Call me a wimp. Go on. You would be correct. My hand is up, I admit it. I have a phobia of birth, cockroaches and er... nits.
It all began in the Xmas of 1982. I was playing around with an empty cardboard container that had previously held a tray of chocolates - it being a selection box and all; but having chomped through every bar already (and it was only Boxing Day) and clearly bored with whatever Santa had brought, I was reduced to filling in all the puzzles on the back. Scratch. Scratch. God my head wouldn't stop itching! I carried on playing and mentioned to my Granny that my head was itchy. Mym Mum was out at some party or other and when she returned it was late - past my bedtime. She took one look at my itchy scalp and screamed. Then she raced to my friend Mandy's house and grabbed the de-lousing stuff and then combed through my hair until my scalp bled.
Day two in the nits house. My Granny believed that the way to kill all lice and their pesky eggs that glued onto each hair - was to comb through one's hair with vinegar. Yes goold old fashioned vinegar. I was 9 years old, smelling like a chip shop. Every day my already knotty hair would be yanked and tugged, my scalp searched and scraped and my ahir washed and combed and washed and combed. It took a week to see them off. The longest week of my kid life.
Since then the mere mention of the blighters has sent a shiver down my spine. I remember in my teens a goth girl at my school claimed to have them - and said she wouldn't kill them, being a vegetarian and all. I ran straight out and bought the treatment and used it for a week - just because she shared one class with me.
Now I'm a Mum and every other week my phone beeps and I think 'great - a text, exciting, who from?' And it is the school saying there is another nit infestation, or maybe one kid in year four has them - and I love the school for their nit phobia, which is nearly as rampant as mine, but my god it terrifies me. So I bought this spray that is meant to discourage the buggers from jumping into my son's hair - and every day I spray it on like he is Samson and I am tending his locks. I also check his head every night in the bath. Crazy? You bet I am. So far - touching wood - we haven't had a visit from the head bastards. I am even grateful that my daughter has virtually no hair at 17 months - and am considering a buzz cut for her through school so she never gets them. I'm joking! Maybe....
Every time Sproglet goes to a party or on a playdate I sweat slightly when he has returned until I check his head. Husband laughs as every morning I hoist Sproglet back to the bathroom to get his 'bug spray' on. Husband shakes his head at me. A head that has never known nits - a head that has never felt the wrath of the comb, the smell of the lotions, the sting of vinegar. As I return to work tomorrow for 4 months yes, my truckload of chicken arrived - and for those that don't understand this meaning see my blog circa July 2010 to get it) - I pray that Sproglet remains nit free - even though it is Daddy Daycare for the next 3 weeks, until he (fingers crossed) starts his new job.
And for the record, I've never liked selection boxes since.