The time has almost come. I'm thinking of potty training Edie. Although if the little 'accident' on the stairs yesterday is an example of what's to come, then I may delay it even further (despite scrubbing for a good half hour, the stains are still pretty evident). Hmmm. Funnily enough it brings to mind an incident which happened a couple of years ago during Renée's 'potty training period'. A friend had come round for a coffee with her two children. Both our youngest were babies so they slept whilst the two eldest played in Renée's bedroom. I was breast feeding at the time (and possibly on a diet too if my memory serves me well)...so let's just say I was pretty hungry and the chocolate biscuits my friend brought round were slightly too tempting to refuse. So that's the scene. Two Mummies chit-chatting on the sofa...two babies asleep...two toddlers playing happily in another room. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as it happens, quite a lot.
No sooner had the two toddlers spied the packet of chocolate biscuits, they were upon us, demanding that they too be given a share of the goodies. Keen to carry on chatting with my friend, I dismissed the two girls with a hastily given supply of biscuits and the promise of more if they played quietly together for at least ten minutes. Chit chat chit chat chit chat. All was going according to plan until Renée walked into the sitting room clutching the potty...'Mummy, Roxy done caca' (that's French for poo poo just in case you were wondering). 'Right - thanks darling. Lovely.' I took the potty and handed it to the other Mother (it was her child's poo after all). I like to think I'm a great hostess but I only deal with other children's poo if it's a dire emergency. This, as it happens, was not.
So that was that. Potty emptied. Babies still sleeping. Toddlers demanding more biscuits (and getting them). Mummies still chatting. It was a great morning. Great, that was, until the moment of departure came. Now for two toddlers to play happily together, a certain amount of mess has to be made. That's inevitable. But that doesn't send shockwaves through me in any way. A ten-minute tidy-up and no one need ever know that the bedroom was a disaster zone. But this time it was, how shall I put it, different. It wasn't the scale of the mess which surprised me, or the extent to which two little children had been able to run riot. No, it was this simple fact. Chocolate biscuits do not mix well with toys or bedding or carpets, or rugs, or white walls. Somehow, whilst I was happily chit-chatting away in the other room, I had managed to completely ignore the fact that almost a whole packet of crumbly biscuits with melting potential had been taken away by two two-year-olds. I mean what was I thinking? I'll tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking that just a little bit of peace and quiet is worth a ten-minute tidy up at the end of the day. But on this occasion I was wrong. Oh so wrong.
After ten minutes of crawling around on my hands and knees trying to tidy up the toys which hadn't been smeared in chocolate or crumbs, I made it to the potty corner. I don't know what had happened, but it looked as though either one or both of the children had been eating whilst sitting on the potty - like a man reading the Sunday papers on his 'throne' - and the whole surrounding area was covered with chocolate biscuit crumbs...or so I thought. And before you pass judgement - please remember - I was on a diet (and I just hate wasting food). So what did I do? I started eating the chocolate biscuits crumbs of course. Aside from the covering of tiny particles which I later had to vacuum up, there were a few big pieces of biscuit lying around. So piece by piece I put them in my mouth, pleased with myself for not only tidying up quickly, but doing it in a very efficient manner. But hold on, that doesn't taste like chocolate. Does it? No, it can't be. Can it? Just one more chew to make sure. Oh no. It really is what I think it is. It's POO. Aaaaaarrrrrggghhhh. And I'm eating it. Of course, I rushed straight to the bathroom where I spat my mouthful of biscuit and poo into the sink and quickly filled my mouth with mouthwash and water and mouthwash and water. Over and over again. But I'm telling you this - however many times I washed my mouth out and scrubbed and brushed my teeth, I still couldn't rid myself of the taste of poo. I could smell it. I could feel it. I knew it was there invading my every sense.
When I went to bed that evening, a good ten hours after the 'incident' I could still taste it somewhere deep in the back of my throat. And as I lay there thinking about it (how could I even try to think about anything else) it dawned on me why it was so horrific. It wasn't that I had eaten poo, as much as that in itself was hideous. But it was that it wasn't even my own child's poo. It was Roxy's poo. And she wasn't my own. Poo is bad enough when it comes from the ones you adore, but when it's someone else's child's poo, then that really does take the biscuit. And as for potty training Edie, well maybe I can leave it just a little bit longer...
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