She was looking extremely small and sorry for herself

Mutiny Festival 2017 Picture: Paul Windsor

Keep children safe – but beware the nanny state

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Verity Lush is a 37-year-old mum-of-two who lives in Portsmouth.

She is a tutor in philosophy, English and maths and has written a book for newly-qualified teachers, plus textbooks and articles for teaching magazines and supplements.
Follow her on Twitter @lushnessblog

Last week the vomit comet struck my house.

I am one of many mummies who would say that, prior to morningnoonandnight sickness, I had a sick-phobia.

Whilst it’s still not my favourite substance on planet earth, I have become a closer acquaintance of vomit since I had my children.

You see; I even refer to it on first name terms.

Last week, Amelie had felt unwell after school. My friend’s parents, Jill and Dave, had collected her from school for me because I was at work.

When I arrived to pick her up, she was looking extremely small and sorry for herself on the sofa.

I rather hoped that her smallness had simply been caused by over-exuberance in the playground following a large hot school dinner, but sadly this was proven not to be the case.

By 9pm, I was elbow deep in sick, Amelie was weeping, and I rather wished to join in.

There are no parenting books that tell you where to begin when you walk into a bedroom that has been redecorated by the government’s ‘free for all hot school dinner’.

For instance, one has to decipher a safe foothold for one’s feet. Slippage may be an issue.

One must also attempt to reach the crying child, whose arms will be stretched out, wanting parental reassurance in the form of a hug.

However, when said child is also sporting a motley assortment of regurgitated, free for all, David Cameron ‘hot school dinner’, they become somewhat less appealing to the eyes, nose, and gag reflex.

Generally, if there are two parents present, life is easier (kudos to single mums and dads because this parenting lark is the world’s toughest job, full stop).

One parent can pass the sickly specimen to the other and then begin Operation Clean-Up.

This may involve scraping, as well as much washing, and the moment when I caught the dog attempting to consume the remnants of Amelie’s lunch from her sheets was a particularly special one.

The upshot of this, of course, was that by Saturday night the toilet and I were bosom buddies ourselves.

My husband attributes this to his ox-like constitution. I attribute it to having practically bathed in sick as I was the one cleaning it up.

And, on a final random note, am I the only person in Britain who is irritated by the government calling ‘lunch’ ‘dinner’?

Really?