I am so fucking SICK of lice. Sick sick sick sick sick SICK.
Not only do I have very long, very thick hair. I am also ALLERGIC to their FUCKING BITES.
So the children are swanning around, three weeks after returning to school, harbouring communities of the vile creatures (as it turns out) and are showing not the slightest sign of anything at all. But the moment one small insect moves into my hair and starts noshing on my scalp I come out in huge, weeping, bleeding weals that itch like FUCK. They hurt so much it wakes me up in the night.
“One of you children has LICE” I roar and lash out the nit comb and gallons of conditioner. In fact one has both lice and nits in abundance, the other mostly nits.
I change all our bedding and towels and boil wash them because old habits die hard despite the advice on the NHS page:
There is no need to wash clothing, or bedding, if they have come into contact with head lice. This is because head lice quickly die without a host to provide warmth and food.
I go to the chemist and pay vast sums of money (well vast in our circumstances) for some noxious poison, no doubt based on some deadly organophosphate and treat all of us, leave on the lotion for longer than the recommended time, go through each head with the nit comb again. “Die, bastards, die” I chant as I rake the metal teeth of the comb over every square millimeter of scalp.
The children don’t like it. But their suffering is AS NOTHING compared to the FUCKING AGONY I have to endure when undergoing this procedure. The water runs red with the blood seeping from the open sores which have been ripped by the teeth of the comb and further inflamed by being suffused with vile and corrosive chemicals. And my hair’s nearly two feet long.
There are precisely TWO lice in my hair.
So that was three days ago or so. This evening, thinking it was merely an overcautious formality, I got out the bug-busting kit and gave the children the once-over. The first under the comb showed not a even nit. How happy he was. The second adopted the position (head bent low over the side of the bath). And we all stared in disbelief (for this is a communal event) at the vast hordes of lice and nits immobilised in the pools of conditioner combed from his hair.
This, of course, meant that I had to go under the comb again myself. Nada. Zip. Nothing. Just lots of scabs removed from the previously healing wounds.
How can this be? How can we all have exactly the same treatment and it appear to have made not the slightest difference to one of us? Three days isn’t even long enough in the life-cycle of the louse for some mutant poison-resistant nits to have hatched. And besides, all our lovely lice must surely be related and therefore would share any resistant genes that had been handed out. Wouldn’t they?
I’m seriously, very seriously, considering shaving all our heads.