Before becoming a parent, snot, poo, wee and sick were topics I only discussed with the doctor, if at all. Roll forwards three kids and they're part of my daily existence. Fortunately, my gross threshold is considerably lower than it once was, but there are some jobs which still make my stomach churn.
Pants sniffing. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this. You find a pair of pants screwed up on the floor and the only way to tell whether they have just been discarded in favour of the turquoise ones or the Peppa Pig ones, or whether they've been worn, is to do the nose test. Cue: eye-watering, neck-jerking reaction, followed by stern warning to the children not to leave dirty clothes on the floor.
Sock unravelling. Admittedly, not quite as revolting as the above activity, but there's still something decidedly unsavoury about untangling dirty socks from crusty balls under the bed, or peeling them out of damp trainers. PUT THEM IN THE LAUNDRY BASKET!
Vomit dodging. There's an unwritten rule that says no child under a certain age will ever puke in the toilet, or even a bucket. Which is why no sensible parent should ever invest in a new carpet or sofa, because it's only a matter of time before it will be introduced to Norovirus. And of course, it will happen after the night after that lovely chilli you made, meaning you will never quite get rid of that greasy orange stain. Oh, and a warning about bunk beds: vomit plus gravity equals a free shower for the child underneath.
Bottom wiping. Nappies I can handle, even on a toddler with a penchant for blueberries and baked beans. It's when my four year old yells from the bathroom ''Mummeeee, it's a splodgy one,'' that my breakfast threatens to make an appearance as I am forced to assist with a packet of baby wipes. I just hope she's happy to return the favour in a few decades' time, if necessary.
Parasites. There are some jobs which should be reserved for the medical profession - of which I am thankfully not a member. There are other even more disturbing tasks, which are left to parents, including nit slaying. Two of my children have smooth, brushable hair. The other has masses of unruly curls which haven't been brushed since he last went to the hairdresser about 12 months ago. Guess which one got nits? The result was three hours with a fine toothed comb, a whole bottle of conditioner and some stuff that stank like oven cleaner. I'm not sure who hated it more, me or my seven year old. It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.
Intimate itching. If you thought head lice were gross, just wait until they get thread worms. In fact don't wait, go to the pharmacy now and get some medicine because however many Dettol wipes you get through, chances are they will still get worms. In fact, up to 40 percent of children under 10 years old are estimated to suffer from threadworms at any one time. So remember: there's no shame, they're all the same.
Toilet dipping. I will never understand why my kids insist on taking toys into the bathroom, just as I will never understand why men (do women do this too?) like to read on the toilet. I mean, how long does it take? Just eat more fibre or something. Anyway, I have lost count of the number of times I have had to fish bits of plastic out of the bowl, without the benefit of a fishing rod, while an anxious child looks on. Such items include but are not limited to: Lego, Baby Annabell's dummy (don't panic - baby Annabell is a doll, not an actual baby - I do have some standards) and hairclips. OK, so I don't have standards. But the rate they lose them and drop them, I refuse to flush them away.
Snot sucking. When my son was just a few weeks old he caught his first cold. As a new mum, I was so worried he couldn't breathe that I bought a device that required me to suck the snot from his nostrils into a kind of collection bubble. Except the bubble bit didn't work and it ended up straight in my mouth. Needless to say, I didn't bother with the other two.
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