Nits have reinvaded our household after a twelve week absence.
Three whole months of good-natured bath times and fear-free trips to the hairdresser.
I wouldn’t mind, I’m pretty adept with a nit comb and a bottle of conditioner, except that my daughter metamorphoses into the Bride of Frankenstein as soon as I come near her.
She covers her head with her hands and screams, a ritual she has been repeating pretty much, week in, week out since she was three years old (she’s now eight).
I have tried everything. Doing it in front of a movie, doing it when her friends are there and mostly slapping myself around a bit beforehand and trying to channel Julie Andrews rather than Glenn Close.
It almost always descends into chaos with me giving up, job half done or slumping into a glass of wine later on, saying ‘I’m no good at this.’
The way I see it we have two options. Either we leave her to slowly infest the whole of Great Britain or we shave her head like Audrey Hepburn in a Nun’s Story. (Give me the clippers, I’ll do it myself.)
I find myself thinking enviously about those three mothers who invented the Nitty Gritty comb. Guess they’re warming themselves in the Caribbean sun right now, sipping Rum Punch while their nit-free children gambol on the shore line.
They may have come up with a product that every mother in the land has bought but, frankly, I want my money back.
Wielding the metal-toothed Nitty Gritty comb is like pulling out a machete in our household. ‘No, not the NittyGritty,’ they scream, cowering into the furthest corner of the bath.
Even the two year old says this and he’s only just learning to talk.
In fact, now I come to think of it, I think nits might have been his first word.
All you have to do is pick up a bottle of conditioner for him to trot out ‘NITS’ like a performing monkey.
In the States delousing salons are becoming commonplace. American moms are falling over themselves to pay two hundred dollars or more, so they can sit back and read a magazine while someone else does all the hard work.
How my friends and I have laughed at this utter foolishness.
Ho, ho, ho, we chortled, how lazy, how extravagant, how unmotherly.
I’m not laughing now.
I’m seeing a unique business opportunity which I would like someone else to take up, preferably in North Dorset.
A hundred pounds to denit the West Country’s answer to Verucca Salt? It seems like a snip at the price.