The Big Issues

>> Saturday, 29 December 2007

So, Christmas has been and gone; we had a good one, I won't bore you with the details which are no doubt very similar to many other people's festive breaks. It featured, in no particular order, too much food, lots of presents, family jokes, family spats, moments of great happiness, and others of extreme frustration. But here are a couple that I thought it might be worth sharing...

For the last couple of weeks, at Mass on Sunday, Boy #1 has been asking the Eternal Question.

"Where's God?"

Gosh, I thought, only 4 years old and already the big questions. It's a good thing my paternal grandmother isn't with us any more or she would have him signed up for the White Fathers before you could say St Bernadette.

Not wanting to befuddle him with too much information - and frankly, not being too sure of the answer to that one myself - I took the easy way out.

"God is invisible, darling. He's here, but you can't see him."

Boy #1 thought about that. "Is that because he doesn't want to disturb us?"

I giggled to myself, said he was probably right, and thought no more about it. But this conversation was repeated the following Sunday - and then again on Christmas morning. I gave the same woolly answer. It clearly wasn't satisfying him. Then, as we left the church after Christmas mass, he turned to me and, pointing at a priest we hadn't seen for a couple of weeks, said very loudly; "There's God! He is here, after all!"

Mistaken identity. Not so philosophical after all, then.


We arrived at my parent's house on Boxing Day morning after a 2 hour journey following an early start. Boy #1 needed the loo. He insisted I go with him as the bathroom in question has a light switch he couldn't reach, and then asked me to stay.

"OK, of course I will if you want me too. Why?"

"Because I need a poo, of course."

"But you don't need me for that these days."

The following was said through gritted teeth as he discovered that sometimes poo does not appear of it's own accord but needs to be helped on it's way. So, remember; gritted teeth, the space between each word punctuated by a thoughtful pause...



Give me strength.


The Rotten Correspondent 29 December 2007 at 22:52  

Don't you know that an unviewed poo doesn't count? If you aren't in there how can they preen and show off the end (ha!) results?

Now that mine are older they just don't flush. It's their way of sharing the joy with others.

Potty Mummy 29 December 2007 at 23:09  

Ah ha! That explains a lot, RC. I just can't wait for that development. Of course, for boys I understand that then the fun of categorising their poo starts too. You know; the various animal shapes, the weather phenomena, and not forgetting, of course, the infamous 'ghost poo'. Oh yeah. I can handle this...

(Maybe I should reconsider the 'no more babies' decision in the hope I get a girl. Although of course it would be another boy and I would be outnumbered 4:1 rather than 3:1 as I am now. No - better to stick. And think up new poo categories...)

Tracey 30 December 2007 at 01:38  

I have bad news for you re girls. That "now that mine are older they just don't flush" line - I don't know the gender of RC's offspring, but I have three girls, now 14, 12 and 9, and I went "OMG.. is THAT what it is. Is THAT why we get the phantom poos...

I also have the not so fond memories of waiting with them when they were little while they did their #2's in 'foreign' places. Less than savoury picnic area "amenities".. when they've got to go, they've got to go, but do they have to take so long? With you standing there!
The good news is that when they are 14 you don't have to stand there with them!

Iota 30 December 2007 at 04:16  

God is invisible because he doesn't want to disturb us. It would indeed be very disturbing if he was visible. I think your small theologian has a great future ahead of him.

I'm married to a theologian/philosopher. Did I ever tell you that? This means that when I'm confronted with similar questions, I find it very tempting to reply "oh ask your father, he's paid to know about things like that". I resist the temptation, on the basis that a SAHM must retain some vestige of intellectual dignity. I can't believe I just wrote that.

aims 30 December 2007 at 17:39  

I try to entertain 'The Man' (in lieu of children) with poo stories - but he won't listen.

Potty Mummy 30 December 2007 at 20:00  

Thanks, Tracey. You've finally cured me of the broodiness bug. Although I am a little concerned that this poo watching thing is going to go on for another TEN YEARS!

Hi Iota, no, don't think you ever did tell me about that. It must make it very tricky to win arguments, if your husband has the combined works of all the great theologians at his command. It would drive me crazy... But don't ever forget, as far as your children are concerned, YOU are God. Which of course works perfectly with the invisible theory and gives them every reason to ignore all your requests. Until of course they hit puberty, when all parents - theologians or not - become the devil...

Aims, don't worry about it. In my limited experience, no Man ever listens - to anything. Although you could try reading the football results out to him in a sultry voice, wearing your sexiest underwear. That might get his attention.

Motheratlarge 1 January 2008 at 11:37  

Glad your Christmas went well (doesn't it already seem a long way off). All the best for 2008 to you and the family.

Potty Mummy 2 January 2008 at 08:33  

Thanks MAL, it already seems an age ago, I kicked this one off to a flying start by taking Boy #1 into his nursery a day early... Happy New Year to you too!

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