So we're finally back on South-Coast chalk and if the 5-hour car journey in the blazing heat is an example of what happens when we leave home, then I may never set foot outside the front door ever again. I'm sure it's something to do with karma and the cosmic universe - you know what I mean - the good times only last so long before you're made to pay. We had a truly fantastic week in Norfolk - Good food, sunshine, plenty of outdoor activities and no stresses or strains of normal day to day life with two small children (apart from lack of sleep - but I'm saving that for another post). In short, a little bit or R & R. But in the space of 5 very loooooooooooooooong hours, it was pay back time. One hideously painful hour for every fun-filled day we'd just had.
Let me explain in a little more detail. Now I may, or may not have mentioned that Edie is in the middle of being potty-trained. If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you'll know that we've had a few...ahem...problems in this very area. But we are making progress. She's now out of nappies in the day and using her potty and the 'big girls' loo' for her number ones. Hardly any accidents. Number twos, however, are slightly more miss than hit, unfortunately for all involved. So that'll be unfortunately for me then... And as you can imagine, given this background information, a 5-hour car journey could provide a number of, how shall I put this?...Rather indelicate situations.
Could and did.
Add to this the fact that the one day we chose to drive 200 miles home conveniently turned out to be the hottest day of the year...and when you're stuck inside a car, with or without indelicate situations, it's not very pleasant at all.
I won't bore you with the trivial details of 5 separate wee wee stops in the first hour, all of which required pulling in to a side lane, extracting small children from car seats, holding them aloft, legs akimbo (parents of boys may not be able to empathise here), trying desperately not to let that small trickle of wee (which did occur to me half-way through each and every procedure that it was hardly worth stopping for in the first place), trickle dangerously close to clothes, or worse still, bare feet in flip flops, whilst at the same time, trying to remain inconspicuous to passing traffic.
Like I said, I won't bore you with the details.
The part about the turd though, I will have to disclose, because, well, I owe it to you...You can thank me later.
So, just as we'd finally navigated our way through the small lanes that make up most of North Norfolk and made it on to the motorway, I heard the words that I was praying I wouldn't hear.
'Mummy I need a ca ca' (That's a poo to you and me).
Strangely enough there was no inconspicuous country lane to pull over into. There was, however, a potty. A kind of 'chair' potty with an insert part for the seat which I couldn't recommend highly enough for those of you thinking of potty training your children. I'm not sure my reccommendation would stretch as far as using it on a car journey though...
Somehow I managed to pull Edie out of her car seat - don't worry - husband was around and he was driving - you didn't think I was that crazy did you? Anyway, I plonked her on the potty - inbetween the two car seats. And, unbelieveably given the circumstances, she managed to produce a rather fine looking specimen. Now is it just me, or has anyone else ever wondered how a relatively small child can produce a rather adult-looking turd? Maybe this is too much information. I'll stop...
In my excitement at seeing my youngest child perform under stressful conditions, I must have taken my eye off the ball for one milisecond too long. In truth, I think I was reaching for the wipes between my feet. Excuses aside, I took my eye off Edie long enough for her to take the insert part out of the potty and offer it to me, a look of pride etched on her still baby face. I almost had a second to share her pride, but at that precise moment (it was karma I tell you), the car (not husband of course) decided to apply the breaks a little too hard and the rather largish, rather sticky, exceedingly smelly, quite repulsive, in fact, turd, ended up being deposited halfway between the gear stick and the dashboard, a little towards my side.
I am, if nothing, fairly practical and not particularly squeamish...but this, was not how I'd wanted to spend my car journey. In the one second it had taken for Edie's poo to land next to me, all the country walks, barbeques, tractor rides and relaxation had been erased. I could have cried. Instead, I managed to pick up the offending object which had now, unfortunately, become objects and stashed them away inside a plastic bag. I'm electing not to mention how many wipes were used in the clear up or how long it actually took. Suffice to say, I'm happy to do the driving next time...
And a perfectly-timed text from a friend was just about enough to send me over the edge...
'Hope you're enjoying the sun. We're in the back garden with the paddling pool out'.
I looked at the plastic bag, with it's revolting smell emanating through the plastic fibres and filling up the car in the 30 degrees heat and decided to laugh. It was, after all, just another day in the life of a parent.
As for the turd, I can't actually remember what became of it...
Luckily I don't have a 'proper' job to go to, or I could follow More Than Just a Mother's rather unfortunate example and find myself taking it to work with me. I'll be thankful for small mercies then...
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