They’ll chew on gum they find stuck to the underbelly of the slide in the park, they’ll pocket insects, they’ll hide hairy grapes and pieces of cheddar under the couch cushions and there isn’t a child on the planet who doesn’t love a good snot-sneaking expedition with the sole purpose of sucking the findings off an index finger. As joyous as parent life is, it can be truly, undisputedly disgusting. And it all begins with that double blue line. Sit tight for some of the grosser aspects of parenthood…
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO EWWW…
Reality check: Pregnancy is a veritable lucky dip involving a combination of ailments from a catalogue of misery; from vomiting to varicose veins; heartburn to hemorrhoids; constipation to cankles. It ain’t easy when you’re sweating and whizzing like Seabiscuit for almost TEN months and all you want to do is eat frankfurters, pickled onions and ice-cubes. So enough with the false advertising already.
As per the code of the sisterhood – similar to that of Fight Club – I’m not permitted to discuss the grosser details of childbirth in the public domain, for fear that some of the uninitiated may be exposed to truths privy to only members of the inner mummy sanctum. If you’ve been there, you know. If you haven’t, well, not ALL of it will happen to you. Sure it’s all marvellous, really. The miracle of nature. Oh that Mother Nature’s a wily minx alright.
Hey, I’m all for the boobage. I’m a fan. BUT… as beautiful and natural as it is, there’s no denying that squirting milk into the face of your unsuspecting baby (and perhaps partner, neighbour or visiting relative) is a bit gross. On top of that you’re dealing with uncomfortable, over-sized knockers, bleeding nipples, leakage, a milk-stained mattress, the feeding sweats and conditions like mastitis and nipple thrush. Nice.
Is there anything more IMPOSSIBLE to deal with than meconium? It’s hard to reconcile this oozing, tar-like, other-worldly substance with your seemingly-innocent newborn, yet it’s produced in abundance for DAYS by the little cherub. And when you’ve ridden out this initial shit storm – laughably armed only with cotton wool and water – you’ll be faced with a delightful and ever-changing array of new consistencies and shades, ranging from mildly offensive to the bile-inducing. You’ll touch poo, you’ll talk about poo, you’ll spend years wiping poo, you may even take photos of poo to be discussed at length with medical professionals or unlucky mom-friends. Believe it.
Before I became a parent, I had never encountered projectile-vomiting in the true, gravity-defying sense of the term. In fact I’d encountered very little vomit since my Sambuca-swilling days in the late nineties and that was usually confined to the toilet-bowl – I had some class.
When a vomiting bug enters your home on the manky little mitts of your infected offspring, it’s time for lock-down. In the throes of a gastric aplocolypse, you’ll be house-bound; trapped in a cesspit of germs and regurgitated meatballs. A sick child’s vomit will splatter walls, cling to curtains, penetrate cushion fibres and seep deep beneath floorboards and the bug won’t rest until everyone is groaning, writhing, begging for mercy and fighting for the downstairs loo. Godspeed, soldiers. And check out my survival guide!
If someone told the pre-kids you that you’d pick a human turd off your sitting room floor and plop it back into the toilet without flinching, you’d struggle to believe it. There’s no sugar-coating this one. Toilet-training isn’t at all pretty. Accidents will indiscriminately happen in the most inopportune of places. You’ll clean wee of the floor so many times you’ll lose count. You’ll find yourself up to your elbows in sh*t. Literally. Scrubbing it off carpets, fishing it out the bath and upturning it out of underpants will become part of your sad reality. On a positive note, you’ll become oddly densensitised to the whole nasty business. Winner.
Insects and unhatched eggs in hair trump all of the others. Leaking orifices and human waste, we can deal with, but living parasites taking up residence in the barnets of your kids, feeding off their blood and frolicking around in their dead scalp skin? Well, that’s just plain nasty. De-lousing and treating itchy little heads with combs, sprays, homemade remedies and bad-ass chemicals is a parenting rite of passage. The ick factor, teamed with the filthy shame and the queue of bagged laundry makes this aspect of parenting is just lousey. (See what I did there?)