I need to learn to just let my kids clean up their own messes.
“Dad! Dad! DAD!” came the collective screams from the kitchen. I shot off the bed and raced for the door. Several reasons for this outburst had automatically started channel surfing through my imagination – all of them involving, at best, an ambulance: none of them coming close to the real reason they were yelling. “POO! She’s got POOOO!”
The ‘she’ wasn’t hard to deduce. Only one of our kids is at that age where poo is just playdough you make yourself.
Although, I have to say, there are occasionally signs she’s progressing past that.
“Yucky,” said Miss2, when I thundered into the kitchen. My sleep blurred eyes focused on her, I saw her pick a dirty nappy off the floor and a couple of pellets the size of gumballs rolled out. “Yucky,” she repeated, dumping the nappy, picking up at nugget and frowning at her find.
I held out my hand and strung four familiar words together in an order I never anticipated I would need.
“I want that poo!”
Instead of dutifully handing her nugget to me, Miss2 did what Miss2 loves to do. She ran.
“No,” she said, running out onto the balcony. “Is yucky. I throw out.”
“Come back here with that poo!” I said, chasing after her, past two other nuggets. The other kids ‘helped’ by running ahead of her to avoid getting tagged with the poo. “Stop! Give me that poo!”
To the disappointment of her older siblings, I eventually caught Miss2 on the second lap of the kitchen, wrestling the nugget from her which, it must be said, didn’t do much for its integrity. We were a mess.
I stripped Miss2 down, nappy wiped the hell out of our hands and shoved her into a bath. Then I went and dealt with the nuggets in the kitchen.
“We’re having an emu parade,” I told the kids, and marched them through the house looking for pellets. I figured if I could clean this whole thing up Tracey wouldn’t ever need to know about it. Rather pleasingly, except for in the kitchen, there wasn’t much there. To be honest I thought it could have been much worse.
I found out why when Tracey arrived home.
“Why is there poo on the path?” she wanted to know.
It turns out between when Miss2 removed her nappy and the kids saw it, she’d been picking up nuggets as they tumbled out of her nappy and tossing them over the balcony.
Now if I’d just let her clean up her own shit, instead of chasing her and a handful of poo around the house, I’d have seen her toss the nuggets and I’d have known all about that.
And, more importantly, Tracey wouldn’t have.
With the current rate of parenting revelations I’m having, I reckon by the time Miss2 has children I’ll be pretty good at this fathering caper.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs”