Monday, 12 January 2009

It ain't over...

... 'til the fat lady sings.

And on Deeya Nayn, she's not even started warming up, the tardy trollope.

Or, to put it another way: On the 9th Day, the Lord said, "Thou shalt not commit the sin of Pride, Potty Mummy." And the Floods came, and Potty Mummy knew that her Rejoicing had been Too Soon, and the Purgatory of Potty Training was not yet Over...

3 extra pairs of trousers, 3 extra pairs of socks, and most importantly, 3 extra pairs of pants. That's the laundry your 3 year old will generate if you take your eye off the ball for even one cotton-pickin' moment here in Potty Mansions, blast it. And that's not counting the 'accident' in the bathroom first thing this morning, when Boy #2 absentmindedly picked up the potty to gain better access to his Playmobil plane, and dropped the contents all over the floor. Mind you, I did manage one outrageously good save at lunch time when for some reason I looked up from my magazine to see that Boy #2 had got that 'concentrating' look about him. I dropped everything to race to the bathroom with him, scattering playmobil figurines left, right and centre in our wake, and in the nick of time, saved myself from having to wash pants, socks and trousers set No #4.

As I sat there next to him, reading - yet again - about Thomas the Tank engine whilst trying to breathe through my mouth (now there's a neat trick if you can develop it), I was reminded of another moment of extra-sensory motherly perception. It's amazing how you develop this, but even the least likely candidate, i.e. me, can do it. You know the situations. It's too quiet. You check on your sons, and find one of them just about to jump off the top step using a handkerchief as a parachute. Or about to eat the last cookie off the Christmas tree. Or just about to tip a full cup of bathwater over the floor to see if the plastic fish will float out of the bath. Actually, scratch that last one - I always arrive just after that happens...

Anyway, this one was just over 5 years ago, at Christmas lunch in my parent's house. The table was being cleared, and I was sitting holding Boy #1 - then 3 months old - and chatting to my brother and a friend of his. I happened to glance down at my little angel and could just tell he was about to throw up. There was nothing to hand; no muslin, no napkin, no handy receptacle to catch what experience told me was going to be very unpleasant-smelling puke. So, in a move unthinkable to pre-child bearing me, I simply cupped my hands and caught it.

There was a horrified pause. My brother B and his friend R looked at me, then at each other. Being only around 26 at the time their exposure to this kind of extreme parenting had been minimal. I could see that they weren't sure whether to throw up themselves, or faint and melt away under the table like a pair of girls.

"Whoah..." said B, after a suitable, awed, interval. "Too right." said R. "PM, you are one 10th Dan motha..."

I graciously accepted the compliment. Well, it took my mind off the fact my hands were full of sick.


  1. Many many moons ago we were on a family holiday (it gets worse) in Tunisia (and worse) on a coach trip (see) when Boychild (5) became unwell and expressed the need to vom ....... extemporising madly I whipped off Girlchilds (3)sunhat. Unfortunately I had not taken into account the fact the hat had those clever little eyelets to allow air flow .......... the rest I leave to your imagination, but I think it is safe to say there are many people who would not be able to face the "fragrance" of a wetwipe for some time after ! (At least teenagers clear it up themselves - something to look forward to ?)

  2. Wonderful blog :)
    Ah, the joys of vomit-catching. I was so ill in the first trimester of my first pregnancy that I fast became too weak to move quickly enough towards any handy receptacle, and was regularly sick in my hands. There is no dignity in parenting...

  3. Catching noxious substances in your BARE hands (or removing them from your hair after they have dried on un-noticed) is something else they don't tell you about before you have a child of your own!

    Sorry about the 'hiccup' but he will get there and you will survive, honest ;-) Save him an account for the extra laundry and give it to him as part of his 21st birthday present.

  4. Impressive. Most impressive.

  5. yuck!! I can remember being at a restaurant when my eldest was about a year old and he was sick at the table and we caught it in a bowl.... no one noticed and they all kept eating. We obviously just covered it in a napkin and continued!

  6. Hee hee, my brothers would have been just the same at that age and pre child. And boy2 will get there. I'm wondering whether to try Miss M nappy free at night again but frankly it scares me. Sighhhhhh.

  7. Sure, you're not any kind of mother until you've caught sick!

    I intend to use that as leverage when they're teenagers and hate me and I'll be saying 'I love you so much I used to catch your sick'!

  8. I've never caught sick - but I once had Littleboy 1 throw up all over me in a very poncey Nappy Valley cafe that specialised in hot chocolate. I never dared darken their doors again.

  9. The Terminator, aged 10, was sick in his own hands after a football match on Sunday morning, he washed them and then promptly ate a packet of Worcester Sauce crisps. Yuk! But at least he's learned to manage his own vomit..

  10. A friend of mine was very daintily sick into her glove in a taxi home from a particularly big night out. I thought that was SO lady like.

    Hang in there with the wees.. he'll get it. Have you got the picture book about potty training to show them it's actually REALLY REALLY good fun? Seemed to work for mine.

    BM x

  11. I remember a friend telling me, before I was a mum, about catching her son's sick and I couldn't quite believe that was possible. I had never been able to be near anyone being sick without feeling the need to myself. Yet, when my daughter had a particularly bad cold recently and woke up full of phlegm, I spotted she was about to throw up, stuck my hand out and caught it. Hubby was not sure whether to be disgusted or impressed.

    Good luck with the potty training. We are still struggling with it. We use star charts, which are reasonably successful, though we have to find an alternative place to get the filled-up-chart prizes now Woolies has closed down.

  12. Maybe that's a skill thry should try and teach in schools? Might put off some of those under age pregnancies?

  13. TR, I think you probably deserve to be mentioned on some role of honour for that one, surely?

    More than, thanks for the visit, and hope you don't mind the abbrev or the fact that having read your wonderful blog, I've put you on my list?

    Sharon, another way to embarass my children in the future? I like it.

    Iota, I also do windows...

    Sam, you and your husband always did handle these situations with aplomb!

    Jo, I can't think that far ahead. Especially as two poos did not meet the potty on their way to the loo today...

    Tara, I should write it down, I know. Oh, wait! I just did...

    NVG, I bet they forgot all about it by the time the next customer's baby poohed in the plant pot.

    BTM, that's a boy thing, right? I mean, can you imagine a girl doing that?

    BM, tell me they were white gloves and she was wearing a hat, please!

    Tasha, thanks for the visit and yes, you do these things for your children that previously would have seemed inconceivable. And have you considered Hawkin's Bazaar as a replacement for Woolies?

    Mud, good idea. Though I wouldn't like to be the cleaner dealing with the classroom floor afterwards... (Sorry, is that too gross?)

  14. Weird parallel toilet training moment with me and the puppy here. Have you tried offering him small dog bone shaped treats and taking him outside every five minutes? Don't bother, it doesn't work.

  15. I'm on a list ? - how could I object ? I feel like a "real" blogger now, and thank you so much for your kind comment.

  16. One of my worst parenting moments was catching a rear end action as my husband swiftly pulled a son out of the bath when we saw that 'concentrated' look.

    I'd forgotten about it until I read your post. What we do for our children....

  17. I don't think I've ever caught sick in my hand ... Once though, my husband saw our daughter was about to be sick, and put her in the middle of the floor, which upset her no end. So I grabbed her for a big cuddle, whereupon she was sick down the front of my top - not on the outside, the inside. The reason why big boobs are seen as maternal is nothing to do with breastfeeding you know, you can just catch a lot more vom in a G cup bra. Nothing went on the carpet, I just went upstairs and deposited the whole lot into the bath (it was mostly raisins :P)


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