Hard won


As a woman i imagined having daughters to be a gift that keeps on giving as the years roll on. Both my Sister & I are particularly close to our Mother and as the saying goes; a son is a son until he gets a wife, a daughter is a daughter for life.

As most sayings go, this is not set in stone for my Brother is also exceptionally close to my Mother. Maybe it’s just luck of the draw?

Anyhow, i digress because as i said in http://www.mrssmusings.wordpress.com/eatingout we are starting to venture out at meal times as a family. We have a lovely local pub within walking distance from our house which also has a lovely garden which is a godsend if the weather is pleasant and the girls are proving particularly un-cooperative that day, as the noise of the busy road that runs adjacent will drown out their screams or wails.

We arrived there yesterday in time for dinner and ordered some wine for me and some cider for him, a starter to share and some nibbles for the girls. It was heavenly. Each time the girls boredom levels were about to peak i would produce something to occupy their busy chubby little hands; Mr Tumble sticky book….oooooh…ahhh…breadsticks….oooohhh ahhh….Hello Kitty crayons, colouring book, you get the jist as it went on. And it bought us some peace. Which is exactly what we needed at the end of a long week.

And the end of our second week of Toilet Training. Did I mention that?…no well. Let me tell you, just when you think things can’t get any harder along comes another phase that renders you with yet more to carry and deal with. As they get older surely the bags of ‘stuff’ should get lighter?…no?, no!

To give you a quick briefing to bring you up to date. Three possibly four weeks ago i flirted with the idea of toilet training. The weather was in our favour (less clothes being worn, more time outside) and there had been increasing signs that conscious toilet behaviour was occurring. ‘Mummy wee-wee’, ‘Mummy poo-poo’, ‘Mummy stinky’. Yes, ever since http://www.mrssmusings.wordpress.com/whatapooday, the awareness was very much there.

So i tested the waters and brought out the potty and did a huge show and tell on what the deal was. I bought gimmicky Peppa Pig knick-knocks and we spent a lot of time talking and singing about toilet etiquette. We got off to a good start. I promised chocolates if she used the potty which she did and often. She had a lot of chocolate as a reward. Then she just stopped. ‘No, nappy on’. Came next. No bribe of chocolate or minnie mouse knick knocks this time could entice her to use the potty.

She’s not ready i reasoned and the baby was showing more interest in the potty and paraphernalia then Belle. Try again in a few months and actually my life is easier if she’s still in nappies. I have enough to contend with as it is trying to get out and about.

No sooner do you mentally back off and return to your equilibrium then reverse psychology seems to kick in. It seems apparent that the moment i stopped trying to get her to use the potty was the moment she wanted to start using the potty. The more i protested ‘no, darling just use your nappy’, the more adament she was that she wanted to use it.

I need to make a note of this technique for future reference. It could well come in handy.

‘Knick-knocks mummy’. ‘Now Mummy’. ‘Wee-wee on the potty’. Now every time she uses it she gets a Gruffalo sticker which sits proudly on her Gruffalo chart on the fridge door. It will save me a fortune in future dentristry bills andhas whipped Belle into such a frenzy that she is trying to squeeze every ounce of liquid out of her body to qualify for another sticker.

So far, so good and there is no going back now, but to return to my original point of gifts that keep on giving, having girls that are below the age of being able to use a toilet confidently and safely on their own is going to mean years, many years for me, of accompany them to the toilet to assist & oversee. Now i realise that if i’d had boys when we were to be out as a family I would have convienantly have side stepped this ritual and it would have deferred to my husband to deal with.

In no time at all I got my first taster of ‘toilet duty’ at our dinner yesterday. Right bang in the middle of eating our dinner Belle declares ‘Mummy wee-wee now’. I’m still unsure how much time i have before it flows so i push my plate away and move with an almost cheetah like pace, frantically searching in the bag for her travel potty. It is located and we are outside the toilets in a heartbeat. It is dark and unpleasant smelling, as public toilets generally are. I can see the ladies toilets are busy and a queue is forming, thats not going to work for us and then i see the disabled toilet door ajar and empty. I usher us inside and only once when i close the large door behind us do i realise the unpleasant smell is actually coming from inside this cubicle.

Someone had clearly vacated just before we arrived and had the mother of all evacuations. By now Belle is on the verge of tears holding her bits, saying ‘wee-wee’. I cut off the senses in my nose and assemble the travel potty. She wee’s, she tells me what a good girl she is and we wait. I dont know how much longer i can hold my breath. ‘Mummy stinky’…’yes darling’, in my best voiceless mouthed sound. She takes forever. ‘More Mummy’. Oh God. My eyes are starting to burn from the smell.

Eventually she finishes, I pack up, we wash our hands and we make our way out as quickly as we can (p.s. I use the paper towel,5th one in,  to open the door for us in fear of coming any closer to what the hell happened in that room). We walk outside and the fresh air hits me and its a relief, until i see the queue of people waiting outside and then see their faces curl into a sneer with the offensive smell that has clearly hit them. I wanted to explain to them it wasnt us, but it felt too contrived. I walked us on.

We returned to our table and my half eaten bbq rack of ribs and i couldnt face another mouthful after that deeply unpleasant experience. So i gulped back my wine to help drink the memory away and realised that the gift of daughters, which they so are, is as most things that are worth having, hard won.


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