And so, the end is nigh...

>> Wednesday, 29 October 2008

You'll never guess. Well, you probably will, but I'm going to tell you anyway.
Boy #2.



My work here is done. So long!

OK, you didn't think you were going to get off that easily, did you?

I know, I know, you want all the details, but in a fit of motherly reticence I'm not going to share with you his assertion that no, he was not having a poo (despite the all-too evident smell and effort that convinced me otherwise), or the family rejoicing that followed the discovery of the wonderful gift he had made us in what has in many ways been a shxt week (nice of him to stick to the theme, don't you think?), in case in years to come he should be embarrassed by such revelations.

Let's just say that he was probably in the right place at the right time, and I'm not holding my breath (though perhaps given this morning's performance I should be) that we will see a repeat tomorrow...

And in non-potty news...

It's coming up to my grandmother's 95th birthday.

95 years! My grandmother is an amazing woman. She still lives on her own in a bungalow on the south coast of England, still does all her own cooking, shopping, and cleaning, travels by bus, and has a bit of a thing for a nice sweater from the Scottish Woollen Mill. She's happy to spend an entire morning at the garden centre, planning next year's displays of hardy annuals (she gives very good pansy and begonia), and remarking on how cheap the set roast lunch is in the cafe there.

When she visits my parents in Somerset she changes her outfit around 3 times a day; it doesn't do to let the side down just because you are rurally impaired, she believes. She visits the hairdressers every week for a 'wash and set', and despairs of my mother, who in most people's eyes is the epitome of style and elegance, because she wears trousers occasionally and puts highlights in her hair. At one coffee morning when Mum was visiting her, Nana commented to a mutual friend "Don't mind G - she lives in the country, you know." This was because my mother was wearing a trouser suit. And there was also the notable time when, whilst mum was growing up, Nana discovered that she wore her vest over rather than under her bra, and called her a trollope, but I think that 50 years later they've both put that behind them now.

She's a remarkable woman. She's lived through 2 world wars, lost a brother to a tragic accident as child, worked 'in business' (as she charmingly calls it, rather like a Russian Mafia-Wife), borne 2 children, built up a successful caravan park group with her husband, lost that much-loved husband to leukemia only a few months after he retired, with one exception lost her 4 siblings, seen 6 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren (so far) arrive, and still doesn't touch a drop of alcohol.

Every Christmas she visits my parents and good-humouredly puts up with the crowds, the noise, and not being able to hear us all speaking at once through her hearing aid, though when there's a programme she wants to watch on television it is advisable to find ear-plugs. She walks to the end of the village and back for her daily constitutional, stoically ignoring the mud of the 'working countryside', and when the weather is bad she simply walks around my parent's house instead, counting her steps until she feels she has reached a respectable total.

She is a redoubtable lady, who takes no messing about, and puts her longevity down to good genes and a slug of olive oil in a sherry glass every day.

I'm pulling together a photograph album for her birthday, which is why I have the picture below to hand. In my mind it's a piece of history. The fact that a person in such a dated and clearly Edwardian photo is still here with us today is astounding to me.

My wonderful Nana is the little girl on the left.


Dad Mzungu 29 October 2008 at 22:57  

Firstly, congratulations to Boy #2!
Secondly, you have dredged up my memories, My Nanna died in January 2000, aged 98. She had recently met up with her 5 siblings, spent christmas with her daughters, grandson, 2 great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.
In January, having seen in the millennium, she announced that there was nothing left to do ... and died a few days later.
I miss her.

Iota 29 October 2008 at 23:04  

Wow, that is history.

Not sure I can follow suit with that daily slug of olive oil, though. And vest on top of bra? Can't imagine that.

Congrats on the poo. (Have to share with you that today I made my two boys' day. Lots of the cars parked at their school, being driven by the older pupils, have "class of 2009" written on their windows in big letters. If you see these cars in your driving mirror, it looks for all the world like "class of poos". Laughed? They nearly fell off their booster seats and out of the car... Toilet humour is a durable thing in a child's life.)

Mom/Mum 30 October 2008 at 03:03  

Hi PM - jnst catching up with your last few posts - amazing AND FUNNy ALL AT THE SAME TIME. GOOD ON BOY #2 with the poo. (whoops, didnt mean to shout!) but I have to say your grandmother sounds a remarkable woman with a strong zest for life. I really admire that. What a wonderfuly idea to do her a photo album for her specail day....the bra/vest made me chuckle lots.

Expat mum 30 October 2008 at 03:40  

"She wore her vest over rather than under her bra" - you're kidding right? Can you imagine the discomfort.
Anyway, congratulations on still having your grandmother around. What a treasure.

