Lasker Pool

Lasker Pool
Central Park, summer 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Seth Brought Home From Camp

Seth went to sleepaway camp for the first time this summer an exciting event for any nine-year-old, no? We packed up the requisite 14 T-shirts, 14 pairs of shorts, 14 pairs of socks, underwear, pajamas, sleeping bag, toiletries...even a beginner's fishing rod. And, after informing us that he would not be writing or calling during his two weeks at Fairview Lake, off my boy went.
Each day, every so often, I'd stop for a moment and wonder what Seth was doing at that particular moment. Making S'mores? Swinging in the hammock outside his bunk? Singing "99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall?"
As promised, Seth was completely imcommunicado during his two-week stint in the mountains. But once we picked him up, boy, did we hear stories! "It was awesome," Seth told me. "The best place ever!"
Seth regaled us with tales of the two beaversharks said to inhabit the lake, the old Rusty Knife camping shack where transients were said to sleep on occasion, the kissing snapping turtle that gave its affection to counselors and campers alike, and the teens who snuck out of their cabin at night and got caught. I'm pretty sure the last story was true.
After a couple of days of rest at home, we packed Seth off to day camp—much less glamorous than sleepaway, he assured us kind of grumpily. "I wish I was still at Fairview Lake," he complained. "Day camp is lame."
But Seth did bring home a memento of his gloried time at Fairview Lake.
Note: If you're sqeamish, you may want to stop here.
Okay, ready?
Here's what Seth brought with him: Head lice.
Here's the message that greeted me at work this morning:"Hi, it's Lindsey, from Day Camp Camperoo. Seth's fine, but we had a lice check this morning, and guess what? He's got them! So, if you'd like to pick him up and get him treated, that would be great. Otherwise, we'll keep him in the office all day."
So, the decisions began.
Do we buy the icky, stinky, chemical-laden lice-killing shampoo and hope to be done with it in one shot?
Try the natural route?
Bring him to Lice Enders for a $150-minimum nitpicking session (I kid you not)?
Head to Brighton Beach, where the nice Russian ladies get rid of nits for a few dollars less?
We opted for a partially natural, partially icky, stinky blend of treatments, followed by a buzz cut.
And we cleaned. Jeez, did we clean.
My husband did numerous loads of laundry. We washed two stuffed animals for each child, and bagged dozens of others, along with blankets, pillows and comforters.
The bags are not to be opened for two weeks.
We also treated my other two boys, who have shoulder-length hair, and combed everyone's hair with the special $21.95 Lice Enders comb, which is, apparently, far superior to the plastic comb that comes with the icky,stinky lice-killing shampoo.
After about 6 hours, we had clean sheet, clothes, towels and children.
And not a nit in sight.
Now, I'm not blaming Fairview Lake.
As a New York City parent, I'm all too clear that lice happen.
But the best camp ever?
Let's talk after I finish washing the comforters.

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