This week, the five-year-old caught nits. I’d been checking her hair most days, since the little blighters are doing the rounds at her primary school (and have been, actually, since before Christmas). And yesterday morning, as I was pulling her hair into a ponytail for school, I saw them. Tiny white specks. I’d like to say I acted calmly, but instead I sent a panicked message to a bunch of the school mums saying “HELP! WHAT DO I DO?”
After a trip to the chemist to buy a nit comb and tea tree oil conditioner, I methodically wet-combed the five-year-old’s hair for around 45 minutes, unearthing anything and everything that was in there. As someone who doesn’t like creepy-crawlies, this was not a pleasant experience. That evening, I repeated the process and did my hair and Mr P’s too.
By the end of the day, I felt like I deserved a badge of honour – I’d officially dealt with nits. I could tick it off my ‘Mum experiences’ list and know that next time it happens (because it will) I’ll be calm and I’ll know exactly what to do.
Actually, wouldn’t it be great if us parents received badges every time we achieved something? Little embroidered patches to sew onto our jacket arms, like they give out in Rainbows, Brownies and Beavers. (Sidenote: these badges would all be iron-on. How the flip have the Girl Guiding Association and Scout Association not moved onto iron-on badges yet?!)
Here are some of the badges I think we could earn…
The Nit Nurse Badge
For when you successfully navigate your first head lice infestation. *high five*
The Newbie Badge
Awarded after your first night with your new baby – you did it! You survived the first night being responsible for a little human.
The Personal Care Badge
That first day you manage to shower and put some make up on, after having a baby!
The Musician Badge
Those baby music classes are pretty much only fun for the babies. Get through a whole term of them to get this badge. Bonus points if you actually sing in the classes.
The Agility Badge
Get around a soft play centre without getting stuck between those giant rollers that the kids slide through.
The Night Out Badge
That first night out as new parents is BRILLIANT and HARD all at the same time. What if the baby doesn’t settle? What if he/she misses us? Oooh, wine.
The Bedtime Badge
When you make it to bedtime without losing your rag, on a particularly trying day.
The First Aid Badge
That first time you have to either patch up your child yourself or, worse, head to A&E – you get this badge (and a large wine to calm your nerves).
The Entertainer Badge
Survived a long car journey with a child with minimal iPad use? Played endless games of I Spy? Congrats, you deserve the Entertainer badge.
The Culture Badge
Awarded after your first trip to any of the following: Peppa Pig World, CBeebies Land or Thomas Land.
The Hostess Badge
Arrange a tea party for your NCT/ante-natal group friends, give them tea (OK gin) and posh biscuits. Listen to their parenting woes.
The Flying High Badge
You got through along plane journey with your child? You didn’t make everyone sitting near you on the plane hate you? Congrats! You win the Flying High Badge!
The World Traveller Badge
Survive three long plane journeys with your children and you get this very special badge.
Which other badges would you like to earn? And maybe we should organise some Girl Guide camps for parents too. With lots of wine. Who’s in?