An Open Letter To Persil About My Eyeball Injury

Dear Persil,

I am writing to you about your non bio small and mighty washing detergent. See Exhibit A below.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Firstly, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am an Irish mother of four living in Dublin. I spend an awful lot of money on washing detergent because my children love dirt and I spend a significant proportion of my time washing clothes. I will admit to being fickle in my washing powder choices and will mostly purchase whatever is on offer but nonetheless I am a loyal enough Persil consumer over the years.

Dublin is currently in the middle of a heatwave. It is pretty disgustingly hot, truth be told, but the one advantage is that there is great drying out. Ireland in the sun means there are thousands of Irish people stipping beds, curtains, seat covers and washing them right now to get the full benefit of the great drying.  I digress……..

Let me tell me about my morning, Persil. My youngest daughter is two months old. She was due to get her first vaccinations earlier this month. Our GP runs a ridiculously busy  surgery so you can imagine my delight, when I phoned this morning to be told, that there was nobody there this morning and if I came down quickly, the doctor could administer the vaccinations then and there with no wait time. This is such a rare occurance and so much better than having to sit around waiting in a doctors waiting room with four children in the oppressive heat. I was delighted, then my luck changed.

I decided I would put a wash on before we ran out the door and took out my recently purchased bottle of Persil Small and Mighty whilst telling the kids to get their shoes on and hurry up. As you well know there is a top on the bottle which you need to remove before using. Please see exhibit B below.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Its a tricky little bugger and requires some force to get out but out it came and with it came a small dollop of the detergent. This dollop, which I can confirm , is indeed very small and very mighty, shot out of the bottle at great speed into my eyeball.  MY EYEBALL.

I cannot begin to explain the shocking excruciating pain. It was like a thousand burning forks being stabbed into my eyeball. Persil, I am not bad with pain. I recently gave birth at home with no medical assistance or pain relief. The pain of your small and mighty detergent shooting into my eye was more horrendous. I screamed. I wailed. I considered trying to remove my eye myself to make the pain stop. My eldest daughter got me some tissue and my boy offered to get me a plaster. Thankfully they were more amused than scared by my blood curdling screams. I am pretty lax about swearing around the kids but never use proper really foul language. Until today. Today they may have learned the c word.   I wanted to curl up into a ball and scream continously but the doctor was waiting…….

So I loaded my children into the car and off we went. It is only a short drive to our GP. Persil, have you ever noticed when your are concentrating on one sense, your other senses are compromised? For example if I am trying to read a road sign, I need to lower down the car radio. In this instance because I was concentrating so much on trying to see properly , my sense of smell failed me. I got to the doctor, my injured eye was now bright red, bloodshot and throbbing with pain and it was only when I took the baby out of her carseat did I notice she had  had a rather explosive poo. You know the type that soaks through a nappy and  clothes. The doctor took one look at me- Bedraggled, red eyed, surrounded by children, weary. Weary and it was only 9.45am. I had to change the baby on the doctors examination table. I then had to strip the table and the baby because they were destroyed. I too was covered in poo at this point but I didn’t have the option to strip, athough had I, it may have distracted from my hideous looking eye.

The baby then got her vaccinations. Did I mention she is my fourth baby? It doesn’t get any easier watching a needle being plunged into your tiny baby’s soft little thigh and the accompanying look of horror on her face when the pain hits her. She wailed. I cried. Then because of her wailing, my boobs started to leak, badly. The severe eye injury had distracted me and I had forgotten to put on breast bads. So baby screaming, other three children watching, me red eyed, still in pain, covered in poo and breast milk. You still with me? Good.

