Monday, March 24, 2014

The Nit Nurse

This photo is a wee bit before my time, BUT, the exercise was just the same, in the 1940's fleas were a plenty, and lots of school kids had them, it was usually a fight who sat next to who in class, you never wanted to sit next to someone you expected to having fleas.....somehow the word spread round school " The Nit Nurse is here " caused panic among us, we all knew what to expect, each class went down stairs to the hall and lined up.

With expert four fingers and thumbs the nurse would start on your head, she always had it in her head that you had fleas, and was determined to find one on you, she would go over and over back, front, sides, and seemed disappointed if she couldn't find one on you

My mother kept a tight ship as far as ears and fleas were concerned, with me and my sisters, because, it soon spread from school if anyone had fleas, the word went out and the boy or girl were bullied by other kids in the play-ground, and the horror the mothers felt when they got a letter from school " Your child has fleas "

Earlier in my Blog, I spoke of Wullie McKay and his clippers, mothers took their kids for Wullie to shave their heads, leaving a little tuft in front, we nick-named it " The Paint Brush " there was no way he was going to lop off my mop of blonde curls, all the wee lassies loved my hair

Thank god I never got into that position, I hate to say it but I was one of the bullies rather than the bullied

Fleas on board.

Flea's on board

If mother seen me scratching your head, all hell would break loose, up went the shout " Billy Sinclair here " pointing to a spot on the floor, " Stand there and don't move, or you will get one of these," SLAP !!!! so I was rooted to the spot, mother would appear from the bathroom, sit on the chair, and somehow twisted her legs, locking me in, unable to move, cause she knew, I would have run and took the slaps later

Out would come her Bone Comb and a bottle of mixture, I can still smell it to this day, a clear bottle, hexagon shaped with ribbed sides, I don't know whether it killed fleas, or ward them off, it smelled horrible, she used to dab it on my head with cotten wool, you couldn't go out to play, cause everyone knew the smell, so I used to nick my father's Brylcream, to hide the smell from my mates I looked like George Raft with blond hair

My mother searched and searched all over my head, Flea Hunting, fore fingers and thumbs, now I was the same as the other lads, and mother would find the odd one or two, and I would get a slap for each one found, mother would get the flea, squeeze it between finger and thumb, quickly place it on her thumb nail, and with the other thumb nail press them together, you would hear a crack, dead !!, then I got a slap as if it was my fault, then she would use the Bone Comb over and over in case they had laid eggs, I always got the slap, to remind me to be more careful who I played with or sat beside, as if you could.

Ear Wax.

Ear Wax

Now this was a weekly task I went through, and it was hell, I would get locked between mothers legs, the way she placed me when doing my hair, so I was unable to move, and with one of my mothers Kirby Grips, she would search in my ears, and in would go the rounded end of the Kirby Grip, and she would scrape any wax that was there, it hurt, but...I had two choices, moan and get a slap, or put up with it, I put up with it, but my ears were always spotless, the big struggle would start if she said " I may as well have a look at your head, while your here "