The Gift That Keeps On Giving

When I was at school all the visiting District Nurses were called “Nora the Nit Nurse” on account of them having to thoroughly examine your hair, in a non too gentle way, to determine whether you were sporting unwelcome visitors!

I amazingly managed to get through all of my school days becoming playing host to a family of parasites playing table tennis in my bouffant which was mainly due to my mother’s diligent fight with all things unsanitary.

However, when my darling nieces were at primary school they never seemed to be without them. There didn’t seem to be a single evening when my sister wasn’t performing the nightly ritual of combing through some anti-lice treatment. As fast as she seemed to win the battle with the multi-legged army than they seemed to return yet again to fight another war.

Imagine how alarmed we were one Christmas morning to discover that the girls had given us a surprise Christmas present when we were all found to be hosting the Head Lice Olympics, much to the delight of the girls. My mother took charge like an army general and we were all liberally doused with some lice busting hair mousse that made your eyes water.

We were instructed not to open the door to any visitors as we sat down to Christmas Lunch with hair mousse adorning our heads, as my mother didn’t want it to become common knowledge amongst the Womens Institute that we were a nitty family. Sadly that ship had well and truly sailed by the time my eldest niece returned to school to proudly read her “show & tell” essay to the entire class.

Hands up how many of you have been scratching your heads as you read this post!

head lice

58 thoughts on “The Gift That Keeps On Giving

  1. Hahahaha….your last line caught me doing just that!!!!
    😆
    I too managed to avoid the white plague through school, as did my children.
    Imagining sitting through Christmas with them?
    Oh….hell NO!

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  2. Yikes, Dallas! What a tale, and not something most of us enjoy reading over our Sunday coffee! That magnified picture of the lice is pretty scary! I was always so afraid my kids would get head lice but we luckily managed to avoid it during their school days 🙂

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  3. Ooh dear, what a rotten Christmas present. I don’t recollect ever having nits myself although I think I must have done as a child at some point. I do remember my mum combing my hair with a nit comb so presumably that was to get rid of an infestation. Amazingly enough, I didn’t scratch my head reading this because you had me so pleasantly relaxed from the off, thinking about the nit nurse. I used to love having my hair searched for nits, and I still find it very relaxing to have a head massage.

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  4. OMG… Is that what lice look like up close?
    I’ve never hosted them myself, but two of my grandchildren have had them and the whole family was in an uproar!
    I just saw on FB that tree tea oil can be used as a preventative 😉

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  5. My mom used to douse my sister and I, just in case. She was never one for taking chances, so if there was the slightest hint that lice were on the prowl at school, she was quick to take preventative measures. I had long hair, and I remember how sore it was when she used that special comb on it. 😯

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  6. A problems that is really growing in our schools to … never had it, but today it seems like ever kids has it. What a story and you brought a big smile to my world of “homework” (cleaning) … still I wouldn’t like to be in your situation.

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  7. All through grade school I always felt bad for the kid that didn’t come back to class after lice checks. I managed to make it through but got it in high school and again as an adult (thanks to a questionable roommate). I just remember constant feelings of the hibby jibbies the whole time they were there til I could get them completely gone. If you don’t want to use chemicals (they can become resistant if you get them often) you can load your head full of mayo and put a shower cap on for 8 hours. It suffocates them and when all is said and done, you have nice shiny hair!

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  8. We discovered my son had them one Christmas Eve – luckily we made it to the chemist for some treatment before they shut otherwise we’d have had to go the whole Christmas break being itchy and scratchy! By the time my daughter went to school I learned to add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to her hair conditioner and that seemed to keep the little critters at bay. Ah happy days – thank goodness they’re all grown up now!

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  9. You certainly have me scratching like mad! Don’t remember ever having them, but that could be the blessing of a fading memory. I was just recently reading something that talked about lice and bedbugs making a comeback after a spell of nearly being eradicated. I think it had something to do with the buggers getting resistant to the chemicals we use to fight them.

