You’re nobody till NITbody loves you

Ten months of pregnancy.  Labour.  Sleep deprivation.  Tantrums in public.  You think you’ve pretty much conquered it all as a mum.  Until your daughter gets NITS.

Can’t see for looking.

‘Stop scratching your head,’ I said to Beaver.  For about a week before we found THEM.

‘But it’s itchy!’

‘There’s NOTHING there!’ I insisted.  Time and time again.

I did look.  Honest.

This never happened in Neighbours.

I never did find them.

No.  My neighbour did.  After she took Beaver to school one morning.

‘I hope this doesn’t push you over the edge,’ she said as she handed me a bottle of Hedrin.  ‘Beaver’s got nits.’

What happened to popping round to borrow a cup of sugar?

Winning the lottery.  Or not.

‘Can we go for ice cream?’ asked Beaver when I collected her from school.

‘Not today,’ I said.

‘Why not?’ she persisted.

‘Because…’ and I whispered very quietly into her ear, ‘you’ve got nits and we need to go home and wash them out.’

‘POPPY!’ Beaver yelled gleefully across the busy heath.  ‘I’VE GOT NITS!’

And that was mistake no. 2.

So this is foreplay?

Friday nights lost their vigour in our house a long time ago.  But even we have standards.

And it occurred to me, as I shampooed Daddy Pig’s hair with nit shampoo that they never mentioned this in the wedding vows.  ‘For better for worse, in sickness and health, including nit infestations.’  I’m going to have a word.

On the upside, it may have been the most physical contact Daddy Pig and I have had in months.

Saucy.

Nitty Nora, where art thou?

Nits.  They’re stubborn little blighters.

Because after two treatments and a lot of combing they were still there.  Partying in the parting, shaking their booties and pretty much giving me the finger.

They wouldn’t have been so brazen with Nitty Nora, the hard-ass nit nurse when I was at school.

Of that much, I’m sure.

‘One’ has nits.  Ahem.

In a moment of desperation and remembering the nit crisis in I don’t know how she does it, I turned to Dr. Google.  For a hairdresser who specialises in nits.

And I found one.  The Hairforce Lice Assassins.  In exclusive, posh Primrose Hill of all places.

I mean, do they even get nits in Primrose Hill?

I would have thought not.

The cull.

Eventually, OCD took over.  It was the only way.

And I spent two hours picking them out.  The parents.  Their unborn offspring.  And yet to be conceived grandchildren.  Every single flipping one.

‘All you have to do is leave one or two eggs and they’ll just start all over again,’ my friend’s words rang in my ear.

Randy little parasites.

Not in my backyard, you don’t, thank you very much.

A Croydon facelift.

And I’m happy to say that finally we are nit-free (and have been for several weeks.  Before you start crossing the road).

I hope to stay that way.  So now I plait Beaver’s hair within an inch of its life.  So tightly in fact, that some days she looks like she’s had botox.

Or is in a permanent state of shock.

I still might be.

I would just like to say the nit epidemic was already in full force when Beaver got struck down.  That it’s a complete myth that nits DO or DON’T like clean hair, as far as I can see any head’s a mating ground.  Share your stories here (anonymously if you like).  Then come and like Surviving Life and Motherhood for a good old scratch.

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