I'm upset. Very upset! This morning I've had to shave Luey and Bryn's heads, and this afternoon I may have to shave Erik's. Why? Well, because of head lice. Now, some of you may feel I'm over-reacting, but in all honesty, I'm not. We had our first case of headlice almost as soon as Erik and Luey started school. They'd never been in childcare, or to kinder, and somehow in the playgroups they'd attended (sometimes weekly, sometime less often) they never did catch headlice.
For 18 months after they first contracted headlice, we had a continous battle with the little critters. We tried EVERYTHING on the market, and every natural solution we could find until eventually our only recourse was to shave the boys heads.
That's when we first heard a phrase that has since come to irk me so much I want to scream every time I hear it...
"Well, luckily you have boys, because if you had girls you couldn't shave their heads.
Really, why not?
The truth is, I also caught headlice when the boys caught it, and with my long, curly (at the time) hair, it was bloody impossibly to get rid of them. It turned out I was quite intolerant to whatever the de-coagulant they inject into human skin to draw blood, and soon I developed a horrible rash on my nape which progressed to my back and shoulders. Finally, the only thing I could do was shave my head. I used that opportunity to raise money for Cancer, but basically that wasn't my motivation - the motivation was to finally rid ourselves of the lice scurge.
Since then, the MOMENT one of our boys has lice, their head is shaved.
Shaving their heads SUCKS!!! Sure they're boys, but they have BEAUTIFUL hair, all of them, it's so naturally straight and shiny and the colour is just gorgeous (golden red for Luey, and chestnut for Erik and Bryn). As well as this, Erik is currently working hard at growing his hair out. He's so pleased with his longer hair. If he has lice now, he'll be devastated, and so will I.
Why should girls not have to have their hair shaved off if the same is expected of boys with persistent head lice? How is that fair. Where are the raging feminists and their undying sense of equality when it comes to shaving their daughters heads? I ask you!
But, you know, shaving hair off wouldn't even be necessary - very much - if it was made compulsory that children with longer hair and the people who work with them had to wear head scarves to cover their hair and prevent the spread of these blighters. In fact, I don't understand that people who work with children wouldn't just do it of their own initiative to avoid catching lice in the first place!
Back in the "olden days" women and girls used to wear caps and bonnets, and men and boys wore caps and hats - maybe they were onto something!
We rely far too heavily on chemicals and look what's happened, the lice have become resistent to the chemicals and we're back to using conditioner and a comb - whch might work well for some, but for the rest of us, it's pretty bloody ineffective!
I bet muslim women don't have too many lice!
A good friend of mine has gone up against her school by putting a head scarf (just a little triangle one that covers the root of her daughter's hair (which is then also plaited and sprayed with hairspray as an extra barrier against lice, I believe) in the school colours). Why can't all schools adopt this?
Why should I constantly have to sacrefice my sons' lovely hair when mothers of girls aren't expected to do the same???
Friday, November 20, 2009
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