"Have you tried using a GHD?" a fellow school mum asked me over a slice of fairy bread at a children's birthday party over the weekend. Sadly, we weren't discussing how to perfect the latest hairstyles from Aussie Fashion Week.
Nope, as the kids beat a unicorn pinata with a baseball bat, we were deep in conversation about a subject not at all dear to our hearts: nits. Or more specifically, I should say, how to get rid of the persistent little buggers.
My new mate, (we hadn't met until that moment but nothing bonds mums faster than battling lice), told me she'd been at war since late last year - and had tried everything. Somehow (obviously due to our superior parenting practices), we'd both managed to avoid daycare lice infestations - and were #nitlyfe novices.
"Ah nits," said another mum who had popped over to the food table for a cracker and a slice of brie. "I dealt with them twice then just shaved my son's head. Best decision I ever made."
As my new BFF and I swapped tactics and horror stories, (that time I noticed my son's hair was basically alive and breathing; the moment she saw a lice crawl slowly down her daughter's neck,) I told her that treating nits has, in fact, become a weekly tradition of sorts.
"I call it Nitflix and Chill," I said. "It's more nits, less chill if you know what I mean."
And while my son doesn't exactly love it, he's learnt to tolerate it.
Nitflix and Chill goes a little something like this:
- Plonk infested child down on the couch and allow them to choose whatever they want to watch. (I've seen Boss Baby, well bits of it, more times than I care to admit.)
- Set them up with snacks/drinks/loot from the bribery stash.
- Put on Hazmat suit.
Actual footage of me preparing to de-lice my child's head.
- Use treatment of choice - whether it's the chemical solution/bright green shower cap, or the condition and comb method. Sometimes both.
- Drag child away from Boss Baby momentarily to wash chemicals or conditioner out.
- Cope with tears when the conditioner/chemicals get in child's eye.
- Plonk clean-haired child back in front of Nitflix and comb those bad boys out. Every. Single. One.
- Contemplate shaving child's hair.
- Notice that your own hair is starting to feel suspiciously itchy.
- Reassure yourself it's psychological. "It's all in your head, not ON your head."
- Decide you'd probably better just treat yo self too, just to be on the safe side.
- Repeat. Forever.
(My deepest apologies if you've suddenly got an itchy scalp. If it's any consolation, I'm scratching away as I write.)
Good times, am I right?
Nitflix and chill has become such an ingrained part of family life, such a special part of our week, that last weekend, my son berated me for not remembering the snacks as he sat on the couch with the fetching green shower cap atop his head. There's a process you see - and you can't mess with the process.
Will I look upon these weekend "bonding" sessions with my son with fondness in the future? If I'm honest, probably not.
But "nits too shall pass", right?