Thursday, May 13, 2010
Nits. Lice. Louse. Fecking crawling bloodsucking mites. Call them what you want, but I can guarantee, if you have children that attend day care or school, they will be coming to a familiar scalp nearest you.
The note came home today from Sams school. He’s in grade 2. “Please check your childs head, there’s been an outbreak of nits, blah blah blah, sign and return this to say you’ve checked and treated. Sure. I’ll check, treat, sign and return. But the mothers of the kids who heads are freaking well infested won’t, so it’s kinda pointless. I'm pretty sure this isn't what Elton John had in mind when he sang The Circle of Life.
Nits or lice are simply very small insects that live on the scalp of human beings. Oh and they feed and stay alive by SUCKING BLOOD FROM YOUR SCALP. Did I mention their sole purpose in life is to suck blood from your SKULL?
And when these creatures are having a little nibble, more often than not, preferring young, nubile heads to do so, they make that area incredibly itchy. Hence, the classroom full of head scratching children strikes fear into even the most hardened teacher.
I remember meeting my best friend, in her first year as a teacher for lunch. She was relaying the story of the nit infestation that had taken over her classroom. We were laughing and joking in only the way the unaffected and uninitiated can. Then, from seemingly nowhere, across her forehead, scurried an undeniable nit. My other friend and I both stared and like the children that we were, pointed and taunted. Hideous. Our punishment, it seemed, was due to be doled out some years later in the form of many, many lice infestations of our own.
Nits are nothing new. My mother swore by Pyrenol. I remember sitting as a seven year old, crying in our bathroom with the chemical foam on my head, burning my scalp and stinging my eyes. The only difference now is that we have so many options for treatment available to us.
Here are some of solutions I have tried:
KP24 - The most lethal chemical shit on the planet. I actually thought I had gone blind in one eye once, when using this stuff. Yes, that does mean that the dirty little mites have taken over my head from time to time. Imagine my joy when this happens. Trying to eliminate a thousand of the revolting little fucks from the most curly, knotty and wiry long hair on the planet.
Conditioner and Comb – To be honest, this appears to be the most effective way. Put mountains of generic conditioner into the hair which stuns the little buggers, brush and then get a good nit comb and section by section, comb and wipe on a tissue. When you get a live one, squish it between your fingernails. It may be just me, but that “pop” when you squash them is oddly satisfying. As is the hunt. When things were really bad, this was my daughter and I’s only time together.
Vegetable Oil through hair - I’ve never actually tried this as I am a bit dubious. Sure, it may well work, but being a walking greaseball is about as preferable as being a walking lice hatchery.
Electronic Nit comb – So, in absolute desperation, I decided something that is seventy bucks has GOT to work right? Wrong. All it did was give the kids electric shocks and kill a handful of nits.
Variety of “natural” non chemical solutions. – These are obviously genetically modified nits, the natural stuff was freaking useless.
Teatree oil/Lavender/Eucalyptus and Conditioner spray – I made this concoction myself. Crafty hey? And you know what, it works. I just have to be super vigilant about using it on my kids heads every single day. And it’s kind of like a beacon screaming “Hey look at me classmates, Nits hate my guts, not that I’ve ever had them or anything!” Maddie seriously hates it. UPDATE: I have been alerted to the fact that "Lavender oil has recently been implicated in gynecomastia, the abnormal development of breasts in young boys" So I suggest you don't use this method. I won't be now :(
And to be honest, she was the worst. I swear to god, late last year I reckon I could count the empty sacks at the base of her skull in the hundreds. Empty, meaning the rampant fuckers had at some stage walked her head and sucked her young blood. Twilight has nothing on my kid.
But this year, since Christmas 2009, she hasn’t had any. So that is nearly 6 months of being given the all clear. Too good to be true or just the age where it they miraculously disappear?
After finding only a few empty sacks on Sams head, I can only conclude, he’s a breeder. He simply incubates, hatches and then passes the special gifts onto his classmates. He’s such a giver.
Best go mix a batch of my special potion methinks.
I’ll leave you with this lovely quote from @thinkthinkers on Twitter “Often if I find the nursery is in one child's hair, the nightclub is in the others. #nits"