Head lice prove to be formidable opponents
AS A parent, no-one can prepare you for all the gruesome things you have to deal with as your children get older.
At the time changing nappies and caring for a baby with reflux was tough, but little did I know it was only going to get tougher.
Toilet training was (and don't hate me for this) a breeze with my son.
Maybe it's because he was my second, or maybe it's because my family day care mum was a "toilet training master"!
But I needed some saving graces after the trials I had with my first.
There were puddles in Kmart, puddles at the Woolworths checkout and the new carpet that got laid prior to her birth became ruined! But of course she got there in the end.
And then we've had all the ailments you could imagine.
Our eyes have been stuck together with conjunctivitis.
The whole family has been forced to eat those magic "chocolate squares" you can get when the kids have had itchy bottoms . . . With two sick children the next day, the after-effects were not something the pharmacist explained. Which brings me to diarrhoea!
You think it's hard changing nappies, just wait until they get older and need help in that department.
The bathroom echoes of "Muuuuuuuuuuuum, I need help" are enough to make any mother cringe as they hold their breath and head on in to investigate. I've slipped over in vomit in the middle of the night, then cleaned it all up only to have to repeat the process two hours later.
I've stood mortified in the pharmacy as I asked for help identifying a mystery rash.
Only to have the assistant announce to the whole shop that it was ringworm! She might as well have yelled it through a mega phone!
But this year there has been one tiny little thing in particular that has tormented me more than anything else . . . HEAD LICE!
Yes, after two years at school my daughter came home with head lice. It was the very first week of term!
In the past I've done precautionary treatments when the notes have come home from school, but this time I actually saw them crawling in her hair.
Back to the pharmacy I went, two kids in tow.
This time as I made my purchase, the lady standing behind me grabbed her child and took three steps back.
Now my daughter has a head of hair like no other.
With long thick hair, her beautiful light brown waves look more like dreadlocks when she wakes up, but gorgeous once tidied up.
Brushing out the knots in the morning is a challenge and her screeching can be heard across the neighbourhood.
Even with a good spray of detangler it's difficult, but we get there in the end.
Her hair is usually pulled back in plaits, then stuck down with half a can of Schwarzkopf Super Styling Extreme Hold.
So how any living creature managed to break through the lacquered force field is beyond me!
But they did and my first ever head lice challenge began.
Given how difficult brushing her think mop of hair was, treating the lice was not going to be fun.
And it wasn't.
The whole family was treated, including myself.
Sheets and blankets were washed.
Floors were mopped and vacuumed. Teachers and her friend's parents were informed.
But it was too late.
Faster than The Bubonic Plague, the children in her class each took turns passing them on . . . and back again.
Yes, they came back! She needed to be treated every week, sometimes twice and she hated it just as much as I did.
I tried every kind of treatment there is and upon turning to a natural alternative, even managed to give my daughter hives from head to toe!
Discovering the lice were back again 10 minutes before we needed to leave for school and 45 minutes before I had to be at work was horrendous. Noooooooo!
Mornings are such a mad rush at the best of times without throwing that one at us! But once more treatment was done and I embarrassingly turned up late for work . . . smelling of Eucalyptus!
There were afternoons and evenings where we would set ourselves up in front of a good movie and sit for ages, combing out those annoying critters and their offspring.
I now own approximately eight different head lice combs!
All of which are useless except for one that I finally found with its amazing screw like prongs.
It wasn't until the discovery of this amazing little invention and a two-week quarantine from school (aka school holidays), that we finally got rid of them!
Now the once pleasant smell of eucalyptus is enough to make my kiddies and I nervous!
How such a tiny little thing can stress this mum out is beyond me, but it did! And I for one am hoping they never come back again!