Aimee Horton

When it’s not a Malteser.


There are days when I look back on my pre-child days and pity myself and my own naivety about what it’s like to have a child.  I’m not talking about the vision of baby powder, smiling laughing babies and snot free noses, to be fair that’s just Mother Nature’s way of making sure we all procreate.  If we are oblivious to the reality of the situation, we’re more likely to go for it assuming we’re adding something special to our lives.

No, that’s understandable.  I’m talking about the other foolish decisions and plans you make, for example putting cream carpets down in the house you have just bought knowing that you plan to have children in the next year or so.  Or the purchase of the expensive white bedding which you feel will give your room a lovely airy feeling when you’re sleeping along side the equally white moses basket on those warm summer nights.  Oh, of course the dry clean only clothes.  I often sit, in my dressing gown, which if you look at the bottom you can see has been used as a tissue (by a child not by me), on my sofa clutching my luke-warm cup of tea eyeing up the encrusted rusk which has made it’s way up the lounge curtains and laugh at my former immaculate self.

Then I chastise myself, because nobody NOBODY can prepare you for how gross it is to have children.

I’m not talking about the projectile vomiting you experience with your newborn (although that is pretty gross the first time you see it squirt out of a moses basket and up 3 metres into the air), or when your struggling to make said child feed and your breast milk lets loose and squirts your partner in the eye.  Not dirty nappies, “sprinkles” next to the toilet, and bogies on their sleeves I’m talking about the proper stuff.

“WHAT?! WHAT CAN BE MORE GROSS THAN THAT?!” I can hear shouted…obviously from people who don’t have children.

Shall I tell you?

There are three main types of gross. Snot, Sick and Poo.  Everyone his their danger area. But my biggest gross-out is poo related, this has never been an easy situation for me to deal with. The first two I’m ok about dealing with, although I’m not pretending that witnessing the double candle stick bogie that’s touching the top lip being licked hasn’t made me throw up a bit in my mouth…or in fact having another human being throw up in MY mouth hasn’t made me want to kill myself.

From the early days of it shooting out of nappies and seeping through a sleep suit onto my jeans, or it hiding away quietly in a pair of jeans, at the early stages where it’s not lumpy, just the consistency of Angel Delight, and you only discover it when you put your hands in the trousers to pull them down.  I’ve had to hold my breath and get over it.

But here’s the thing it’s got worse.  As soon as they are on the move, they can literally spread the shit further away, and recently it’s just not been an enjoyable experience.

I’ve wiped it off the wall, I’ve washed it out from between my toes, I’ve witnessed it falling out of pants during potty training stages and bounce across the floor and under the fridge, but I have to say my lowest ever point , even more than waking up to it on my cheek one morning, was discovering what I thought was a Malteaser on the stairs one morning before school.

It was just after Mr Aimee’s birthday, a particularly bad time for sleeping for The Chunky Monkey.  He was waking up constantly through the night, then ridiculously early in the mornings.  At 5.30am that morning I’d instructed Mr Aimee he was going to have to take over just for the hour so I could function and get some sleep.

At 5.33am I kicked him 3 times as the wailing on the landing above us kicked in, I heard him go upstairs, have a chat, go downstairs and return with what I presumed some milk.  I heard the tv remote being fumbled about with and the annoyingly perky sounds of Nick Jnr kick in (seriously CBEEBIES, whoever is in charge of you obviously doesn’t have kids if you believe that we don’t need you until 6am – and with DUCKING Tikkabilla too).

Anyway, at 6.45am, after pressing snooze 3 times I finally caved when I heard a scrap happening on the landing and dragged myself upstairs to let the monsters loose.

There on the stairs, was a lone Malteaser…similar to the topping on Mr Aimee’s birthday cake.  I saw it from across the landing, and as I marched towards it I began to construct my finger wagging that he had been foolishly lazy enough to give the child CAKE rather than discipline him.  I stood and glared at the offending ball of chocolate, thinking at this point that I would quite like some cake for breakfast. I bent down, I plucked it off the carpet ready to go and wave it at Mr Aimee who was already in the shower, thinking I could have a sneaky taste since I hadn’t even had a cup of tea yet, that’s when the smell hit me.

Not putting two and two together I kept hold of the chocolate, and marched up the stairs to see if The Chunky Monkey had done a dirty nappy.  The smell got stronger, and I spot another Malteaser on the landing…then another leading into his bedroom and right near where he’s squatting a pile of them.

“I done a poo”.

Needless to say, I did take a mouthful of gin to get rid of the taste of vomit in my mouth before making myself a cup of tea.

When it’s all a bit pooh.


I’ve always had a rather sensitive nose.  This is not something I’m pleased about.  Whilst it’s useful (I can sniff out a dirty nappy three floors down), it also has massive draw backs – especially as I don’t cope well with gross things, to put into perspective how sensitive my gag reflex is, I can bork at the thought of a lone pooh lying sadly at the bottom of a public toilet which has failed to be flushed away by the previous occupant.

