Tag Archives: lice

kNit wit

Zeph is pretty downcast. He’s had a bad day at school. There’s been nit talk in the playground and he’s cheerfully said that he has nits and has become a  pariah. Poor Zeph. Actually he doesn’t have nits because I quickly drycomb his head most evenings. To catch the lice which seem inevitable after a day at school and prevent them spreading. So it seems my diligence makes him feel like he always has nits. Which in fact he pretty much never has.

I feel heartsore and as if it ‘s all my fault. It doesn’t help that the most outraged and offended small person is one of his bestest friends. At bedtime he cries because she has told him to stay away from her and he thinks they’ll never be friends again. I remind him of the gazillion times they fall out, flounce around and are unbelievably dramatic and then make up the next second. ” She told everyone to stay away from me!” he wails. I feel dreadfully guilty.

My mum ran a playgroup and mother & toddler group in the mornings and a drop in centre in the afternoons when my sister and I were at primary school. The result was we pretty much always had lice. I was always taught that it’s nothing to be ashamed of, easily treated and an inevitable part of schooldays. A quick poll around mummy friends confirm they all regularly comb and treat as well. Some of them are at “nice” schools. You know what I mean, a lower proportion of free school dinners and more ballet lessons. Their lice may be more cultured and score higher in league tables but they certainly are still ever-present.

I’ve been dry combing Z’s hair after school most days for the last few years and often find lice. He doesn’t usually get nits. I’ve assumed this is because I’m kind of on top of it. We always describe it as looking for nits or baboon time and joke about it lightheartedly. I’ve kind of welcomed it as quiet talking time.

So when they start talking about it at school he launches into his jokey routine. He was casually unbothered and has, as a result, found himself shunned. It’s more painful for me because I feel like it’s my fault and because if everyone checked heads more regularly maybe I’d find less lice.

I wail to Steve – “he’s the cootie kid! – what if he’s a social outcast from now on!” “he’s not you Laura, it’ll all be fine on Monday”

True, but I remember the ongoing misery at junior school because of my jumble sale clothes and weird hippie lunches. The constant fear that someone would find out we didn’t have a TV. The tyranny of flea-darts. I resolve to stop projecting and panicking and serenely assume it’ll be okay.

To please him I treat and comb his hair. Not a single anything. He heaves a massive sigh “they won’t believe me anyway” he says dolefully. I try to combine briskness and sympathy in a get-overself consoling fashion. Not easy to pull off I can tell you.

I had the best time in B&Q and have bags of sharp sand. Whoop! L sensibly delegated the returning to her other half. We had a lovely time idly looking at timber, fuses and paint. Is this middle age?

  I make slab laying plans for Sunday which is supposed to be sunny. That is if tomorrows march goes okay. I’m a lot more worried about the coach journey with a toddler to be honest. I joke about packing a gin miniature – “for me!” when I catch the horrified look on my friends face.

I get an email from J – it includes a great picture of her wearing the longest scarf in the world. (I may of given her a slightly too short scarf for christmas, look – I ran out of wool, okay.) On our recent visit she teased me gently and I resolved to knit this:

As I stuffed it into a jiffy bag I did think it was possibly a leeetle narrow….Luckily she’s decided to humour me and pronounce it the perfect spring scarf. Aha!

Todays best BT’s come from the riotous hour in the swimming pool after school. Ida is convinced she can swim independently, “let go, let go!” she demands, thrashing wildly. I don’t today but think it won’t be long.

Sunday statistics

How many languages can we, lucky denizens of this house, say poo in?


Metres of wonky heart-shaped bunting sewn for party?

About ten.

Crosswords done?

Two…well one and a half – do other people really ever finish the cryptic ones?

Number of times I have held the door open  for meowing cat only for her to turn her nose up at windy drizzly day and back hurriedly away from the fresh air?


Instances of me howling, ” GET ON!”  to an eight year old boy staring at the ceiling, pencil in his hand?


Damn lice combed out of hair?


