We have unwelcome visitors at Divorce Towers. Many, many, unwelcome visitors, and not just the iffy aunts and other assorted annoying relatives that homes sometimes become infested with at this time of year. No, it is a more ticklish, if not to say fiendishly itchy, problem. Readers of a squeamish nature may wish to look away now:
This is just one of about 4 million little stowaways which Child Two brought home from school some weeks – yes, weeks – ago.
When, in September, a PR approached me offering something called Hedrin, I was terribly sniffy. My girls had not had lice since they were very small, at a slightly rough-and-tumble Belgian school, perfecting their French accents but, alas, picking up a bit of the local wildlife along the way.
We hadn’t had so much as a hint of an itch since we came back to the UK three years ago. So, when Child Two first started to scratch her head, it didn’t even occur to me that we might have a Lice Problem. She was in the secondary school now, after all – so much less opportunity to bump heads over the picture books or swap woolly hats at break time. Now, of course, she wouldn’t be seen dead in a hat and she and her friends, while not distant, are not living in each other’s pockets any more like toddlers.
So, for a while, I was in denial about the whole idea of headlice. It was an allergy. It was that strange tea tree shampoo. It was the sticky September weather. It was …. arrrrrrrg! Blimmin, blimmin headlice.
Since the day when I finally admitted the truth to myself, we have got through bottles and bottles of conditioner, I have spent hours combing obsessively through her locks, and I have washed towels and bedding to the extent that the tumble drier has given up the ghost – and, as I was whining saying the other day, I only bought it in September.
Anyway, I think we are now more or less on top of things. Yes, I am feeling a little frazzled. But, when Jennifer Howze of Alpha Mummy Twittered about lice this morning, I felt quite proud that I was completely au fait with modern methods of irradication. Jennifer was suggesting mixing vodka with the conditioner. If I were her, I would definitely keep the vodka to drink later. There’s nothing like fishing insects out of the locks of your nearest and dearest to make you crave, nay, neeeeed a stiff drink. And, whatever you do, do not read Horrid Henry’s Nits. Oh yes, it’s fiendishly funny – but you’ll never stop scratching, nits or not.
After all my extremely painstaking research, I can thoroughly recommend the NitFree comb and Hedrin in combination. Beware, though, the Hedrin is nigh on impossible to get off once it’s on. I had to sit in my car one day at school pick-up time as it looked as though I’d bathed my head in a vat of chip fat, ladling an extra glug of gloop behind each ear for luck. Soooooo not a good look in Dulwich, darlings.
Oh, and if that nice PR is reading, sorry about my earlier sniffiness. I’ve seen the error of my ways. And, if you could send me a crate or two of Hedrin just in case, that would be very nice.