In fact, I’ve just gagged a little bit and had to go and get a can of diet coke out of the fridge and stop sweating.

When I fell pregnant with the Beast I flashed back about 8 years, to when I used to regularly babysit my nephews and once my nephew did a nappy SO SO bad that I threw up walking past him, and I had to call my sister to see if she was on her way home.  She was, so I just sucked on an entire packet of polos for 20 minutes until she got home and changed it.

Then I flashed back a further 10 years to when our hair dresser used to come to our house and to do our hair.  She used to bring her baby with her who I adored.  However I remember physically heaving and getting a little sick in my mouth at the smell of food she was feeding the baby from a jar.

Through the years, I used to hate going to the toilets at work (especially those that were unisex), hated walking into the butchers to get my meat, the fish counter at the supermarket, opening the wheely bin.  All things that made me feel more then a little nauseas, had me breathing through my mouth and finishing whatever business I had as quickly as possible.

I began to panic about who was going to do the babies nappies for me, especially as during both pregnancies, my sense of smell and my vomit reflex was even more heightened, and I became adept with throwing up in various unusual places (daily pulling my car into a lay-by on the A1 as I drove past McDonalds on the way to work, the bin outside the butchers, outside a public toilet when I DESPERATELY had to nip in for a wee, had to hold my breath then throw up).  I was even more nauseas (for the first 24 weeks) during my second pregnancy, and I remember my friends watching me turn green and physically beginning to heave as The Beast  pulled his pooh face, before often taking pity on me and changing his nappy.  Well, I say they took pity on me, they probably didn’t want skittle coloured sick on their carpets.

For two and a half years I was filled with fear for the inevitable potty training fiasco.  I’d toilet trained my nephews by downright REFUSING to deal with the potty.  I couldn’t do it, even emptying a wee down the toilet made me retch a little bit.  I KNOW I KNOW it’s dramatic, it’s ridiculous, but I couldn’t do it! I really don’t know what’s wrong with me.  When the cats have poohed in the house I’ve managed to clean it up when Matt hasn’t been around to do it for me, but it’s been done in a rather dramatic fashion of panting into my heavily perfumed jumper, lots of running outside to breath in fresh air, and possibly more kitchen roll then necessary.

Since having the boys I’ve become quite adept with shooting pooh spattered clothes from nursery nappy sack storage into the washing machine without smelling or touching it.  However, I’m quite impressed with my developed sense of humour with the whole situation.

Sense of humour with pooh?  You? Yes. I know.  Me.  It’s part of my “laugh or you’ll cry” mantra.  You see.  I think I’ve experienced quite a few pooh situations (although @aliceharold made me bork with her rendition of her DD carrying pooh from the potty in her hands).  For example, when one of the boys was days old, I go to change their nappy and they pooh with the nappy off, you know, that wet sort of pooh that squirts in the air.  It landed on my jeans.  It must have been the Beast as I remember grabbing frantically at my mint imperials so not to vomit.  I’ve also known a pooh to roll from nappy onto my bare foot and whilst I’ve changed the nappy calmly, then hopped around the room going “EWW EWWW EWWW” I’ve coped, lived to text Matthew telling him my tale of woe, and I’ve cleared it away.

I would cope better if there wasn’t the texture and the sound to deal with as well.  You know that sound, the slop as it lands in the toilet, splashing into water and gracing us with it’s shitty fragrance.   The sound of the grunts you hear through the baby monitor which warns you that when you open that nursery door you will be hit with a wall of grossness, that wall that requires at least 3 cups of tea to face, that slightly wet trumping sound which you know in the pit of your stomach means there is going to be pooh up to your sons neck.

The texture is another thing all together, hard I can cope with, it’s nothing a sainsburys bag quickly grabbed from the under sink cupboard can pick up (I’ve also being the doting mother that I am, been known to help ease a hard one out with a rubber glove and some water).   It’s the other ones I have issues with.  The sloppy ones that go up to their necks, the sticky ones that don’t just wipe off, you know you really have to rub it, the ones that are so sludgey that they seep through the nappy and you don’t realise until you open the vest and get it under your nails.

Why am I telling you about this now?  I would take it as a warning.  Fatso is ready to be potty trained.  I am quite nervous about this, he’s not even 2 and doesn’t speak very well – just shouts random abuse at you.  However, there’s an inkling that he’s ready.  The fact that you put him on the toilet and do the push motion and he pushes a pooh out.  If he doesn’t need to use the toilet he makes a fuss and demands to be taken off.

I’m holding off.  I know he’s ready, and let’s face it, the sooner he’s out of nappies the better, but there’s that gut feeling that he’s too young.  We were always quite lucky with The Beast once he GOT it, he got it.  We’ve had very very few accidents, never a car incident, however I know Fatty is going to cause more trouble.

Oh yes and that minor thing where I want a dog.  God knows how I’m going to cope with that – they do scented poop-a-scoops don’t they?