Toilet habits should remain private

Mo Farrah after missing out on a gold medal
				 Picture: Adam Davy

VERITY LUSH: Leave me to browse the make-up counter in peace

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Verity Lush is a 38-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.

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.


Poo. Everybody does it. Though few people wish to hear about anyone else’s, nor experience it in any sensory form whatsoever.

Luckily, being female, mine resemble roses, and toilet habits in general are one of the many things that are, hopefully, private to you and your family.

From the very beginnings of family, such as the time that you and your partner first meet, the toilet is a very personal place.

Nobody wants their partner to realise that they ‘do poos’, generally for fear of putting them off.

Yet, of course, we all do ‘do poos’.

Even writing about it seems faintly ridiculous, yet my column is about family matters, and poo, plus its liquid cousin, wee, are family matters.

Even once we have passed the initial stages of a relationship, toilet habits don’t necessarily become any easier.

Think of people who have particular illnesses such as Crohns or IBS.

That’s a whole different ball game of toilet habit, one that can even influence what sort of holiday you are able to go on.

I have myriad female friends who were terrified when pregnant that they would produce a huge poo prior to producing a bouncing baby.

I have other friends who refuse to acknowledge to their partners of many years that either of them partake in anything resembling bowel-clearage.

There are others who, conversely, revel in anything linked to the world of bottoms and wees.

If you do have children together, then comes the joyous task of peering into nappies and, occasionally, getting smothered in the contents.

Or, that special moment when your baby produces a poo that escapes not only the nappy, but manages also to creep up all the way to the nape of the neck.

Many an hour can be spent discussing the logistics of removing said clothing from the poo-enrobed infant, without subsequently dousing its entire head, face and hair in faeces.

I know people who have gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal from their partners any inkling that a poo is afoot.

And we’ve all experienced the moment when we’ve walked into a public loo for a mere wee, only to be hit by the olfactory realisation that something grim has happened before.

Never quite as bad, though, as the knowledge that you’ll have to exit the smelly loo only to be confronted by a huge queue and a desperate urge to shout ‘IT WASN’T ME’.