Local parent, researcher and writer, Maddie Wallace, continues her daily diary describing the experience first, of self-isolating, and now of being in lockdown with her children in Southsea. We’re at Day 60 and Maddie turns to an unpopular, though familiar, subject for parents.
Phew, sixty days. Seems like a nice round number to reflect on one theme that is recurrent in our household: poo.
I mean, two teenage boys (well, almost) and a five year old and you’re going to see poo cropping up. Or at least the idea of it popping out of their mouths. A loves poo so much that her favourite Christmas present last year was a floating poo bath game, made in China from cheap plastic. I can’t complain because I bought it. I had to put environmental concerns aside as soon as I saw it, because if there’s one thing A is obsessed with, it’s poo.
When her brothers were away last week, she spent a significant portion of her waking time thinking of ways she could prank them. She wanted to put dog poo in their beds. I said no. She put her fake floating bath poos in their beds instead.
‘What if we got some of our poo and put it in a jar and did an experiment on it?’ she’ll ask, about once a week.
What if we don’t, Gillian McKeith.
I live surrounded by the poo needs of others. The dog poos and I pick it up. That was meant to be S and Z’s job, but it turned out to be too big for them within days of Piggy coming to live with us. She’s a Shar-Pei/Staffy cross, she’s pretty hench, she does huge poos. Z couldn’t cope with the gagging, or the feel of it through the bag, or the way it sticks to the blades of grass in the park.
He’s also petrified, in an almost phobic way, that the bag will split. It’s only happened to me once in the two years we’ve had the dog but it’s a pretty horrific feeling. Last week, A and I were on the beach at Eastney in the early evening. The tide was so far out we were able to walk barefoot along the shoreline on the sandy flats. At one point the dog did her second poo of the walk. Never a nice thing; I’m pretty sure she forces the second one out in excitement. Let’s just say it’s somewhat softer, with a sheen that makes it look a lot like wet sand in the evening sunset. So much so, that as I stood next to it trying to get the poo bag open, A ran up and picked it up with her bare hand thinking it was a rock.
Way to trigger my germ phobia kiddo!
She wasn’t remotely bothered as we washed her hand fifty times in the sea and I doused her in antibacterial gel. It still makes me shudder to think of it.
Then there’s the almost six month old kitten, with his litter tray, which he still uses even though he thinks he’s a big enough boy to climb out of upstairs windows now. I don’t mind that he still uses his litter tray; yes, he’s incapable of keeping the contents within the actual tray, but at least he’s not pooing in my neighbours’ gardens.
But nothing poo-related during lockdown has come close to what S did.
I was sat at my desk, trying to write a sentence with A chattering away at me about dragons, when Z thundered down the stairs shouting in what sounded like genuine distress for once. As I hadn’t asked him to do anything he needed to try and get out of, I took it seriously.
He burst into the living room retching, clutching his throat and shouting about S.
‘He’s just sprayed his liquid arse at me!’ Z wailed, gagging.
‘What? His wha – S has diarrhoea?’ I said, beyond concerned by this point.
‘No! His liquid arse! He sprayed it on me!’
‘What does that mean?! Do you mean he’s got the runs? In the bedroom?’
He retched and rolled on the floor, clearly in some distress. ‘NO MUM! HIS LIQUID ARSE!’
‘I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? DID HE SHART WITH NO CLOTHES ON? WHAT’S HAPPENED?!’
Z sat up, his eyes streaming, ‘No, Mum – [gag] he bought some liquid [gag] arse online and he’s just [retch] sprayed it on me. It’s the [gag] worst [gag] smell I’ve ever [gag] smelt in my life and I think [gag] I’m going to be sick [dramatic dry heave].’
Z may think he’s old enough to swear and speak to Alexa like a stroppy teenager, but it seems he’s not yet outgrown his overactive gag reflex. S, on the other hand, is old enough to order something online that says keep out of the reach of children.
I confiscated it. Of course I did. It really is the worst smell you can imagine. It’s nothing like the old stink bombs, there’s not that toxic hint of sulphur. I’m pretty sure the makers of this have bottled the contents of a hundred year old cess pits and are selling it on the internet. It’s the worst thing I think I’ve ever smelt, and I’ve travelled back from Zakynthos via a seven hour layover at Athens airport with dysentery.
That little illness left me with a wheat intolerance that then became an allergy. There is nothing worse than the smell of intestines trying to vacate themselves of something they’re having an allergic reaction to. Except Liquid Ass. That’s much worse.
It didn’t put A off though. She still loves poo. She was horrified when the video of the little girl singing her poo song did the rounds because A thought she was the only one with a poo song. So here’s her version. Singing about it I can take. Smelling the contents of that bottle is something I never want to do again.
Especially not while we’re already surrounded by so much bullshit you can probably smell the UK from space.
Maddie is sharing her lockdown experiences every day on S&C – you can find each day’s diary and all of Maddie’s previous articles for S&C here.