Lice, Grooming, Apes and Monkeys
I seem to have a bug theme going on at the moment, because after my Bugs Stalk Me post last week I discovered that my children had brought home bugs of their own … lice. Yeah, I know you just scratched your head. It’s an automatic reaction, isn’t it?
People’s reaction to that news is always one of shock, horror, disgust, and scratching. And then, to provide as much advice as they can. One simple sentence on Facebook that said “Gaaaaaah. Nits and Lice suck. Literally, too. But yeah. Evilness.” was apparently an invitation for all my friends and family to tell me what I needed to do.
Keeping in mind, of course, that by the time I posted that, I had already pulled out the cheap hair conditioner and the lice comb and had been through the kids hair thoroughly (and much to their disgust) three times, changed their bedding, put their lovies in the dryer (lice hate heat you know) and vaccuumed the heck out of the floors, mattresses and furniture. It’s not like I’m a newbie Mum. I know what to do for lice. I have had this issue before. When I get rid of lice, I get rid of lice. The only way they get back into the house is when I do something stupid, like send the kids to school with freshly cleaned hair and no teatree oil. (Yeah, that wasn’t smart, I know.)
And yet, all and sundry had to weigh in. I was amused.
My children were not amused. They didn’t like sitting in front of me for so long as I literally nit-picked. They hated the feel of the cold conditioner on their head. They didn’t like me pulling on their hair to get the nits out.
So what did I do? Well, we talked about ape and monkey grooming habits. And how what I was doing was exactly what apes and monkeys do in the wild. So then my oldest had an idea.
“Why don’t we set up a shop where you go and the monkeys do the nit picking?” he asked. “I wouldn’t mind if it was a monkey. Monkeys are wicked.” Then I explained that the monkey would expect him to groom the monkey in return. “Oh. That’s not as fun. Why can’t we just give the monkeys money?” Insert discussion here about how money means nothing to monkeys unless somebody could teach them how money has value, and a follow-up discussion about exploitation. Most of it went over his head. Ha.
In the end, for argument’s sake, we agreed that it would be really “wicked” to have an ape or a monkey do the nit-picking, if it was possible. And when Hubby got home, he got treated to a lengthy explanation of nits, lice, apes, monkeys, and grooming. Hubby, grasping the idea immediately, made some Chimpanzee noises and screamed after the kids, pretending to groom them and snap the lice. Apparently that was almost as good as a real ape or monkey. Almost.