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Feeling lousy

on April 16, 2012

I was at my parent’s at the weekend and I happened to mention that the boy had some scratches on his tummy and one behind his ear which he’d obviously done himself during the night. My Mum jokingly asked if I’d checked him recently for headlice (we’ve never had them in our house before) so I half-heartedly pushed my fingers through his hair, peered closer and couldn’t quite believe what I was looking at. What at first appeared to be two tiny black-fly sized bits of fluff were actually filthy carnivorous insects nonchalantly sucking the blood from my first born son! I nearly died. I quickly checked the girl’s hair and saw nothing at all but, taking to her with a nit comb, a bowl of water and some tea tree conditioner soon revealed that she was just as riddled with parasitic nasties as her brother. One trip to the chemist, £6 down (2 x lyclear treatments) and 30 minutes later, I finally announced the house a louse free zone.

As I see it, the issue with headlice is threefold; they’re uncomfortable, they’re easily transmitted and they’re ubiquitous in school age children. Just the subject makes most people’s skin crawl and just writing about it makes me itch. *rakes fingernails through scalp in earnest* It’s rather like somebody mentioning pelvic floor muscles within a group and every woman present starts to clench and relax in unanimous response to the subject issue.

What makes me so mortified however, is that if it wasn’t for a chance comment made by my Mum, I wouldn’t have checked the kids’ heads. I never saw them scratching and I couldn’t see them in my daughter’s hair even when I looked closely. I would have blithely sent her back to school this morning and tutted along with the other mothers at the school gates when it was announced in Friday’s newsletter that headlice were doing the rounds again! I would have listened to the usual comments; “Why don’t parents check their children for goodness’ sake? Surely they can see them scratching” etc etc and I would have nodded gravely and agreed that yes, some people just really didn’t seem to bother much with their children. Thank goodness for loving, caring and attentive parents like me. Oh the shame!

So, just in case you’ve never been lucky enough to have dealings with these horrible little crawlies, just bear in mind you probably won’t see much without a nit comb and a bowl of water. The good news is, they only take minutes to shampoo out. And now I’ve dealt with the problem once, I’ll have more of an idea what to look out for next time which is handy because I’m pretty sure there’s going to be one. And if the parents at the school gates are as oblivious as me, it’ll probably be fairly soon.

Happy hunting Mums and Dads!

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