The doctor asked what was wrong with our eyes……. I looked around confused. My four year old daughter were wearing 3D glasses with the lens removed. I hadn’t noticed. I explained there was nothing wrong . He asked when she had gotten glasses. He asked what had happened my eye. I tried to explain  but it was all too much at this stage and I didn’t want him to touch my eye or explain about my four year old’s fashion statements. I don’t like anything or anybody touching my eyes,Persil. We got up to go. I was broken at this stage. The pain was getting worse.I considered giving in, telling the doctor what happened and getting a referral for the eye hospital and then like magic, the tiny drop of detergent, rolled out of my eye. Very small and very mighty. The pain eased. We came home. The 4 year old got out her doctors set and used the fake otoscope to check my “very sore fooking eye”. She has repeatedly banged this against my eye over the last hour.

Persil, it hasn’t been a very good morning. To be fair there is a warning on the bottle to say keep out of eyes. I did keep it away from eyes. It was a good two feet from my eyes, when it shot out and attacked my eyeball. Perhaps you would consider adding a warning or maybe a line under the kind to skin on the packinging. How about “kind next to skin, fucking horrible to eyeballs?”

Kind to skin, very unkind to eyeballs

Kind to skin, very unkind to eyeballs

Best regards,

From a broken person who thankfully still ,just about, has two functioning eyes.


The Horror That Is People Calling To Your House Unexpectedly

Today I am home with the children. I am sick. Flu like symptoms and a temperature ( 38.9 if anyone is interested)…….. We were sitting downstairs, kids were snapping at each other, I had found that happy place in my head to hide in, all was adequate. The phone rings. Man coming to do quote for new windows. Was not expecting his call today.

Hello- I need to come and measure your windows” he says

Eh right, ok, when? Next week is good?” I said.

I’m in the area, I’ll be there in five minutes” he says

FIVE MINUTES?” I gasp in terror, eyes sweeping across the piles of laundry, Lego and snotty tissues…

He hangs up. I move things into hiding places as quickly as I can.

Similar in size to the pile of laundry on my table

Similar in size to the pile of laundry on my table

He arrives.

Just out of bed are you?” Window man asks jollily

No” I say muttering obscenities under my breath. Wonders should I show him the thermometer and explain about my raised temp.

He starts measuring. Then he starts photographing. I love a stranger photographing my messy house.

He steps out to the garden and takes in the toys, ribbons, sticks, 18 white poles the kids play with from the cheapo Argos gazebo yoke I bought in last year and only used once but for some reason kept all the poles as weapons for the kids.

Was there a party ?” he asked taking in the horror scene and obviously thinking its the aftermath of some big boozy event

“No” says I and whisper more obscenities under my breath.

He keeps photographing. Then it hits me. The colour drains from my face.

You don’t have to go….. upstairs………….. do you?” I whisper nervously. There is a good 15 second pause.

No its ok” he says clearly taking pity on me “ I’ll estimate” . I presume he means he will estimate the window sizes and not the mess that is upstairs because really he has no idea of what he would have seen.

I come close to bursting into tears with relief.

As bad as the mess is downstairs in my house. It’s relatively ok -ish due to the risk factor of people calling unexpectedly.

He says goodbye. I close the door. He remains outside for a further ten minutes photographing. I wonder should I start posing as he can clearly see me inside and it’s getting awkward. I begin to wonder if he actually is who he claims to be, he showed me no ID. My high temperature does not help ( 38.9 by the way). I start to imagine all sorts of weird scenarios. He is still photographing. Panic is setting in. I purposely start sweeping in very exaggerated motions so he can see. His last memory of our house will be me sweeping, maybe he will even photograph it. This memory may cancel out the images of the mess he just witnessed. I don’t know why I care so much what this window man, if he is in fact a window man, thinks about my house. Perhaps its my raised temperature and general flu-like symptoms.

Christ I hate when people call unexpectedly. I should probably buy loads of these types of things and hang them around the house




I don’t fully subscribe to these though. When I see them I think cute, but, what happens when someone contracts some weird disease because of the dirt or someone calls social services because the poor kids are being raised in mess? Nobody wants those memories.

Whilst running around cleaning and sweeping, my eyes, left the three-year old for a couple of minutes. Like all wise three-year olds, she seized her opportunity. She painted her fingernails and fingers, toenails and toes and her face in pink nail varnish.

It’s not a great day. I need to lie down.