the greater things that go along with being an Israeli Ima? What will I do one day when a future son turns 18? What will I do on my daughter's first day of real gan in the Israeli school system? And there are so many more milestones that I don't even know about in being an Ima here in this Holy Land?

If a little tiny thing like this moves me to tears- what will be?

But for now, I squared my shoulders, and dealt with it. Rosemary shampoo and conditioner, nice fine toothed combs- and a clean household once again. Welcome to the IMC, you're in it for life. Hatzlacha Rabba.

12 comments:

mekubal said...

In my experience the Rosemary shampoo does not work, and unfortunately you cannot get Nix in this country. However, if you have need, let us know, my inlaws typically bring with them every trip so we have some to spare. Even if you just want some for the next time around.

I feel for your pain.

When it hits my house, I go with the shaved head of many Haredim, my wife and youngest daughter are typically impervious on account being red-heads, lucky them, which leaves my oldest(currently) who suffers alone.

colloquiallyspeaking said...

lol - i just got inducted myself. now my little girl sits patiently every night as i comb, asking if i found any eggs or bugs...

Anonymous said...

And the worst thing is that clean hair is the most popular for these annoying creatures!!!
Its a problem in Britain as well
Anon613-London

the rabbi's wife said...

One thing my DH didn't mention is that nothing is a substitute for a good metal nit comb and also a favorite dvd to distract from the combing process, which Nix can lessen as it also kills nits. My DD was about 6 months the first time she got it at a Yeshiva event. Combing out a 6 month old is not so easy...

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itsagift said...

As they say in Israel, "hakol yihiyeh b'seder..."

But seriously, that can be such a pain. Wishing you loads of hatzlacha and may they disappear as quickly as they came!

chanie said...

I have to say...it's a pain. But it's also a fact of life and nothing really to get worked up over. Of course, if YOU can't handle it, you can call Rosh Nakki, and they'll do the nitpicking for you. But don't take it too hard, it's not so bad...as long as it's kept somewhat under control, it'll be okay. The danger is when they get to be so many that the head is covered in sores. But a few bugs are fine. Trust me. I had lice as a kid and am still live. My cousins probably have lice now, and they're fine. Don't freak out, it's not worth it. Plus, you'll have to deal with it till they're in their twenties. Seriously. Don't freak.

nmf #7 said...

Mekubal- It probably doesn't work, but the smell makes one think we're doing something. Nix, from what I've heard, is a bit dangerous when used long term, or on a little one- but I appreciate the offer.

I also didn't know red heads don't get lice- I'm an auburn, as is my daughter, and my MIL is a true red- but all three of us have had lice. Go figure.

I sympathize with your oldest.

Colloquiallyspeaking- Kudos to your daughter for having such patience!

Anon613- True.

The Rabbi's Wife- I totally agree- the comb is the way to go. And a 6 month old?! Oy.

Itsagift- Of course.

Chanie- I may not get 'worked' up about it- but I may write a blog post on it- and then get to work. She's clean now. But this post was written to express some of the feelings I had. But thank you for the Rosh Nakki advice.And yes, I will probably be doing this till she's old enough to use a comb herself.

ProfK said...

A hint based on experience in my being the "lice lady" for the camp in our bungalow colony and in my girls' school. Rinse hair after each washing with vinegar. It makes it harder for the nits and bugs to attach themselves because the hair shafts become slicker. It also changes the ph and the bugs don't seem to like the change.

Lvnsm27 said...

things can be overwhelming, but take one day at time and remember you're in the land of miracles