I am pretty sure that one can only appreciate the true meaning behind the idiom “nit picking” after having a child plagued by lice. For those uninitiated to the “my child has had lice” club:
Nit Picking is the act by which a person goes through every millimeter of an infested person’s head and picks off nits (lice eggs) from the base of the hair shaft .
My daughter has very thick hair, so my wife picked out nits from our daughter’s hair for 6 hours the first day, 2 hours the second day, and about 1 hour a day for the last two days. Each day the amount of eggs found exponentially decreased, but it’s still frustrating to find them after multiple days of searching and intense grooming.
I can say that I have a new appreciation for my nit picking wife. The time, patience, back ache, and eye strain that comes from nit picking is endured only because of her love for our daughter. Keep in mind that the eggs are about the size of a grain of sand.
Being a part of the “my children has had lice” club has made me re-think the idiom “nit picking.” It’s universally used negatively.
It’s defined in the following way:
Nit picking is the pastime of pointing out minor flaws or mistakes
I can’t use it in a pejorative way anymore, I am a man who has seen nit picking in action. People who make a pastime out of “pointing out minor flaws” in others exude the exact opposite qualities of what it takes to actually nit pick. They don’t have the dedication and love to the person they’re “nit picking” and shouldn’t be compared to a mother who sits for hours carefully extracting sand sized specks from her daughters hair. Comparing shallow people who make a habit of finding feeble foibles in others are found wanting when in the presence of the commitment of nit picking mothers.
Therefore, I can proudly declare that I ADORE MY NIT PICKING WIFE!
What has your experience been with lice?