As I put Adrienne into her car seat, I spotted it: a tiny black bug. In her hair.


I didn’t have time to freak out, although I’ll confess to googling a little bit at stoplights on the way back to Annalyn’s school. Which means my phone’s Google app currently shows “black bugs in hair,” “flat black bugs” and “bugs in hair not lice” as my most recent searches. Fun.

After standing in a crowded office for 10 minutes waiting for the new printer system to spit out my visitor pass and then hauling a less-than-cooperative toddler around Annalyn’s school for the summer school showcase (aka, the day the teacher sends All The Papers home with us), I was done. And sweaty.

So VERY sweaty.

I got the girls into the car, cranked up the A/C, and headed straight to Sonic. It was happy hour, and we needed some happy. (Largely because I spent the drive yelling at Annalyn for, basically, being a kid. And because I was hot. SO HOT.) We got our half-price drinks and headed home.

Where I sat down with a baby on my lap and promptly found more bugs.


{Photo is from The Switch. Sadly, Jason Bateman was not available to help me deal with this situation.}

Feeling a little desperate, I googled a bit more until I couldn’t deny it any longer. Adrienne had lice. Probably from the parents’ day out program she attends. (Which is a nice, clean facility – but also filled with kids, you know?) (I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you that lice prefer clean hair. Okay? CLEAN HAIR. There’s no stigma here anymore. I mean, in a world with commercials about herpes medication, how could THIS be the most embarrassing thing to have?) (Except it is. Obviously. Hence my babbling here.)

After asking a group of friends on Facebook for recommended treatments, I packed up the girls and got back into the [hot] car. It was okay because I needed to go to the store anyway (and I’d gotten distracted earlier with my heat-induced tantrum). So we went to the grocery store, where Annalyn said – not once, but twice, and loud enough for fellow grocery shoppers to hear – that we were there because of the contagious bugs in our hair.

You’re welcome, HyVee shoppers.

We loaded up on Cetaphil cleanser and fine-toothed combs (for this method), then grabbed a head of lettuce (for the tacos I still thought I’d make for dinner that night) and a seedless watermelon (for an upcoming playdate that I’d said I’d bring fruit to). And, FINE, I bought another package of S’mores Oreos, too. CAN YOU BLAME ME?

When we got home, I told Annalyn to take the watermelon inside while I carried Adrienne (who had insisted on removing her shoes in the car) and the grocery bags. I imagined snapping a quick pic on my phone of her doing it, captioning it something oh-so-clever like, “She carried a watermelon?!”


What’s that, you say? Where IS that clever instagram? Oh RIGHT. It’s not anywhere. It didn’t happen. Because Annalyn didn’t carry the watermelon. She dropped it. On the front porch. Where it immediately cracked and began dripping. Because what was I thinking? Simply saying, “Be VERY careful! Use two hands! Set it down VERY carefully to open the door…” was NOT going to be enough. Watermelons are heavy, you know?

But accidents happen, so I couldn’t even be mad. Really, it just made me chuckle. Of COURSE this day would include a five-dollar watermelon going full Gallagher in the front yard.

It was piano lesson day, and Mark was randomly working days so he wasn’t home. Did I mention those fun facts yet? Yeah. So I treated Adrienne’s hair while Annalyn practiced piano. (If you’ve never tried to blow-dry soap-soaked hair on a toddler, by the way, DON’T.)

Anyway. After texting Annalyn’s piano teacher to make sure I could bring my potentially infested child to her house, we got back in the car. The hot car. Again. Annalyn asked for a piece of gum because she was SO HUNGRY. (Still planning to make tacos after piano lesson at this point…) I said no, but stopped at McDonald’s for a small smoothie.

I passed it back to her, and she immediately asked if she could share with her sister. Her sister who was yelling, “EAT! EAT! EAT!”

Now, for the record, these children HAD BEEN FED. Breakfast, lunch, snacks – they weren’t starving. But they were probably hungry. Which is what I told myself as they bickered in the back seat. Apparently Annalyn was all-too-happy to share ONE SLURP with her baby sister, while her baby sister had more of a 50/50 arrangement in mind.

There we were. Stuck in traffic. Two squabbling sisters. One mom about to have Meltdown #ILOSTCOUNT. In the hot car. Hungry. Five minutes from being late. Probably infested with “contagious bugs.”

But then…THEN! I heard it. “When I wake up, well, I know I’m gonna be…

Don't Worry. Your Joy Will Come Around Again. | via

It was the Proclaimers, singing, “I’m Gonna Be” – or, as most of us know it, “I Would Walk 500 Miles.” It’s a fun song on its own, but ever since I watched Ted and Marshall singing it on repeat during their first road trip, I’ve loved it even more.

Singing along to that goofy song at the top of my lungs – and listening to my girls do the same – totally cheered me up.

If you haven’t seen the How I Met Your Mother episode I’m referring to, the guys listen to the song over and over again because a Proclaimers tape has been stuck in Marshall’s tape deck since he was in high school. As you can imagine, even the most enthusiastic and optimistic TV characters get a little tired of it after a while – but as Ted starts feeling annoyed, that’s when Marshall encourages him, saying, “Don’t worry. It comes around again.”

Isn’t that the truth?!

Even on days that come with hair bugs and heat waves and smashed watermelons, it’s not all lost. Our joy, our happiness – they’re not gone forever. Even those terrible, no good, rotten days have cookies or car singing or sunsets or rain showers or a phone call from a friend or a timely Bible verse shared on Facebook.

And even if your day is so bad it doesn’t have even one of those things, you can rest in the knowledge that tomorrow is a new day. And that no matter how bad things get, God is holding you and loving you. Even on the worst days.

Don’t worry. It comes around again. Your joy, some hope, a bit of happiness – it all comes around again.

(Here’s hoping the lice, however, does not come back around – ever again!)

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