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After such a long silence, what better way to return than with a story about poo?

There are two things you need to know as a precursor to this story:

The first is that thanks to the utter horror of her teething poo, anything else that comes out of my darling little cherub is comparatively hard to spot.

Second is that the children share a bath, which is fun, but makes for a cosy experience when you have a matchbox sized bathroom.

So this one evening, a few weeks ago, we had finished dinner and herded a fast moving collection of toddler limbs in the general direction of the washing facilities. I’m at a stage of being a bit ungainly so I sat down on the toilet to stay out of Keith’s way while he put down the mat, drew the bath and helped Alfie out of his clothes.

I managed to wrestle Esme onto my lap as she ran past me and started the similar exercise of removing her clothes; except with Esme there is more hissing and danger of losing an eye. Most of her clothes safely removed I held off touching the nappy because I have been caught out by her before – she pees for laughs – until Keith was about ready to lift Alfie into the water.

Standing on the floor in front of me, Esme wriggled as I innocently undid the Velcro and pulled the nappy through her legs. It didn't occur to me to look down, to check for poo rocks, not until out of the corner of my eye I saw her raise her leg to stamp.

I was too slow, and stamp she did, right down onto a little nugget of poo that had rolled out of the nappy. I squealed at her, making her jump and lose her balance, sliding sideways like Bambi on ice in the now squished poo before I could lift her off her feet.

So there she was, suspended by her armpits in front of me, looking ornery as hell that I had spoiled her fun.

My abdominals not being up to much right now and being caught by a moment of panic known to all parents as the time you realise you are 3 hands short for the job you face, I did something stupid. I sat her on my lap.

My mistake dawned on me a fraction of a second too late. Now Esme had a foot covered in poo, and I had a lap covered in poo.

I wanted to ask Keith to help me, but I was laughing too hard. He and Alfie were watching us with that same mixture of curiosity and revulsion that people take on when they watch Attenborough talking you through a lion kill but eventually he managed to interpret my collection of noises and grabbed the toilet roll.

Esme was now flat on her back along my legs, scowling and yelling at us while I had a firm grip on her thighs and Keith was forced to go digging between her toes to excavate the worst of the squished poo.

Alfie looked on warily from the bath, especially when his slightly second hand and now furious sister was dumped into the water beside him.

I post this as an abject lesson to all of you who think you are experienced in nappies – beware the stealth poo.

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