BT’s today? Million billion trillion. Must be an upsurge in the drugs. I have been absurdly happy and content with all . My surroundings are as chaotic and mouldy as usual but today they seem cosy and cheerfully shambolic. Proof, as if I needed it, “the most effective change begins in you”. And on that Stroudesque non sequitur I leave you dears ones.

capsule wardrobe

Today I have mostly been…. hmm.. well lots of things – I made some little leek quichey tart things for the family party on Saturday. I feel relatively chuffed with this as I made the pastry successfully – I’d like to share my tip that made it MUCH easier – I chopped the butter into the bowl – added double the weight of plain flour then put it all (not just the butter which I have tried before but the whole lot) in the freezer with a glass of water and then went to do something else for a bit. It all went together beautifully when I came back to rub together then mixed with the chilled water (and I left it to rest for the prescribed half an hour – a step I often try to miss out)  – so ha to my Mum who always says hothands and shakes her head. Ha – double ha! It’s not that I never manage to make  pastry it’s just that it usually tastes like cardboard. Not good. This lot is all flaky, short and lovely lightness! whoop.

The thing I went to do whilst the flour etc was getting cold, which I didn’t mention midst cooking tip chat in case it put you off, was delouse my daughter. Anyone with kids will recognise the inevitable drudgery of nit combing. I used to be seriously repelled by the louse – due mostly to the massively magnified picture of a flea that used to be in my vet’s reception – urgh  but regular exposure has de sensitised me. I don’t like the highly chemical cures either so it’s all down to regular combing and probably ineffective essential oils. At least they smell nice… It’s actually quite soothing and has proved to be a good chatting about stuff time with Zeph. I’m six months in remission and last year our regular baboon sessions – his name, not mine and I hasten to add – I don’t eat the lice… were often the times he chose to ask the scary questions that were bothering him. Maybe it’s the intimacy coupled with the fact he’s facing away? I don’t know but it was valuable. Ida has to be bribed to sit still – today it was half an avocado and animal park.

Anyway – whilst combing I was thinking about the uniform project   which I think is a really interesting and commendable endeavor but led to me musing about my clothes and whether I could do it and realising that I only own around 10 pieces of clothing as it is. It’s true – excluding underwear and socks (actually, usually I steal Zephs’ socks…)

Jeans – really shocking state – bought in last years sale and already worn and patched

New Jeans – bought in this yrs sale for £5 – and I don’t like them – they’re a weird shape and an odd colour – I’m going to dye them.

pyjamas – bought these when heavily pregnant with Ida – thought I’d better have something for hospital.. and I include these in clothes because I occasionally wear the trousers (black) in emergencies and in recent snow – under my jeans.

black top x2 – it’s a bit tunic -y, I liked it so bought two and

same top in brown

Strange indigo cotton dress thing – I wear this over jeans although recently I did wear it to a wedding over tights. I bought the biggest fat girl tights I could find as I hate them constantly falling/rolling down. Unfortunately stupid tight making people think all large ladies are also enormously tall and they were not particularly wide but very long. My sister, irritated by my constantly hiking up sent me to the toilets to sort them out and I had to pull them up and tuck them into my bra which goes towards showing how ludicrously long they were. ggrrr

A cardigan – which I mostly wear as a light coat

A coat which is bright red and I love it –  and a decent raincoat which I finally invested in this year. Good timing as we had a pretty rainy camping trip.

a pair of black sweatpants type trousers – pretty wrecked and quite paint splattered.

Yep that’s it – I do also have a few – too small/old/truly battered other tops that I don’t/can’t wear but haven’t got rid of and a swimming costume – does that count?

So twelvish if you count them all. A pretty poor showing. It’s partly since stopping work I don’t need decent respectable clothes,partly because I’m a large (humongous!) size shopping is pricy and not that much fun/, partly because I’m naturally slatternly and partly because there’s always something more pressing to spend the money on.

Hmmm – never mind sewing something for the kids, better get stitching for myself.

Haven’t even started on how in awe I am of the amazing things some people do with their lives to help other…and how inadequate it makes me feel. I’ll save that lot for another day eh?

Oh – I do have an abundance of scarves. All lovely ones as well so can accessorize with the very best of them. 

And on another positive note to end – I’ve worked out how to put a link into my post. Off  now to work on world peace.