Battle of the Moms

It’s been a while since I last wrote here, which is a good thing since I tend to write when I’m upset about something. Well, this time I am upset about something, and yes, it is kid related but it’s not my kids who upset me. It’s the mother of my kid’s best friend. Thus, the “battle of the moms”.

I did a search online prior to writing, just to get some popular culture knowledge about this issue. But I didn’t find any related to what I thought of so I’ve decided to write about it. Many articles and blog posts online on battle of the mothers are about working vs. stay-at-home mothers. However, in my case, and in the wonderings I’ve come to, this is not the main issue. It is just simply the “battle” of the moms.

So to give a little context, here is the story in an unabridged form.

My daughter went to her best friend’s house right after school to have a play date. We planned this out a week ago. These two girls are inseparable. It’s sweet, but I do wish my daughter has other friends she can also spend bonding time with. However, that is another story. One and half hour into this play date, I got a text message from my kid’s best friend’s mother, saying that she found nits (for those who don’t know, these are eggs of lice) in my kid’s hair and requested I pick her up right away. She didn’t want it to spread as it’s “contagious”. True, it is contagious. So I went to pick up my daughter who was waiting outside on the porch when I arrived. The mother and I exchanged some comments about the situation. She felt that it can’t be dandruff as it’s close to the scalp and not blowing away. I let her know I did comb her hair everyday or close to, for a long period, and washed her sheets. No, I didn’t find any lice on my hair. Nor did I find any more lice in my kid’s hair for past couple of times I combed it through. But the mother was insistent that it must’ve been nits and she really didn’t want it to spread. I told her I’ll check again.

On way home, I comforted my daughter, who was looking a bit tearful. Poor girl, being blamed for something that is not her fault. I told her it wasn’t her fault. Lice are going to be lice. There are hundreds of students in her school and she had been in summer camps too, where there were thousands of students. Even if we had gotten rid of them, those tenacious things would still have come back around somehow from somebody else. It’s a fact of childhood. It is every mother’s nightmare, but so is baby poop flying onto your shirt during diaper change, or children accusing you of hitting them (when all you did was accidently bump into them while rushing) in the middle of the mall, or kids screaming that the mom is mean and selfish because she asked the child to go to a longstanding after-school activity when that same mom has let the kids play on their iPads the whole unstructured period at home on daily basis (I’m ashamed to say how many hours I let them).

First, I resent that my kid was blamed for this. It could very well be her own daughter that had spread lice to my kid, not the other way around. Second, I looked at the top of my kid’s hair right after I picked my kid up. All I saw was dandruff – plenty of it. She always had a dandruff problem, just as I do and my husband does. It’s probably genetic. And dandruff isn’t contagious. And it’s not about hygiene. It’s just a skin issue.

Third, why the heck was that mother going through my daughter’s hair? It’s kind of rude to be touching another person’s child, even if she wanted to make sure it’s “safe” for her kid. FYI. Lice have no health problems other than annoyance to the people who have it and the irritating itch that comes with it. But they don’t spread any kind of parasite or diseases that humans can contract. Never in the history of mankind has there been disease or parasite contracted through lice. But, back to the point of what gave her the right to touch my kid’s head?!

I’m sorry she is having an infant she has to take care of, and that’s probably why she feels overwhelmed about something so minor, but it doesn’t give the mother the right to touch my child or ostracize my daughter and banish her from the play date. I’m a very diplomatic person and generally, I admit it, I’m a pushover. But today, I felt the injustice, and I saw my daughter’s sad face, and I just had to stand up to that mom in the way I knew how. And I told my daughter just that. Yes, we will do our due diligence and check. But I told her she had nothing to be sorry about.

I can be on the fence about many issues, as I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to most people. But when it comes to my child’s self esteem, I vehemently protect it. I would not stand for any one shaming my child, particularly of her own body. She has a beautiful body. It’s given to her by her parents (and if you believe in God, given to her by God) or the universe. It is the ultimate personal boundary of a human being – one’s body, one’s skin, one’s physique. Nobody should shame this ultimate personal emobodiment. Nobody. Not even my daughter’s best friend’s mother. Especially my daughter’s best friend’s mother!

This mild conflict (no cursing or arguments other than the polite exchange of opinions occurred) made me think about the “battles of the moms”. What other instances have mothers got into “battles” over their kids’ issues? I will like to hear from other mothers.

As an end note, I want to share an experience. As I was combing through my daughter’s hair, reaffirming that she is not at fault, and that she has been lice free, and it was indeed simply dandruff, my daughter and I started talking about her best friend’s mother. She was worried she’ll never be able to have a play date with her best friend because of this issue, since the mother, despite lack of evidence of any lice, refused to acknowledge my stance that my kid had been lice free. I started to suggest that she could wear hats to play dates with her best friend, or perhaps, to my own ingenuity, she can wear shower caps to play dates. We started laughing.

Sometimes, we can’t take things too serious. Word up, word out, lay low my mothas!




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