Doing time...

>> Friday, 5 October 2007

Great start to the day today. Boy #1 told me I had a double chin. Fabulous. My 4 year old is telling me I look fat… Was secure enough to laugh loudly, as obviously it’s not true. Must have been the angle he was looking at me from.

After a couple of false starts involving last minute nappy changes and resultant change of poo-messed clothes - which by the way did not feel 1950's cuddly at all - we made it to the park this afternoon. Once there I found myself surrounded by a sea of Eurotrash, yummy mummies, and exhausted nannies, all talking 10 to the dozen to each other or on their mobile phones. The noise level was astounding… Had a surreal moment when was asking myself what I was doing there before I remembered that I was a full-time mummy too these days…(perhaps we should have some sort of ‘lifer’ prison uniform to distinguish us for easy identification. It would certainly help me when I look in the mirror).

Of course between leaving home (when it was chilly) and arriving (brilliant sunshine) the weather underwent a miraculous transformation, so we got there in 22 deg sunshine with no hats or suncream. And to cap it all, I was wearing the wrong shoes and totally stood out from all the other Birkenstock wearing mums. Oh, the shame.

The usual interesting social dynamics were in force in the sand pit; lots of kids take toys along with them, but all are fully aware that the moment they put them down, the toys become shared property for any child to pick up (it’s a jungle…). As a result, some of the kids never put their toys down, and if they do it can lead to undignified ‘tug of love’ scenarios over Muck or Scoop. However, whilst all the kids know the etiquette, some of the mummies (I was going to say ‘carers’, but it’s invariably the mummies actually) spend all their time doing impressions of security guards, patrolling their kids’ toys and asking other children to bring them back if they dare to play with them… And we are trying to teach our kids to share?

There was even a Friday afternoon daddy or two enjoying the sunshine. You can always tell which are their children because they are the ones hanging upside down from the bars or doing dangerous aerobics on the slide, whilst their fathers read the paper, and the surrounding women collectively hold their breaths…

Getting to the end of the Potty Diaries now, but I know you're waiting to find out about the hand-holding...

Friday 1st September 2006
Mystery solved. Husband taught Boy #1 the hand-holding trick.

Am mainly relieved but also a little concerned that my beloved is encouraging this middle-aged approach to having a poo by a 3 year old. What with Boy #1’s tendency to take a book to the loo with him, could this be forcing him to grow old before his time?

Another dry day, although with an interesting al fresco experience at a play park in Fulham when a friend of mine borrowed the travel potty for her daughter and made no attempt whatsoever at discretion but just plonked it down between the slides and the seesaw, which resulted in Boy #1 also wanting to be an exhibitionist (although not delivering – stage fright probably). Normally if we need to use it I try to give him a little privacy at least, say by putting it between the double buggy and a wall. Thinking about it though, am I going about this all wrong? Should I just teach him to let it all hang out rather than to be anal and stuffed up about the whole thing (so to speak)?

Potty etiquette – it’s a mine-field. The friend I was with is Dutch – perhaps they are a bit less concerned about privacy when weeing. I’m thinking specifically of those urinals on the banks of the canals in Amsterdam… Ever seen those? Or rather, ever smelt them…?


Mya 6 October 2007 at 14:55  

Poor you having to put up with all that competitive Mum stuff - as long as you weren't wearing your slippers to the park, that's fine.
And yes, I've noticed the same lack of inhibition with the Dutch -a bit disconcerting at first, but kind of comfortingly no-nonsense. I've really enjoyed having a poke around your blog!

Mya x

IngeniousRose 6 October 2007 at 18:58  

Yes I'm used to competitve parents! One asked me what my career path my daughter was going to go down. My daughter was 3 weeks old at the time for goodness sake! Madness, all complete madness!

Potty Mummy 6 October 2007 at 20:47  

Hello Mya, thanks for the visit and you're absolutely right about the slippers. Although in the right light I do think that Birkenstocks can be mistaken for them (no offence meant - I have two pairs of my own). As for the Dutch; Husband is from the Netherlands so yes, no-nonsense is a good way to put it. In your face and sometimes rude can be another - but enough about my in-laws...

Ingenious Rose, thanks also for stopping by and Oh My God. Do you live in Kensington & Chelsea too? Was at a kid's party this afternoon and learnt that if I had really wanted school of first choice for Boy #1 I should have put his name down when he was 3 weeks old. Now THAT'S competitive parenting at it's most insane...

Frog in the Field 7 October 2007 at 20:29  

I rarely take my children to parks, I hate them. All those horrible children, oh, perhaps that's what people think of mine?
I thank the lord we live in the countryside. If there's any one else around with their children, I can shout "get off my land!" in a menacing manor.
I can wear wellies or walking boots or whatever I choose and no-one except my brothers-in-law shall mock me!
Career paths are not a great concern at the mo, public footpaths? ah, now that's another matter.
ps I'm rather upset with the comment you left on my blog, you can be so cruel sometimes Potty Mummy. I shall prove you wrong, you'll see...

Potty Mummy 7 October 2007 at 20:44  

Dear Frog, please don't be upset with me; was just commenting on the invetability of the ageing process in general - not yours in particular! Or rather, mine actually. Am showing way too many signs of becoming my mother - but you're right, that's only my problem which I should keep to myself. Another triple? Please?

Rebecca 7 October 2007 at 21:57  

I befriended a Dutch woman when I was travelling around Indonesia (many yrs ago). We shared accommodation for quite a while. She ALWAYS insisted on leaving the door open when she went to the loo. I thought it was quite odd....she thought I was uptight.

Perhaps it IS a Dutch thing?

Rebecca 7 October 2007 at 22:01  

and what do you MEAN you're getting to the end of the potty diaries?? No you're NOT! Absolutely not. Not allowed. :(

Interesting difference between the mums and the dads....I bet the dads don't care WHO has the toys either long as they're left alone to enjoy themselves.

Potty Mummy 8 October 2007 at 11:37  

You're right Rebecca, the Dad's generally don't care. As long as they are left alone with the FT, everything is A-OK.

Exhibitionist? The Dutch? When you're next in Amsterdam, check out the front room windows. See any nets? That go all the way to the bottom of the window, I mean? I think that answers the question...

And don't worry about the potty diaries ending: I simply meant that last year's anecdotes were running out. As you'll see by next post there's still plenty of poo to go round (and another little monkey to take up the slack before too long...)

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