Lice. Was he the carrier or was he the victim? Does my child really have lice or is this a bad joke? Did he start the epidemic or did some horrible brat rub his head on Cedric, maliciously spreading his vile and infectious bugs? Wildly contagious but also wildly psychological - ever since I found out that about the epidemic at school I also find myself scratching-twitching-shaking-and-suffering as I am convinced these creatures are scurrying behind my ears, down my neck, across my back and along my legs.
Private school. 16th arrondissement. Perfectly coiffed women and men float about the neighborhood with pursed lips and mighty pretensions. Yet - based on the impromptu survey I conducted this morning - children with lice in even the snootiest neighborhoods in Paris are as common as children boasting cashmere jumpers and suede loafers. I run into one mother of one of Cedric’s classmates in a café and she shrugs her shoulders while inhaling deeply on her cigarette. “Boof, hmm, Dominica, you no take notice of the advertising for lice treatments in the window display of every pharmacy,” she asks me? She wipes off some imaginary dust from her Birkin, placed ever so surreptitiously on the table, and pauses to say “Birthday present, lovely, no?” She waves her hand in the air dramatically and I wonder how her scrawny-nourished-on-reed-wine-cigarettes-and-chocolate arm can support the weight of so much bling. She then continues to explain that her maid sterilizes the home every few weeks since, god forbid she risks getting lice into her expensive hair extensions.
And I was just worried about an infestation ruining our Ikea sheets - silly me for having my priorities skewed.