We’re all familiar with the horror stories of explosive nappies, projectile vomiting, being weed on, and the ever present threat of potentially having to deploy that manoeuvre to extract snot when they’ve got a cold. But the truth is, the full extent of how disgusting kids are goes even beyond the major bodily fluids. Here’s the lowdown on the other gross facts about parenting…
Every bathroom has a grubby little secret. Maybe you’ve let your sealant go a bit mouldy in places like me (my sealant, I mean – before you prescribe me a short course of antibiotics), maybe your shower head isn’t firing on all cylinders because nobody thinks it’s their job to descale it, or perhaps the loo needs more than the occasional visit from little old Toilet Duck.
But despite bathrooms being a breeding ground for all kinds of grossness, there’s something particularly grim about seeing your little angels playing with rubber ducks full of floating matter that essentially comprises about 95% dead skin cells.
Rumour has it (and by ‘rumour’ I mean parenting hacks on Pinterest) that you can stop up air holes with superglue and therefore avoid the whole mouldy insides business. You can even chuck the harder plastic toys in the dishwasher (just not with anything that ever goes near my food or my mouth, ta v much!) or scrub by hand.
Or you can do what I do and bin the lot of it and get replacements from Poundland, because life’s too short for disinfecting 26 spongey letters of the alphabet.
Gaah, where do I start? This one is probably one of the gross facts about parenting that I’m strangely most squeamish about.
If, like me, fruit (and in particular overripe fruit) has always given you the heebie jeebies, then becoming a parent is just about enough to push you over the soft and pungent edge.
Unless you want your child to grow up wasteful and full of food hang-ups, you kinda feel obliged to put on Oscar-winning performances from the first speckly banana you mash up during the weaning months to the oxygenated brown apple they’ve taken 45 minutes to eat (but can’t bear to be parted from) as they grow up.
Yuck all round.
Down the Side of the Couch
Remember the days when you’d find cold hard cash, the remote control and a maybe a few lighters down the edge of your sofa? Yep, me too – although it’s becoming a dimmer and more distant memory as time goes by.
These days it’s nearly all of the raisins in the house (the remainder are stuck on the bottoms of everyone’s slippers) and if I really hit the jackpot, a perfectly preserved (but rock hard) Mini Babybel. Makes you wonder what they put in those things; they could probably survive a nuclear blast.
I won’t lie: lunchboxes have always knocked me sick since the 80s and anyone who’s ever caught the faintest whiff of an empty Ruffneck flask will know why.
These days, needs must in our house, and I’m presented with The Plastic Box of Horrors after school on a regular basis. The key is to empty it AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME – otherwise it’s penicillin butties all round.
Much like the couch but this time more up close and personal.
Be prepared to find things in your own pockets that you didn’t realise were in there; my dressing gown is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of small construction vehicles, pebbles, and dried up snot rags.
Meanwhile, the pre-wash ritual emptying of kiddie pockets yields bark, sand, orange peel and petals – I mean that could be the ingredients for a new Lush face mask but when you stick your hand into that little denim lucky dip and come out with what you hope is Play Doh under your nails then you start wondering whether there’s anything about little kids that isn’t totally gross!