If you thought a normal case of nits was bad enough, look out for the new and improved mutant version. Apparently these new mutant head lice are immune to all commercially available treatments.
Quite frankly, I wonder if any of the treatments ever did work anyway. Or if each scare is just a new reason for a ‘new and improved’ $25 bottle of pumped up conditioner promising to quickly and easily suffocate the dirty little buggers.
Our family has certainly had its share of nit infestations over the years (scratching yet?) The first to bring them into the house was the youngest. Not having seen them in my adult life I was totally grossed out. It was as if she’d passed through an ageing milestone that I just wasn’t ready for.
The nits LOVED her.
Some kids are just like that, so I’m told. Still, I was mortified, like she’d become a walking testament to neglectful parenting, my neglectful parenting. Of course she had nits because I’m a working mum and I didn’t notice the early signs.
Eventually I snapped into a more sane version of reality which takes into account the fact that nits just love kids. And as long as kids hang in packs the nits will be enjoying a festival of nesting potential.
Short of pretending to take on reading groups at school whilst secretly sneaking up behind each and every child and spraying tea tree oil on their little scalps there’s nothing you can do about it. No matter how clean you are.
And if you’re lucky, really lucky you’ll get yourself a special treat as well. (this is where hair straighteners are truly worth their weight in gold).
After the initial grossness it didn’t take long for me to feel comfortable in the company of nits. What was initially a gloved up nose screwed dousing with treatment and comb through, graduated to a swift pinch, pick and squash. I even came to love that noise of the eggs popping between my nails.
Gross you think?
Well after a while it’s just like that.
In fact, when the infestation is in full swing nit removal merges into family bonding time. A time of closeness offering opportunity for catching up, conversations and learning about one another’s patience levels. Well, you may as well see the positive in in.
And then there are the family memories…
I still recall a particularly nasty invasion which were more like little ponies than regular run of the mill nits. I calmly said to Ms Tween (then about 4) – “Oh my, they are big this time”
“Yeah, I know mum” she said totally tired of the jaunt “they are big fat bitches”
My ears didn’t want to hear it. Not about nits, not about anything. I told her our dog was a bitch and it probably wasn’t the best word to use
“yeah I know she’s a bitch” she told me “she chewed up my swing”
And there are other fond memory of being totally sick of it and shaving our youngest daughter’s hair off. Well, my husband did the deed while the other two kids and I skulked around the corner and cried. In any case, she took to it well, started wearing doc. boots and asked me to read her “little red right hook”. Oh yes, it’s true.
Talk to any parent with kids in a school that doesn’t have a well enforced “NO SCHOOL” nit policy (yes, they do exist) and you’ll hear stories about trying to remain chemical free, testing every damn thing on the supermarket shelf, giving up and buying the most toxic concoction available, pulling back and slathering on the mayo or conditioner and then just letting the damn things build infrastructure.
Nits are a nightmare. But, it appears (touch wood) they do grow out of it.
And hey, it could always be worse.
Got to sign out now, itchy scalp.
Image from http://kewprimaryschool.com/tag/head-lice/