Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sharing the love - the perils of co-sleeping Part Three

Image from here
Regular readers of this blog will know how I feel about co-sleeping. We do it, but not by choice. Never by choice. That is what you get when you have four children, only one of whom is a decent sleeper. They creep in. They slink in. They are dragged in. But it is never fun for us.

I discovered another peril of co-sleeping this weekend.

Following a frenzy of activity to get the boys out of the door with the Geege to attend Little Athletics on Saturday morning, the twins and I were taking it slow.

I was having a sneaky quick lie on the couch while they watched a re-run of Playschool. I scratched my head and to my absolute horror, plucked a full-grown nit from my hair! Eek!

I promptly ran to the bathroom, pulled out the nit comb and proceeded to run it through my hair. I was living in hope that that nit was the first one and I had removed it before it could lay a single egg. Alas. I was riddled! I combed and combed and combed and combed. And still they came.

I trawled through the cupboards and medicine tub, searching for some kind of nit killing shampoo (how unBuddhist of me!). I found some old conditioner and smothered my hair in it. Combed again. Washed again. Combed again. No signs...

After my rapid departure from the loungeroom, Dew Drop and the Minx popped into the bathroom on several occasions during my crazy hair combing extravaganza. They heard me muttering about 'nits' and 'eggs' and 'getting them out of my hair'.

When I had finally completed Round 1 of what will be a seven day program, I called in Dew Drop and the Minx. The Minx got checked first and was given the all clear a few moments. But Dew Drop?  I knew it would be him he would have nits. He had spent the last week in our bed, sharing my pillow no less, star-fishing like mad.

And I was right.

He had more nits than I have ever seen in my life. I picked out each and every one (I hope) with my bare hands. Strand by strand. The comb did not cut it in his fine hair. I conditioned and combed. And combed and conditioned. He was incredibly patient (the jelly beans helped!).

And throughout it he kept saying "Are they gone Mum?" "Are all the eggs gone?" Bless.

When the boys returned from Little As (which was cut short by a lightening storm. A stellar morning we were all having), I greeted them with the news of the nit infestation. Nugget is a seasoned nit survivor and he retorted with "Check my duck tail Mum. I am nit free". Doo Dah said "I never get them Mum. My hair is too wiry" (a direct quote from some undisclosed parent...). Both were given the all clear after a thorough check.

The Geege was the only other victim. Nugget, Doo Dah, and the Minx got a prophylactic condition and nit comb experience, but not a single egg was found.

Just the Dew Drop. And his parents. Another peril of co-sleeping.

You know you are a parent when you have had a case of nits. Have you been lucky?


Mum on the Run said...

My first adult nit experience was on my long teaching prac before graduating.
The teacher and I would sit there after school picking at each other's hair like a pair of monkeys.
The same kid kept bringing them back into the classroom week in, week out.

I live in fear.

Sarah Mac said...

God, the scoutge of the hedlice - I remember it well!

We had about 4 years of solid combing every night. I'd send them into school clear and they would come back with more of the buggers.

It might seem like a faint light of hope for you right now but it all stopped when they hit secondary school. I don't know if it's because they just tend not to touch heads with each other so much, or, if hormones kicking in (which sometimes makes me long for the nits!) repulse the evil things.

E. said...

Girl child had them 3 times in two and a half weeks near the end of last term. I'd been cocky as we hadn't had them in about 3 years. Of course she had slept with us before the first lot were discovered so I had them and so did Boy Child. Thankfully we missed the next two infestations she got.

Of course this post has made my head itchy. Argh!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes had them, itchy now as we speak...the little blood suckers love Little Bits hair...glad we just got it cut shorter...usually the 2nd week back to school signals N day...comb and conditioner ready, a big bottle of cheap conditioner does wonders...even let them sleep with it in just to suffocate all those nasties :)

Mama of 2 boys said...

Oh I do love the way you tell a story, you are a funny gal... NOT that the nits thing is funny, that is just downright horrible. Touching wood as I write this, we are yet to experience nits in this household. Oh good god I hope I haven't jinxed myself horribly now. With Angus starting a new preschool this week, the chances are pretty high I guess. His hair is luscious too, thick and silky and smooth. Oh yuck, I feel off :o/
Glad you're onto them now, but 7 days?! Seriously!? xo

Maxabella said...

Oh. NO. !

ClaireyHewitt said...

Do people usually just have a nit comb? Touching wood, nits are still to show their faces here, but as the big girl heads to school in two weeks, I worry those days may be about to end.

Kelly said...

As soon as i read the word 'nit' I started stiching - I hate those little girls were forever getting them last year when they were at school & it drove me nuts.

Tat @ Mum in search said...

Ah, that sounds like fun. I remember having nits when I was a kid... but no, I guess I'm not a parent yet by your definition.

1000 Homes of Happiness said...

Eeeek, my lil head is itchy now. Ahhhh, the perils of co sleeping indeed. A few months back little bloss arrived home with her head full of them, that evening we ate our dinner at the dinner table each smothered in nit treatments. Even the handsome man of our house. Got to giggle about it now... Don't you!? Good luck and don't forget to re-treat in seven days.


City Hippy Farm Girl said...

Thanks for that, just a little scratch as I read...
I was lucky enough to experience this last year with Monkey Boy. I didn't get them once as a kid, so it was a rude shock to find families of critters in his hair, and who had happily relocated to my head as well.
Pesky little bugs!

Mel said...

Thankfully our kids haven't had them yet, but my Mum is a primary school teacher and she would often bring them home and unknowingly infect the rest of us. My two are in daycare and have been for the past 2 years now without any case of nits - I'm dreading the start of primary school where I'm sure they'll be rife!

Anonymous said...

I don't want to talk about it because I know we're about to enter nit territory, and if I dare whisper "we've not had them yet ..." I know we will be struck down with an infestation.
Sounds HIDEOUS. My head is itching just thinking of it. x

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

Oh yes, we've had nits. With 3 girls who want their hair to be 'pretty' and out rather than tied back tightly so as to avoid other children's hair it was inevitable.
We make sure to always have a supply in the house just in case, touch wood we haven't needed it in a while.
Tea tree shampoo is supposed to help eradicate or deter (can't remember which).

Naturopathic Health said...

You are a great writer, I am always satisfied with your posts - and thanks for highlighting my years to come, new mum of babies and toddlers!

Sarah Kaye said...

We just underwent our 7 day follow-up nits treatment last night. My poor little girl has long flowing hair that she wants out all the time creating a magnet for the little beasts. And they too spread around our house because of co-sleeping - she's with us, then #2 hops in too, then is removed to #3's bed which i sleep in the next night etc.

I've now hopped on the defensive with tighter hairdo's and defense spray, hopefully things will change.

Ms K @ Mummybrain said...

Oh yes, been there done that! Luckily no more. Finally found the perfect cure.

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