I am a big fan of the story If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, the children's book in which one action leads to another.
I think there should be a version for grown-ups called If Your Husband Goes Overseas on Business. Here is my version.
If your husband goes to China on business, your daughter will come home with a head full of lice.
If you go to the drug store to purchase a shampoo to remove the lice, there will be only one kit left. You will need two.
If you carefully apply the pesticide, which is supposed to kill anything alive, then spend three hours combing out your daughter's thick, long hair with an inch-wide metal nit comb, you will notice at the end of your grooming session one very alive louse. He will have very alive friends.
If you call your pediatrician in a panic, he will put you on hold.
If your doctor suggests your massage mayonnaise into your daughter's scalp as a homeopathic remedy, you do so only to realize that you have been using Light Mayonnaise instead of Regular Mayonnaise. It is likely lice will enjoy Light Mayonnaise.
If your aunt comes to visit you from New Mexico, you will send her directly to a seedy laundromat with 14 loads of lice-infested bedroom textiles.
If your aunt is at a coin-operated Laundromat, she will not have enough quarters to get the job done.
If she cashes in her remaining bills for coins, she will run out of detergent.
If you are simultaneously doing laundry at home, your washing machine will break.
If your washing machine breaks, the toilet in your master bedroom will sympathize and begin spraying dirty water soaking your carpet and the boards below it.
If you need to soak up funky toilet water, you will realize your aunt has every towel in the house in the back of her car.
If you get the toilet water cleaned up, you will still need to vacuum up the lice.
If you try to vacuum up the lice, you will realize your vacuum is on its last legs and that you are out of clean vacuum bags.
If you spend a whole entire week raking through your child's hair with a painful comb, you will feel guilty and let her play with a chemistry set.
If you let her play with a chemistry set, she will spill every single chemical on the kitchen floor where your baby is crawling.
If you spend an hour cleaning the brick surface on your hands and knees, your mother will helpfully dump your dirty mop water into the downstairs toilet.
If she pours the sludge down the toilet, several rags will go down with it and clog the pipes causing the potty to overflow onto your clean floors.
If you find yourself covered in toilet water, lice shampoo, mayonnaise and dead bugs your husband will call from China and tell you he's having a wonderful time at the World's Fair.
If, after a week, you finally get your child cleaned up and the house deloused, you will get an e-mail from a first grade teacher informing you that Friday is Hat Day.
If it's hat day in First Grade, your child will provide a habitat for a new crop of lice.
Julie Blair is a freelance journalist who lives with her husband and three children in the Dallas area. Her house is now infested with small, green lizards.