The gross realities of living in a house with children.

Bern and her children looking surprisingly clean.

When you are first looking at your beautiful and peaceful sleeping newborn with their perfect little nose and their perfect little toes, all you are seeing is perfection.

Which is how it should be. Sure, you’ve changed some pretty rank nappies by around week two but this is in accordance with all of your expectations and research.

What you are not told however, is that your children will eventually bring home some very disgusting afflictions and pass them on to you.

I’m going to lay it out for you. Children, of all ages, are disgusting. They really are. They don’t stop being gross until they are at least 18 years of age. They pick their nose, they pick their bums, they leave unthinkable things in the waste paper basket in the corner of their rooms. And they also bring home some pretty nasty things from school and day care that will transfer directly to your person.

For those who are already on the frontline with me, you will have experienced or at least understand the following. If however, you are new to the game or the vile “gift” your child is about to give you, consider this a heads up. Consider this my gift to you

1. Headlice

Nits. These little parasites rely on sucking the blood from your children’s scalp for their very survival.

And, then, through loving cuddles and hugs, they transfer onto yours.

Not only did I spend hours hothousing, killing and combing these things from my daughter’s head, I also had to double my efforts to eradicate these bastards from my own scalp. Have you seen my hair? I am like the Paddle Pop Lion. I have a mane of curly, unruly hair and those little fuckers had a field day.

I went so far as to buy an Electric Nit comb  which was meant to fry them but  in reality, did nothing. I honestly think that every parent has to find their own secret solution to get rid of them. Mine involved conditioner, an array of oils and hours of combing and prevention. All you as a parent need to know is that no matter how clean your child, you will find at least one of these suckers and their eggs in your child’s scalp.

No one is immune.

2. Worms

When you see your child digging for gold in the back of their undies or are simply famished and never satisfied, get thee to a chemist. Let me tell you a little bit about these guys:

  • Threadworm (Most Common) – Shared by EATING the eggs of the worms. These are often found in your child’s poo. Most commonly shared when children don’t wash their hands because they scratch parts of themselves (their bums) and then put their hands in their mouths. Yup.
  • Ringworm – not a parasitic infection at all but a persistent fungal infection. Often spread by felines.
  • Hookworm – rare in Australia
  • Whipworm – rare in Australia
  • Tapeworm – occurs in Australia, particularly in sheep farming areas
  • Roundworm – while rare in Australia, this is the most common parasitic infection in the world

The thing is that all of the above are easily treated with some delicious chocolate- NO, you don’t understand; the worming medicine is somehow cleverly disguised in a serve of chocolate and the kids happily take it.

 Worm free children

3. Scabies

Scabies are tiny mites that burrow into the skin and cause one of the itchiest rashes that has ever itched. It’s spread by direct contact with other people with an infestation.


The mites themselves are too small to see, but they leave behind small red bumps where they start their tunnels.  The bumps come on slowly and can be located anywhere, but are often clustered in the skin folds (between fingers/toes, groin, armpits and the waist).

Good news! You just need to lather every single house dwelling member’s body in a cream from the chemist and wash every bed covering you have in a 1000 degree heat and you’ll eradicate these guys. Urgh.


4. Gastro

There is no parent of a child over 3 years of age who has not yet experienced this. There is always a ‘bug going around’ that, of course, you accept and explain away. It always ranges in severity from ‘oh, yeah, that was uncomfortable’ to, ‘Jesus, I cannot leave this toilet cubicle for the next 6 hours for fear that I will shame myself and those I love’.

5. Warts

Warts were always such a childhood thing. And to be fair, it’s not really something I’ve seen transferred to adults. But I had my fair share of them as a 10-year-old and that is not something I want to revisit.

I have one child who clearly is a fungal hotbed and grows them all over his feet. Despite freezing those suckers, they still come back. These almost have to be waited out. They are virus and if they bleed, be sure to avoid them so you cannot be infected.

 Least offensive warts picture I could find

6. Tinea

Oh, I’d forgotten about Tinea. This is thrush for the feet, or the often referred to, Athlete’s foot. It is often brought home by kids swimming at school or at their local pool.

It’s a veritable sauna in those places which, of course, just intensifies the beauty that is the fungal infection. Make your kids wears thongs. Make them. Give them probiotics. You do NOT want this visiting you in your home.


 Least offensive picture I could find when I searched for Tinea

So yeah, there are just a few lovely experiences you may or may not have to look forward to. But either way, I think it’s best that you are prepared that kids are pretty damn disgusting.

They don’t mean to be. They also don’t mean to bring these back to your home. But it’s part of life. You did it to your parents, they did it to theirs. It’s the circle of life.

I guess the thing is, without being too forensic, try and teach your children to be as clean as they can be for their age group without going on all OCD on their arse. But also remember that sometimes, these gross things are natural and immunity building.

What else have you found that your “little cherubs” have brought home and shared with you?