It is usually possible to extract enough information from the location of stains on a person’s clothes to decipher whether they are indeed a parent and the age of child they are a parent to.
From the moment the baby is evicted from the mothership, it leaves clues of it’s existence around your person. This is most commonly in the form of a white smear perched happily on your shoulder and will remain there in various guises until the child leaves home.
A new game develops early in parenthood known as, “Is It Poo?” The rules are very simple; locate an unidentified stain, stare at it quizzically for a few seconds then sniff it. I would thoroughly recommend not licking as it is usually poo. In fact, the game should be renamed, “How Did Poo Get There?”
Clothes that you would have ordinarily thrown out for the wash get picked up, dusted down and put back on ready for another days onslaught. Non-parents will happily point these stains out to you at every opportunity as if doing you a favour in case you weren’t aware of their existence (you were), whereas fellow parents join in with the catharsis of picking silently at unidentified crust when stood
chatting rocking together.
Smears of mud that adorn tops of thighs signal a parent of a toddler/preschooler/teenager that has momentarily lost it’s ability to walk, mere seconds after relishing the delights of stamping in muddy puddles. These stains will remain there for the foreseeable future as the parent usually only has one pair of trousers that comfortably fit since childbirth.
No fabric is exempt from the stain-spreading abilities of a child and no surface is immune. Washable pens become impervious in the hands of a small human as they can somehow detect exactly which surface falls outside of the ‘washable’ characteristic and scribbles violently, forever leaving self expression all over the place.
New games will naturally evolve as the children get older. These include:
Get Your Shoes Off The Sofa
Don’t Wipe Your Fingers On There
Please Use A Tissue
Stop Masturbating In Your Socks
All of which have exactly the same rules:
Player One shouts the title of the game loudly at Player Two. Player Two ignores Player One and continues with loathsome behaviour. Repeat daily.
Investing in a really good washing machine or spending out on decent stain removing products are a waste of time and money; just buy an incinerator. It will serve you much better. Or move house.