I was reading an article last week which had this quote from the novelist Fay Weldon. She
once said, before you have children you can believe you are a nice person; after you have children you understand how wars start.
In this neighbourhood, that translated to the war between mothers of children.
You’ve all come across them, the ones whose little angels never tell lies, who can do everything better than anybody else’s child. We had wars in this street that would put the Taliban on the defensive, guerilla campaigns to outrival the Viet Cong and vendettas between mothers where no quarter was given or asked for. After playing peacemaker for years, I finally snapped and bodily threw a neighbour out of my house. It was years before we spoke again which was fine by me, I’d had enough of explaining to the boys that it didn’t matter how many lies her brat told, he’d get his eventually but he never did.
Apart from Weldon’s comment, an election promise from the Liberal party prompted those memories today. They are going to introduce a $2.3 million head lice program if they are elected next month. A Liberal government would pay for two head lice treatments a year for primary students.
Head lice lay eggs on the hair strands (nits) and they feed on human scalps. According to the Liberal spokesman, they spread by crawling between heads.
Believe me, they don’t crawl, they leap tall buildings in a single bound. The boys only got them once and it was a nightmare of washing everything including teddy bears and hair in Quellada. I had very long hair at the time and I went through it every night for a week with a tiny nit comb. So I did the right thing and notified the school and told the local mothers. I’d have got a better reception If I’d have announced they had the plague. Out of six mothers, not one would have gone to the school or told other mothers to check. To say I was shocked is putting it mildly and I’d be prepared to say that not a lot has changed or we wouldn’t be still having lice as an election promise.
Don’t wash the kid’s hair in expensive dog shampoo either, it won’t kill the nits and the lice love clean hair. I don’t apologize, it was a stop gap measure worthy of a politician. At least I didn’t use the Blight’s suggestion, put fly spray in a plastic bag and pull it over their hair.
And if any of you got through that without the urge to scratch, congratulations, because I didn’t.