James Van Der Beek is Dealing With a Parent's Nightmare & All We Can Say is NOPE
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A recent Instagram post from Dawson’s Creek alum James Van Der Beek has us praying, manifesting, and crossing our fingers (and toes, just to be on the safe side) that our family never has to deal with what’s happening at the Van Der Beek household.
The actor shared a photo of his six children — Olivia, 12, Joshua, 11, Annabel, 9, Emilia, 7, Gwendolyn, 4, and Jeremiah, 16 months — who he shares with his wife Kimberly Van Der Beek. The towheaded crew is standing in height order in their backyard, carrying baskets, making us think this is an Easter pic. Adorable, right?
If we had just looked at the photo, we would have scrolled straight past it with a smile on our faces. But having read the caption (why did we read the caption?!), we came to a screeching halt and immediately started scratching our heads.
“It’s all fun & games until someone gets head lice,” the Varsity Blues star wrote.
NOPE. No, no, no! Hard pass on that one. Head lice are an absolute nightmare to deal with on one kid, let alone [presumably] six! While we send our condolences to the Van Der Beek family, we are also brushing up on what to do if we ever come face-to-face (or hair-to-hair?) with the dreaded pest.
We hope you’re just reading this to be generally informed and not because your kid has head lice. Because ICMYI: It’s a pain in the a**. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the sesame-seed-sized bugs are most commonly found in young children and spread through prolonged head-to-head contact. There are misconceptions about who can get head lice, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter how clean or dirty the child’s hair is or their household income. They can still get lice.
Regularly checking for small bugs or eggs (also known as “nits”) in your child’s hair is good practice. If you suspect they might have head lice, consult with their pediatrician. They can give you the nitty-gritty (we had to!) on how to treat it and protect the rest of your family.
Buy A Comb
Your child’s pediatrician can let you know if an over-the-counter remedy is appropriate or if you should use a prescription. Regardless, they will probably tell you to get a special comb to remove the lice and eggs. For under $15, it’s probably best to have one on hand in case you spot some pests or you get the dreaded letter saying someone in your kid’s class has head lice.
Nit Free Terminator$12.75on Amazon.comBuy now
Getting Through It
So what’s keeping the kiddos occupied in between having their hair brushed? Van Der Beek didn’t say, but in Oct. 2021, he told SheKnows that building “fairy houses” is a favorite pastime.
“They gather whatever they can find in nature and then make a little tiny house so if a little loving fairy wishes to come visit they have [a space],” he explained. “They get into it; they make tables and chairs and beds and roofs and they just can be really occupied for quite some time. And they all make their own and they compare and they get ideas and they fight because ‘so-and-so stole my idea for the roof’ and I explain to them that it’s not really stealing, they’re all collaborating. There are a lot of lessons that can come from them, that’s definitely a big one.”
We really hope that some good has come out of the unfortunate infestation … and that some more fairies get homes because of it.
The lice may have made you say, “Eek!” But this will make you say, “Aww!” Van Der Beek also told us that being a father makes him “feel like the luckiest guy.”
“I think a lot of parents have started to reprioritize what it is they want in their life and what is important and what investment in time and energy yields the happiest return,” he said. “I was always very dedicated to my family and made it a priority to spend time with them. But [the pandemic] really just highlighted how much of a priority my family is.”
“Different goals, different brass rings that I had been chasing career-wise, I just realized, ‘Wow, all of that exists to support my family and time with my kids,’” he continued. “This whole shutdown just made it abundantly clear that was what made me happiest. You can take me off set, you can take away all the meetings and all the events and all the premieres, and I was incredibly happy just to have all my kids near me. In the beginning, they all went and grabbed mattresses and sleeping bags and slept in our room, and it was one of my happiest memories. And obviously, there has been tragedy…but there is a real reprioritization that happened with our family, and I think it has happened with a lot of other families, too.”
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