Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Just when you think it’s safe to raise your head above the parental parapet, the Gods of Motherhood catapult another cowpat at you.
This week, dear reader, it’s nits.
I spied my daughter surreptitiously scratching whilst she was watching telly. Our eyes met. Mine narrowed.
“Have you got nits, Arabella?” I got up slowly, like a lion in the Serengeti approaching its prey. “You’re scratching…”
Arabella, who is not daft, leapt up and started backing away like a particularly itchy gazelle. “Er no, no scratching. Me, scratching? Not me Mummy….” She looked wildly at the sitting room door, immediately clocking the baby walker that blocked her escape.
I bared my teeth in a parody of a smile. “It’s alright” I purr, “I’m not going to hurt you.”
For a moment, I was sure I saw her consider the window and then suddenly, she darted to the left. I launched myself across the pine trunk that serves as my coffee table and in - (what is in my mind) Matrix style slow motion - soared across the room, grabbing only thin air and howled in frustration as Arabella hurdled the baby walker and scurried upstairs quicker than I could yell ‘nit comb’.
The problem is, that not only does Arabella loathe having her hair brushed, she has correctly cottoned on to the fact that I rather enjoy nit-combing. In fact I love it.
I never understood the draw of fishing. Sitting there by the side of a canal, waiting and waiting until finally you pull something out that’s not only ugly but inedible. But oh! That was before I discovered nit-combing.
The pure unadulterated pleasure you get when you snare one of the little buggers and gleefully deposit it into a jug to face its watery death! The joy when you get a Really Big Louse. A Mummy Louse. The One that Keeps Laying Dratted Eggs. The delight when you get a crop of lice, all in one comb sweep. (What is the collective noun for head lice? Answers on a postcard. I’d suggest an itch of lice but feel free to suggest your own below.)
No, poor old Arabella (wise beyond her six-years) knows full well what the next week will entail. Endless baths with her hair drenched in conditioner whilst her mummy, humming in a slightly manic fashion, drags a nit comb across her scalp, yelping in merriment each time she finds a bug.
I’m thinking of providing myself with a thermos flask of metallic tasting coffee and a round of beef-paste sandwiches to complete the experience. Hey – it’s cheaper than a rod and licence and far better than therapy.
The only problem is... er...
I'm not scratching. Promise.
Posted by Charlotte Castle at 03:41