Back to school means back to bugs. And I’m not just talking about viruses — although those are certainly set to increase exponentially now that my kids are back in the petri dish of preschool; I’m talking about lice. Even typing the word grosses me out. Remember when they would pass out those black plastic combs at school and the teachers made everyone brush their hair? (Those days were traumatic for me since I have tangle-prone hair and the comb always got stuck.) But now I realize the comb wasn’t a gift, like I always thought. It was a preventative measure. It wasn’t generosity on the part of the public school system or concern for the quality of our dos —it was a lice check. That’s right — they were searching for parasites in our scalps. My kids’ school does lice checks once a week and in a manner even more subtle than the free comb day — and much like free comb day, it took me a while to get it. Mondays my girls come home with the cutest hairdos—adorable, little updos where the teachers have lovingly parted and brushed their hair, and then put it up in a variety of cute ponytails, twists, braids or buns. My usually unkempt kids, who at their best boast crooked pigtails to contain their endless tangles (they’ve got my hair), come home from school looking like the kind of children that populate Gap catalogs — scrubbed, apple-cheeked cherubs. Okay, maybe not so scrubbed since there’s usually still dirt all over their faces, but at least their hair looks like it hasn’t been through a lawn mower. It looks nice. And for a long time, I didn’t wonder why — I just assumed it was a beloved teacher bestowing some special attention. It isn’t. It’s a lice check. The best way to look for nits — and to get the kids to sit through the nit pick — is to play beauty parlor and give them cute dos. I found this out not from the teachers but from my oldest daughter who brought me a hairbrush and a bag of hair bands and begged me to look for bugs in her hair. “You want me to do what?” I asked. Gross. I gave her some crooked ponytails without looking too close at her head. They can get nit picky with it at school. Our song pick of the day to deal with any bug woes:“Don’t Panic” from Lullaby Renditions of Coldplay. Click link to listen to it on Spotify and buy your own copy of the album HERE.