Nits, worms and verrucas…

lice and nits

Where do I start?
I haven’t even mentioned the rats yet, and I can only blame the children for them if I use the guinea pigs as an intermediary.

First – the nits.
I noticed them when we got back from Christmas holidays, and I immediately set to work on Hannah’s head with my trusty Nitty Gritty comb.

I don’t normally recommend products, but this is by far the best nit comb I’ve used, and I’ve tried a few.
a) It doesn’t hurt as much as the plastic ones (I could tell by a drop in the volume of whimpering)
b) It picks up the eggs as well as the crawlers
c) It’s got a great name

So as the basin of water filled with little specks of itchiness, Ben hovered in the background awaiting his turn and taunting his sister –
“Look, there’s another one, you’ve got loads, you’re infested.”

That was at the beginning of January.
It hasn’t escaped my notice that it is now the beginning of February, and we are still not free of the little critters.

At least, we have been free of them a couple of times, but they keep returning.

It makes me want to march into school with a bag of Nitty Gritty combs shouting –

“Will you comb your kids’ hair. Here, take one of these, they work. It involves a minimum of effort. Just once a week and you can save your offspring and mine from scratching – forever.”

But of course I can’t do that. And neither can the teachers. We just have to carry on combing and plaiting and groaning and scratching.

Ben has escaped the latest thrice weekly programme of scraping, presumably because he is always a kick’s length away from his nearest playmate, and his break-time involves no head-to-head exchange of secrets and whispers.

Poor Hannah has born the brunt of it, and she’s fed up of having her hair in plaits every day.

And then there are the worms.

At least we’re not on holiday in France. I once had to mime the condition to a bemused pharmacist in front of a queue of immaculately dressed French people.

Here, the lady in Boots could at least understand the terminology. So that should be sorted – for now.

The verruca was due to be zapped at bedtime – until I read the packaging.

“The freezing procedure will cause a painful, aching or stinging sensation that can take a few hours to fade”
Not an auspicious addition to the bedtime routine.
So that’s been delayed until the morning, if there’s time for an extra task in our daily parade of breakfast duties.

And what of the rats?
I saw one in the garden the other day. I thought I may have imagined it, but then I spotted a nest of holes next to the heating oil tank. They look like rabbit holes, but smaller. The size of rats.

I’ve delegated the problem to Blog Fodder.
He has been to the garden centre in record time and returned triumphant with something called Rat Killer, which “targets and kills rodents humanely” and is “free from poisonous chemicals”.

Presumably it’s not free from chemicals that are poisonous to rats, but perhaps it means we can rest easy when the children go out to dig in the mud.

And how can we possibly blame the children for these uninvited new pets?
Well apparently rats like to set up home near a source of rodent food, and our back garden contains a plentiful supply of abandoned guinea pig chowder, carelessly strewn ‘twixt shed and cage on its way to sustain Phoebe and Sandy.

And why do we have guinea pigs in the garden? Because we have children.

Ergo – the rats are here because of the children.

I rest my case.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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3 Responses to Nits, worms and verrucas…

  1. Iota says:

    I wish I’d been there to see you do that worm mime.

    In America, they call verrucas “plantar warts”. I’m so glad I knew that before I went to ask for a verruca remedy at the pharmacy. “For a verruca” is a mouthful enough, without having to repeat it endlessly and pointlessly. I suppose I would have been reduced to miming.

  2. Oh my. All at once?! Poor you. We usually go in cycles.

    I take it you don’t speak French then? ;-)

  3. Beta Mum says:

    Iota – it was indeed a sight that entertained the other customers.

    AMM – We have finally bumped off the nits and worms. The verruca, alas, will take longer. My French, while adequate for most conversations, is not hot on medical complaints.

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