Monday, 7 July 2008

Washed out

It's 9am and here we all are, bagged up with Tesco carrier bags wound round our heads to stop the Listerine dribbling down our backs.

Mummy Grit has already got four bottles more of Listerine lined up and they are not even on special offer. How dedicated is that? When we've done with the Listerine, then I unwind everyone's hair and start combing. I cannot find anything alive or dead in anyone's hair, except Tiger's, so that's either bad news or good news depending on whether you are Tiger.

And Dig. Poor Dig, who has been nit examined too. Come on, big boy, says sexy wife Grit, sit down and be examined like the rest of us. Do you know there are some elements of the bondage sado masochism group that finds this sort of thing erotic? Shall we join them, you and I? After all, isn't this just about the most romantic thing we have done together since those evenings we spent on the Lake Palace in India when we watched the elephants crossing the lake while we sipped gin and lime soda? Doesn't this experience equate to that? This nit picking business could be exactly what it takes to kick our marriage back from that lonely place where it took refuge precisely eight years ago.

When everyone's been examined with Dr Grit's not very erotic nit technique, it's Tiger who has to sit still, watching two films on DVD back to back while I nit comb her hair, dragging out lice eggs with my fingernails. The whole front room looks like a surgical operating theatre with buckets of water, towels, Listerine, combs, jugs and Dr Grit with a Tesco bag on her head in case one of Tiger's troupe develops super louse skills, and jumps.

After three hours of nit combing and shouting die die die over the cute lion in Madagascar, Grit is ready for a turn outside in the fresh air. Actually the air's not very fresh because it is raining, but the alternative is to go insane. Anyway, common sense and wisdom have been combed out of Grit's head as well as most of her scalp and all her dandruff in the search for head lice, so I pour some more Listerine over us all and get everyone in the car to go to the farm. Here there is comfort because we go to dig up potatoes, collect onions and gather strawberries.

It is only half way down the A5 that I wonder am I mad? Am I mad? Yes I am. I am mad and bloody furious and possibly deranged and crazy because now it is thunderstorming and I am lost because I always get lost on the way to the farm and now I really should go home and cry but I am not going to. I will not give up. This is grit in the face of all disaster. I am Hilda Ogden with my bagged up hair and gritted teeth in the face of all woe and fallen about life.

And you would think that it could not get worse, wouldn't you? Let me just say to Shark, that when I am on a farm, miles from home, in the middle of a thunderstorm, in a field, that when I have just realised we have five minutes to walk the 15 minutes to the entrance if we are to make your drama performance tonight at 6pm which I had forgotten about along with everything else, that we have lost the potatoes, that we are late, having got lost on the way because I always take the wrong turning, no matter how many times I make this journey, that I am soaked to the skin, up to my knees in mud, and have discovered both my boots leak, that I stink of Listerine, that we are alone on this farm in this awful world of despondency, misery and despair, that this is not the moment to shout out Mummy! For drama tonight I need a pair of black leggings and a frog costume.


ChrisB said...

Oh dear not the best of days then!

sharon said...

And you still have all three girls....?

the mother of this lot said...

I am on my way to Tesco right now for Listerine and vinegar.