Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Gumby & Pokey
Gumby can mean many things: the green little flexible guy, the pizza place on Tennessee Street in Tallahassee, what I think of when I eat licorice. Those are gummy not gumby, but whatever. Lately, I’ve been trying to make Gumby my middle name. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. Here’s a prime example of why gumby-ness rocks:
Last week we got head lice. YAYYYYYYYYYYYY.
One of the girls got it at kindergarten and so the mom and I also ended up with it. People deal with head lice much more calmly here. You don’t really have to do anything besides use the shampoo and boil your hairbrushes. The chemical-free shampoo kills all of the lice and nits in your hair and then you just comb them out later. That’s it. You don’t have to sanitize the whole house and vacuum every cloth item in sight. Kids are also allowed back in school, you just have to let them know they did the lice shampoo.
Soooooooo Gumby right? Clearly lice was not on my list of things I wanted to get while living in Germany. But I did, so I just had to deal with it. Even when I found live ones in my hair the next day and had to do the shampoo again. That time I used the whole bottle. Then I went swimming because that’s what I do and I figured a ton of chlorine flowing through my follicles wouldn’t hurt. Anyways, we made it through the head lice. It also turned in to a kind of nice bonding moment with my host mom as we got up close and personal with each other’s scalps. We didn’t read Twilight aloud like I did with my mom while nit picked my head in high school, but we did have some pleasant conversations.
I remember talking with my host mom at the beginning of my stay about being Jewish. I told her how for me it’s more of a cultural rather than a religious thing. As an American, it can sometimes be hard to find a culture. Apple pie is actually Dutch, and I’m not that into baseball. Rather than eating American food or feeling super YEA ‘MURIKA all the time, I relate more to Jewish culture.
Except I just realized there is American culture beyond that and I am a prime example.
I’m a little uptight. Well actually I’m quite a combination of uptight and zero f*cks given but we’ll stick with the uptight theme for now. I’ve always been aware of that trait, but it never showed itself so well until I started living in another country to take care of someone else’s kids. Here are a few “American Things I Have Trouble Escaping:”
- Even if I know deep down the oldest child walked to school with her friends, how do I know she didn’t get picked up by a stranger if she didn’t tell me goodbye and I didn’t see her leave?!?
- If we are walking/biking to or from school or you want to go on the street to say hi to someone, you better not leave my sight. I mean I know you’ll be fine but if we’re not at home or you’re not at preschool then I need to be able to see you.
- Can we pretty please just lice check every other day just in case because I don’t want more buggies in my hair L
I’m sure family and friends could add more to that list, but we’ll stick with that for now. I’m going to tell myself that the itching belongs to different shampoo and embrace the fact that I am culturally both American and a Jew, and just deal with it. Now, instead of singing B-I-N-G-O as a kids song, I’ll walk around with G-U-M-B-Y as my new mantra.