What is a nit?

The finishing line of the summer holidays is in sight. It’s been fun, but a little bit of an endurance test, trying to cover six weeks of time off and keep working. I’ve spoken to several working mums over the past week and it is definitely getting into the slightly frazzled period now. I decided to go for the big finish by having a sleepover for daughter two. Daughter two’s friends are really quite easy going. It’s just that daughter two herself was slightly over excited. She had prepared for weeks for the event. I fear her bedroom redecoration was partly in honour of the sleepover except she decided not to actually sleep there. Instead she would take over the living room and watch Poseidon, her new best film after Titanic. 

The event started well with a shopping trip. Daughter three and only son came too, but the sleepover gang decided they wanted to split up. Originally I was supposed to linger around in the background of Primark while they shopped. “Just don’t be embarrassing,” said daughter two. I can feel the teenagerdom creeping up on her. What is it going to be like when daughters one to three are all teenagers together? We already get a taste of this when they take over the tv, play Kerrang very loud and jump around in unison. 

Anyway, back to the sleepover. Daughter two likes to give the impression to her friends that she has never had any nittish experience in her life and that she barely knows what they are. “What is a nit?” she has been heard to inquire of her friends. She has told me that I can write a best seller but it must, on no account, be about nits or she will never speak to me again. I have a whole series of books in mind called the Nit Nots about a family of vegetarian nits. I can see the US wanting film rights. I will have to use a pseudonym. She has told all her siblings that they are never allowed to speak of the small crawling ones in the company of her friends or suggest they have ever had any acquaintance with them. 

So there we were driving along, chatting away, when only son piped up from the back: “When you put the nit shampoo on you wait for 10 minutes. 10, 9 , 8, 7…”

The whole car froze. Daughter two couldn’t speak. “What did he say?” asked one of her friends. “He’s really into counting,” I ventured. The moment passed. The sleepover continued. I found the nit comb hidden behind all the medication on the top shelf in the bathroom. Daughter two is very thorough. The sleepover, erroneously named, of course, because no-one actually went to sleep till about 4.30am, ended. “That went well,” I said. Daughter two gave me a hard stare. “Did you hear what only son said?” I don’t think we will be having another sleepover any time soon. Result.

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