Here are five things that I had never expected to encounter as a parent. These things are tasks that border on the seriously gross and definitely invade personal space (what is that again?… You know when you can have a conversation with someone not two millimetres from your face or pulling your hair!)
1. Picking your kid’s nose! Is there a more satisfying activity than saving your little ones hooter from a severe blockage and then showing them the snot you’ve mined?! My sister thought I was absolutely disgusting until she had her son and had to admit that this was indeed one of the most satisfying activities a parent could carry out to help their little one. I mean, maybe some people hate it, but I haven’t met them yet!
2. Picking (spot a theme!) cradle cap – or cradle crap as it is known amongst the adults in my family. So, so satisfying and a great time passer if baby has fallen asleep on you! Beware you do have to be careful as I found out, as you will get some that looks like it should come off but it is actually welded to their skull, along with half their hair and if that doesn’t wake them, the poor little sore patch on their head will certainly smart later – so I have really pulled his awful habit back to just brushing out the flaky stuff!
3. Inspecting poo! Like really inspecting it as if you are scientist and the poo in question harbours potential life-saving powers! At the beginning it is the first baby poo (like tar if you are interested and a real shocker if you didn’t know it was meant to look like that!) then it turns to korma with what look like tomato pips in. I get this though because as a new parent you want to make sure you are doing your best for them – are they pooing enough? Should poo be that colour? (Don’t google this! My husband had to refrain me from taking one of our children into A&E after a late night google. He was right, our baby was showing no other signs of distress. He also took over the reins for late night googling – and I assume he severely edited the information he passed onto me in the future!)
But this inspection doesn’t stop as they get older, oh no! They call you to inspect their poo, to hold court and proudly present a ‘round the bend toilet blocker’ and you have to praise them heavily for this achievement. When they worry they have an upset tummy you have to go and inspect it too, in fact we have had whole family meetings in the bathroom with all of us discussing whether the child in question is ok for school, swimming, etc!
Then you watch them proceed to use practically a whole toilet roll to clean themselves, which leads me to the question you hear shouted downstairs (in fact it is safe to say our whole cul-de-sac has heard them bellow this!)…
4. “Is my bum clean?” You are summoned to inspect thoroughly that they have done a successful job! What an honour, and where was this little nugget of information in all those parenting books?!
5. Headlice. We all dread the letter coming home in book bags, or the regular text sent out and check with fury to see if any of those nasty little buggers have set up home on our child’s head – which they haven’t, phew! But then one day they have and after having a little panic about being a rubbish mum and buying the pharmacy out of nit-fighting tools, you actually find that combing every inch of their hair like a monkey is unbelievably therapeutic and that when you find one of those dastardly little creatures you all bend forward to observe it in great detail! The novelty of this wears off by day four of treatment and is no fun when you have to treat everyone in the house ‘just in case’ and then have to treat your own rather long hair! But for an activity that sounds like it would just be totally gross, as a one-off is quite exciting (maybe I need to get out more!) Although I am now itching like mad! Having to inform the school secretary that your children have suffered the dreaded nits and knowing that the letter and text have been sent out because of you is slightly mortifying too!!!
So, there you are five things about parenting you wish I hadn’t shared! You’re welcome!