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    • Funnily enough we had the same problem with a flea infestation with one of the cats and despite several trips to the vets and £300 in treatments, they’d seem to build up a resistance to the spot ons so my Dad paid £3 for old fashioned flea powder coated her in it one afternoon so she was white and voila she was cured. Sadly, I don’t think he’d get away with doing that to the kids

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  10. Unfortunately I am well versed with the ins and outs of head lice! My sister got it at school and then I ended up getting it since we sometimes shared the same hairbrush. Most American schools have what they call a 0% no-nit policy which is ridiculous, because do you know how freaking hard it is to get rid of every single nit on a child’s head? The eggs are tiny and impossible to remove from the hair shaft, so you have to yank out the individual hair follicle. My poor mother had to go through both my hair and my sister’s every night. We ended up doing the treatment twice (which we were actually supposed to do but we didn’t read the instructions right oops) and I didn’t tell the school nurse the second time around (she was so mean to me when I first told her). After about four months of this nonsense, my mother brought us to the doctor’s office because she was at her wit’s end. He gave her the all clear and told us we didn’t have to go crazy cleaning our house–most people overreact. He did suggest throwing out all our brushes and getting new ones though which we promptly did!

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  11. I thought I’d gotten through it, until one of the kids brought home uninvited guests. a Girl Scout encampment. It was the beginning of The Year of the Louse. I still shudder at the thought of it.

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  12. yuck yuck YUCK.. I cannot even see more than a single ant or spider without itching uncontrollably and reflexively for a week. If I had lice I would shave my head and bathe in lye because I could never deal with thinking about it. shudder.

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  13. Nice visual, thank you. No scratching for me, I suspect my constant and regular bleaching keeps them away. No life left in my hair. Though I remember living in Germany as a child and being checked regularly, never caught the little beggers but my brother did. My mother shaved his head in spite I think.

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  14. Anyone with long curly hair remembers that special comb. And the tears. Here in Greece, when I was little, one of the methods they used to get rid of them was to douse kids’ heads in petrol. I’m serious. I’ll never forget the poor girl in my class who showed up one day stinking. Needless to say the rest of us were pretty mean to her. I was lucky enough to have an English mum, so no petrol shampoo for me! (I don’t think they do that anymore by the way…!)

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  15. I’m so grossed out!

    Kids just started back to school today and that means lice season is in full swing. Thank GOD!!! my kids are all grown and we don’t have to worry about that again at least until there are grandchildren to contend with. What’s with lice these days anyway? They were a complete rarity when I was growing up. Now it seems everyone has them. I don’t even want to go to the movie or get on a plane or ride the train… they can jump six feet you know and that means none of us are safe. 🙂

    You story reminded me of a woman I knew who was prone to inflating her own importance. She took at job at a high school one year and proudly announced to me that she was the HEAD lice checker. Her emphasis on the word “head” made it very difficult to tell if she was the person in charge of checking students for lice (wow… how very cool is that!) or the head supervisor of a team of lice checkers. I never wanted to ask, but it always gave me a private giggle.

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      • Definitely a woman after my own heart!

        My husband works in the field of Public Health and is always telling me to ‘mind the six foot rule.’ To be honest someone told me lice could jump six feet, but I’m not sure that they really can, but I shouldn’t like to find out. I do know that spittle flies up to six feet when someone sneezes (just in case you were wondering), so watch out!

        I’ve seen the Asians who wear face masks on public transit, and I’ve been sorely tempted todo the same, but I’m still trying to pretend that I’m normal. Of course that’s a futile effort, because I’m still shampooing regularly and that’s gone out of fashion where I live. You know… save the environment and all.

        So glad we had this chat. 🙂

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  16. Laughing aloud at “nitty family’ 😀
    I have had the odd visitor passed on to me when we played guardian to a host of kids from boarding school, up in the hills! Despite scrubbing them down and scouring their hair as soon as they entered!! My head would start itching in anticipation of their arrival 😀

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  17. These damn little buggers are the bane of my existence. My oldest came home from school last week with it. I was horrified! I even bought a little electric comb that promised to electrocute anything it came in contact with. Now I can’t stop picking through my boy’s heads like a monkey.

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