MM's post from last week about the dreaded head lice really made me cringe. It brought back one of my defining moments of shame...
Like most kids Firstborn and the Small(er) One have had their fair share of infestations which, of course, means I've had the pleasure of sharing their unwanted visitors. But while a dose of that hideous-smelling lice-killing shampoo works a treat on the kids, I'm not so fortunate (and Alpha, annoyingly, always gets off scot-free...).
You see, I may hate head lice but they adore me. My hair, which is curly, abundant and usually slightly tangled, is Nirvana for any kind of creepy-crawly. They are determined to cling to this hairy paradise and no amount of chemical warfare can vanquish them. You can almost admire their tenacity except, like any tiresome kind of houseguest, they simply won't take the hint. After all, if your host or hostess tried to murder you repeatedly, surely you'd be packing your case in one hell of a hurry?
So the head lice and I co-existed for a few days while I washed my locks in every type of poison on the market every night and spent hours trying to comb the suckers out, all in vain.
I still had to show up to work, since offices populated by childless people are rarely accepting of the excuse "Can't come to work today, I've got head lice". The hideous moment came during a meeting when the near-constant itch could no longer be ignored. I gave the back of my head a good scratching only to dislodge a particularly large louse onto the white boardroom table. I watched in fascinated horror as its ran for its life, vanishing up my boss' sleeve.
Whatever. The odd thing is that the head lice moved out en-masse from that moment. Either the chemical cocktail finally took effect, or they felt my shame.