I am as hard as mothers come. Nothing freaks or grosses me out any more. I have caught vomit in my open palm thanks to several gagging incidents with food. I have scrubbed poo from under my nails. Wiped all sorts off the floor and off hands. Put tissues to noses streaming with the vilest stuff imaginable but fascinating all the same. Just how much snot can one child contain exactly? Currently, I am scooping discharge out of a small ear thanks to an infection. I have used breast milk, also this week, to clear up sticky, gloopy eyes. I can wipe a child’s rear end in my sleep. In fact I think I may have done once. I opened my eyes to see the said body part inches from my face and a request to wipe it, or was that a dream? I have looked in the face of fear, which was really wide open mouths displaying chewed up food and laughed. That poo scene in Bridesmaids? Hoo hah! Chicken feed! My favourite scene in the movie is not the “poo scene.” I like instead where the brash blond one with all the boys (oh God!) is lamenting their sexual development and the resulting state of the bed sheets. You know the scene I mean. I think it’s hilarious and at the same time, up there with Nightmare on Elm Street. Yes, I know, I may well laugh now, it’s all ahead of me. I can just about handle the body fluids. But there is one thing that gives me the heebie jeebies; thread worms. I’m hard but not so hard that I cannot be broken and these little bastards almost broke me. It was winter. I was heavily pregnant and they came and visited. Not me, I hasten to add, although there is no shame in being infested. The child in question happens to be a thumb sucker so re-infestation was most likely on the cards. I will take head lice over thread worms any day. I’m still waiting on these to put in an appearance and so far they haven’t but it is only a small matter of time. But the other disgusting, god awful little filthers! If I may go into some detail here, I will try to be brief. Head lice can be eradicated pretty quickly and effectively. Just get the bottle of stuff, apply it, comb the hair and wash. Or is it wash and comb? Job done. Repeat as necessary I suppose. Like I said, I haven’t had the pleasure yet, but from childhood experience, this was the course of action. Thread worms on the other hand are clever little shits. Excuse the language but I find it hard to be civil when in the company of evil. These little shits have a life cycle of 6 weeks. Their eggs can live quite happily on a surface, any surface. A teddy bear, a duvet, a carpet, a sink, a floor, a couch, play dough, a sand box, any-friggin-where! Turns out they are not fussy. But I am when it comes to these horrors. And thorough. I scalded the hands off myself that winter, disinfecting the boys’ bedroom. All of their cuddly toys were black bagged and dumped. I’m not being a bad mammy, they never played with them, they were merely ornaments, and they weren’t even missed. Finger nails were cut so close, I almost drew blood. Bed linen was boiled to the point of being shrunk. I am of the opinion that too clean a house is almost as dangerous as a filthy one, but I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed that day. I don’t know how I didn’t go into labour. It really is true what they say, the apple will fall when it’s ready. I asked the pharmacists advice, especially as I was pregnant and there was another child in the house, too young for dosing. The pharmacists told me I would know if the smaller boy had them as I would see it in his nappy. I encounter soiled nappies several times a day, but was never in the habit of inspecting them. Until then. Even the Screecher Creatures were momentarily silenced when they saw me looking within. My head was seriously wrecked. Boys being boys, they have a fascination with their appendage and now every time I see a hand reaching into a waistband, which can be numerous times a day, my heart stops. The good old worming solution that tastes slightly of bananas is always in the house. I make sure of it. A word of advice here, get the liquid version. The Cure is also available in tablet form which requires crushing with two spoons. Too much palaver. The school is great, they are big believers in the expression that to be forewarned is to be forearmed and always inform parents when head lice are in the school. I practically relish finding one. They won’t stand a chance!