My summer "holidays"

Posted Monday 2nd July 2012   By Ericka Waller

So we are week six into the summer "holidays" and we still have another three weeks to go (Four does not start school till 18th September as they phase younger ones in first. Thanks school system, you big AGEISTS.)

I am not sure why it's called a holiday.. It's more like a sick experiment to push the very limits of my sanity. In the last three weeks Ten-months has started walking and Two has decided it's time to stop wearing nappies.

I am not good at toilet training. Having honed my body to function like a camel (saves time).. I rarely need to wee. My kids are not like camels however. They are more like teapots. Tip them up and it all pours out.

If I am not asking Two if she needs a wee, cleaning up a wee, wringing out wet knickers or lifting Ten-months out of a puddle of wee.... I'm watching for poo time. I know it's coming.. Two knows it's coming, but she wants to sneak off and do it in her pants. My little toerag has mastered the art of silent, calm-faced straining.

Needless to say she is not the only one "going potty"

Yesterday I took them out to lunch in a cafe. It was only 2pm. I did not know to look out for the 5pm poo. I thought it was a croissant on the floor till I looked closer. I had to clamp one hand over Four's mouth to silence her "LOOK MUM, SHE JUST POOED ON THE FLOOR" and grab the (surprisingly hot) poo in a (thin) napkin with the other (before Ten-months stomped on it).

Sound like a holiday yet?

Let's add in the fact that Four stopped doing anything I asked about five weeks ago. She only responds to my exorcist impression, and even that is with much eye-rolling.

I know she is listening to what I am saying though because I hear her screeching "PACK IT IN. DO AS YOU'RE TOLD. I AM IN CHARGE, NOT YOU, ARE YOU TRYING TO SEND ME INSANE?!" to her sisters.. whilst holding them in a headlock (that bit is nothing to do with me... honest)

In the park today, my friend was getting tearful about her little one starting school soon. I started welling up too... till I realised hers were tears of sadness, not joy like mine.

I am sure other mums will frown upon the unbridled, exuberant happy dance I'll be doing back to the car after dropping Four off at school (snazzy side-heel taps included), but I'll be too high on my freedom to care.

My husband is equally excited as he has begun to fear coming home. He knows he'll only get it in the ear about his "easy" day at work.

He argues that commuting to London in the middle of summer, trapped on the underground, under someones sweaty armpit, in a sweaty suit is hardly a holiday. I snort derisively.

"Did you have to pick a warm poo up off the floor?"

"Well, no"

"Did you have to walk round with one in your briefcase as there was no bin near you?"

"Again, no"

"Did you have to clean poo from in between your toes where you slipped on it, and rode it across the floor?"


"Well then. I'd say your day was pretty great. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off upstairs to rock back and forth in a dark room. Ideally one with no poo in it."