Irene 30 October 2008 at 07:39  

I had a grandmother like that. She lived well into her 90's and was as strict as an army officer. She was Dutch Reformed and didn't believe in cuddling or kissing or any other outward signs of affection. She was very smart and well read and could solve any puzzle. She was a very proud and independent woman and felt that she always knew best and that my mother never learned anything right. More often than not she was right. I do miss her military correctness and her attempts at being loving and kind. There is still a lot she could have told me. I would have learned a lot from her.

Anonymous,  30 October 2008 at 09:16  

Wonderful. I keep meaning to write a post on my Granny - who, at 90, has just flwon over to the UK from South Africa for a long holiday. And prefers her white wine "in a bucket darling, not a little glass".

Potty Mummy 30 October 2008 at 13:30  

Hello DM, thanks for the visit and the comment. I don't see enough of my grandmother, sadly, but I know that when she goes, like you do yours, I will miss her terribly.

Iota; scratchy. That's how I think that particular vest and bra combo would be... And love the toilet humour! I can just imagine the back-seat hilarity over that one.

M/M, don't worry about the shouting (I'm not proud, I'll take a comment whatever the case), and yes, she is remarkable.

EPM, you know what? I suspect that my nana still wears it that way to this day...

Irene, your grandmother sounds very much like one of Husband's Dutch grandmothers. Sort of loved and feared simultaneously...

Mud, your grandmother sounds a little more right on than mine. But then, those 5 years make all the difference!

aims 30 October 2008 at 13:53  

I wish my 90 yr. old aunt could read this. She wants to be waited on hand and foot - people in daily to bath her, make her bed, dress her, make her meals or have them delivered. That way she is the queen of Sheba.

When none of that is available? She can do nicely on her own. Drives us all nuts. Still - I just drove across 2 provinces to take her across to Vancouver Island for her 90th birthday present so that she could visit her 79 yr. old brother. How they managed after I left I don't know - but I'm sure the local restaurants did fine.

Strange how some people refuse to give in and want to live life for themselves. Others want life to do for them instead.

Jonny's Mommy 30 October 2008 at 15:09  

First, congrats on the poo. My little guy had a "pee" last night and I about fell over with excitement. I got so excited, he got excited and then he kept begging me to put water in the potty so he could rinse it out...repeatedly. I finally had to end the excitement on that one.

Your grandmother sounds awesome! she reminds me of my grandmother who passed at the age of 93. She didn't dress real fancy, because she was a country girl too! :-)

nappy valley girl 30 October 2008 at 19:17  

Well done Boy #2!

Your granny sounds like an amazing woman. The Doctor's granny, who died a couple of weeks ago, aged 98, was a redoubtable woman who walked around Holland Park every day till very recently. She had a good slug of whisky most days though!

Millennium Housewife 30 October 2008 at 20:19  

I cried at that PM, my grandma was just like that until two years ago when she had a stroke. Now she is just as amazing, but dependent and 'ready to go,' I miss her already. On the potty training, hooray! Well done you! (because let's be honest, it's our triumph isn't it, not theirs...) MH

Grit 30 October 2008 at 20:22  

that's a lovely grannyperson post and now i have to cry and i don't know why; perhaps it's something to do with the grannys. probably not the poo.

Pig in the Kitchen 30 October 2008 at 20:26  

oh what a wonderful description of your Nana...she sounds amazing.

It also made me shudder tho, the bit about her not touching alcohol. It's official, i don't stand a cat in hell's chance of making old bones.

well congrats on the poo, even tho clearing it up is noisome isn't it? i think that's the word i mean...

Potty Mummy 30 October 2008 at 22:37  

Hi Aims, I know what you mean. Mind you, don't get me wrong. Nana is not averse to being waited on hand and foot if she can get it...

J's Mommy, ah, the repeated flushing of the loo. Hours of fun to be had there, no matter what the continent, it seems!

NFG, glad to hear that a healthy level of alcohol does no harm. Glad, and somewhat relieved, I might add!

MH and Grit, so sorry, I didn't set out to make anyone teary with this one. You know how it is - I just wanted to write about her and put it down before it's too late and my memories of nana get lost in the mess of everyday life...

Pig, I think there's hope. See NVG's comment, for starters! And it's great to have you back. Especially because 'noisome' is the PERFECT word to describe that smell...

Bush Mummy 31 October 2008 at 13:31  

Hi PM. I'm jealous. Mini just parked a fatty in her pants at the park. It's so not nice to clear up. Another pair of Dora the Explorers bite the dust.

Amazing photograph of your grandmother. I am in awe.. what a woman.. puts our generation to shame.

BM x

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong 1 November 2008 at 21:35  

Brilliant news about the poo in the potty - it always seems a long time coming, but when it does, you soon take it for granted.
Your Grandmother is wonderful - mine also lived to be 95 (she was born in 1875) and was similarly independent. She finally did for her hip when running for a bus at 93! Glad to hear that yours is still going strong. M :-)

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