Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Here's something the childless among us are going to find hard to accept - the parent's definition of love. My son is ill and so last night, rancidly ill myself (as you tend to be whenever the kids have something), I got a call from him in his bedroom. Up I went to find him sitting on his bed having vomited all over it. Pasta. And he has a big appetite.

He was a bit shaken but, being the parent in change at the time, it fell on me to clean it up, well calm him, actually scrape off the half-digested remains of his substantial evening meal from his sheets, pillows and duvet before putting them all in the wash, disinfect everywhere else it had gone and then set him up with a bucket.

Another hour or two passed and he'd survived but after my bedtime I was summoned by a commotion in the bathroom to him being ill in the toilet. Grand, I thought this time, less cleaning up for me. Until I noticed he'd lost control of his bowels and it was seeping out of both legs of his pyjama bottoms.

Have you even cleaned up someone else's poo? Even once? I've done it every day for almost a decade what with nappy duty on the kids but nothing beat last night. It was kind of like a lava flow all across my bathroom floor... A lava flow from a faeces volcano. Bet ya the Marquis De Sade never imagined that in his best moments.

The reason I illustrate all this is not to put you off the concept of having kids but to give you a pointer as to what love really is. Chocolates? Poetry? Candlelit dinners? Poppycock. It's the scraping of regurgitated pasta and the stemming of the poo flow before it gets to your handbasin.

You do all of this without question for them even though you feel like shit and you want to die. Why? You love them and you are their protector and it wouldn't occur to you to fell any other way about it. As it should be.

It also earns you brownie points with the Mrs (no pun intended)


  1. More love: the experienced mother who, hearing her child about to barf (not just spit up), shoots her hand cupped open underneath the baby's mouth. The perspective of what's important sure takes a twist.

  2. *nods sagely*

    Been there, done that, washed the hands afterwards...