Monday, 12 December 2011
Urine for a Big Surprise!!!
Most people assume that children are guileless innocents, skipping through life unhindered by deeper and darker thoughts. While I love this theory, I think that most parents will probably be able to guarantee that this is actually not the truth: closer to it is that kids can sometimes be like secret operatives, working silently and in a most sinister manner to undermine an entire system, much like KGB spies. They can be inclined to embarrass spectacularly at the moment when you least expect it and you are thus least prepared to deal with the fall-out thereof.
We had gone for tea at some friends of ours who have grown-up children and have therefore forgotten the worst bits of parenting little ones (I sometimes think selective memory is one of the most important aspects of being a parent, otherwise very few of our firstborns would actually have siblings at all. There is some vital defense mechanism in the hearts of all parents that manages to gloss over the incredibly difficult times and remember the wonderful ones with ease. Thus being friends with parents of teenagers raises its own issues, since they can't remember their own kids ever being as naughty as they think your's are). They brought out all of the old and treasured toys from their kids' collections for our kids to play with, and I nervously watched as the boys and Little Miss Snoopy set about playing with the precious memories of someone else's children. I began to relax as they played responsibly and happily with the toys. Aha, I thought to myself, faultless execution of Good Parenting displayed in action, and settled back smugly with my cup of tea.
Trying to get Little Miss Snoopy to play with something other than cars (what can I say - she has two brothers after all), my friend drew her attention to a gorgeous doll, beautifully clothed and with eyes that open and shut. "And look," she exclaimed, "she even has a potty to go wee-wee in," she said to my youngest, producing a tiny, ornamental potty about the size of a teacup from the same box behind the couch. "Oops!" she yelled in surprise, and I looked round to see what she was worried about. There in the bottom of the potty, was a wee-wee that no dolly had ever done. And also a smallish (but undeniable) poop too. Ah well, I told myself, at least Little Miss Snoopy had managed to find a receptacle for her offerings and not just done them on the carpet, which would have been worse. Slightly.