04 March 2008

Winnie the ...

Sonny Ma-Jiminy has acquired a compulsion for weeing in his pants, taking his pants off and pooing on the path every time he's playing outside in the late afternoon. You could bet lots of money on it and get very rich.

Today after he ate his dinner, I hustled him outside to play while I bathed Chubbity Bubbity and gave her milk and put her to bed. I entreated Sonny Ma-Jiminy not to wee or poo outside; I pleaded with him to do anything that needed to be done in the toilet and only in the toilet. I explained it and coached him. When quizzed on this process of monumental complexity, he indicated full understanding.

While Chubbity Bubbity was in the bath I looked out the window and had cause to ask, "Why are you naked from the waist down?" to which the expected answer came immediately: "I did a wee." I implored him to do any poo that *might* be coming in the toilet, the downstairs toilet, and only the downstairs toilet, to which he meekly said, "Okay."

While I was giving Chubbity Bubbity her night-time milk, I heard the sound of the downstairs toilet in use and shrieked downstairs (much to Chubbity Bubbity’s shock) "What's going on?"

Stunned silence. "Are you doing the right thing or the wrong thing?" "...The right thing... I dzust doo'd a poo." "Ah ... oh. Err..." "I doo'd two poos. I doo'd one in the toilet and one on the path. Oh. I should have doo'd it in the toilet. Sowwy Mummy."

There was not much I could do at that point. I told him to come upstairs and hop in Chubbity Bubbity's bathwater and wash, which he did (a measure of thoroughness could not be taken at this time) and went downstairs again.

I finished feeding Chubbity Bubbity and sang her sleeping song and put her in the cot. Then I went downstairs to survey the wondrous poo. I found Sonny Ma-Jiminy half-naked and busily digging a hole in the garden in which to bury the poo (always a bad idea but we did it once so that's what we do now. A pot-plant always has to go on top to stop Puppity Doggity digging up the poo, so now we have a little 'garden of poo-pots' which is a thoroughly stupid idea in anyone's language. Only a garden of potted poos would be stupider. And we should never rule that out before Sonny Ma-Jiminy turns 21.)

First I drew Sonny Ma-Jiminy's attention to the words Husband has written into the path using his high-pressure hose (yes, I said a 'high-pressure hose' - I blow my nose at your Level 6 Water Restrictions and your Anti Climate Change Regulations. We have a special dispensation for hosing under The Poo-On-The-Path Clause.)

Husband has scrawled the words "Don't Poo Here" in hyper-clean hose writing on the path. Following intensive coaching over the last week, Sonny Ma-Jiminy was able to tell me what it said. For a while we discussed the meanings of the words "Don't", "Poo" and "Here" and then we explored what "Don't Poo Here" meant. We talked about how he had obviously missed the point behind this most complicated of directions. Then with trowel, hose and toilet paper I dispatched the fragrant excrement while he said sadly, "Sowwy. Sowwy. Sowwy Mummy."

Sonny Ma-Jiminy thought he was being actively involved in the cleaning process, so he was happy. But really I just stopped him touching anything and stepping in poo. When Husband came home Sonny Ma-Jiminy ran to him excitedly saying, "We cleaned up the poo! You’ll be so proud of us!" showing he again had totally missed the point.

This sort of thing happens most days. Particular details differ, for example sometimes his wet pants are put in a container of water and a shovelful of dirt from the garden is dumped liberally over the top. I used to get neurotic and upset when it happened but now I've gone through all the Stages Of Grieving a poo-free existence and have arrived at the final stage: "Acceptance."

I now say to Chubbity Bubbity while I’m cooking, "How much time will we have before he does a wee and takes his pants off?" and "Will we be able to get this pumpkin in the oven before he poos on the path, do you think?"

And if you're a Mum of young kids, none of this is foreign to you. I don’t know why I even shared; you could have told the story yourself. It's your turn next time.