We’ve all done it. We’ve all bought heavily-trademarked and unfeasibly expensive underpants for our toilet-training children, partly to entice them into wearing underpants in the first place, but mostly in the hope they will take all possible measures to avoid pissing on the face of Buzz Lightyear or Ben 10 or The Little Mermaid or Dora the Explorer or whoever it is they’ve chosen to champion on the front of their grundies.
Of course, whenever the child is wearing these special undies, an accident of the Worst Kind is sure to happen and Buzz/Ben/Ariel/Dora end up eating shit. And then, rather than flushing the whole lot down the toilet like we want to, we end up scrubbing faecal matter off said underpants in a public toilet block, because our child doesn’t want us to throw Buzz/Ben/Ariel/Dora into the bin and is expressing this through the subtle art of screaming their head off.
I don’t know why we do this when it’s a strategy that fails us every single time. And, of course by “us”, I’m meaning “me”.
Recently, I found Tiddles McGee crying in my friend Madame Zap’s courtyard, having had such an accident in his favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles underpants. Unfortunately for Tiddles, there’d also been a small section of ‘output’ that had slid down his leg into his shoes – I call these rogue bits of shit “Travellers”. Also unfortunately for Tiddles, he’s got his father’s egg-shell constitution and was dry-retching at the sight of his Traveller.
Oh fuck, NO! Not the trifecta! I thought and immediately prioritised cleaning up the damage in his direct line of sight. I worked quickly and efficiently – even, some might say, cheerfully. Well, as cheerfully as anyone can work when they’re in the direct line of fire of their three-year-old’s gag reflex.
When I returned inside the house, of course, I found my friend Madame Zap in the midst of clearing out her baby’s bouncer chair because he’d filled it with a voluminous milk-based vomit. And so it came to pass that the trifecta had been achieved after all…
Now, I was going to blog about the achievement of the trifecta a couple of weeks ago during my Bloggies campaign and I made the mistake of mentioning it to my husband. He was appalled. “You can’t blog about that! You’ll scare people off.”
“Phooey!” I exclaimed. “We all shit! Even Bloggies tourists shit!”
“Yes, and we’ve all taken part in a line dance at some point in our lives but it doesn’t mean we want to talk about it,” was his response.
He raised a fair point: I put the post on ice. And by the time I got around to looking at it again a few days ago, I realised that so much had changed. For one thing, Tiddles McGee was one week into being in underpants twenty-four hours a day and was hitting his target (i.e. the toilet) Every. Single. Time.
“Could this be the last of my wee and poo stories?” I wondered to myself. “Is this the end of an era, of seven and a half long years of hard slog, wiping arses and stepping in surprise puddles?”
CUT TO: the afternoon of that very same day. I was at the museum where one of the (many) children I was in charge of suddenly got a funny expression on his face and said “Oh! I didn’t know I had to do a poo!” and I found myself back in the toilets scrubbing shit. Just like that. As I did it, I recalled my husband’s claim that “If you touch the shit of someone else’s child, you will die” and at that particular moment, I thought, he wasn’t far wrong.
Moreover, later that day, I found out that my fashionista friend had been sitting in the front row of David Jones’ fashion week chatting to my fellow Bloggies nominee Mia Freedman quite possibly at the very same moment I was hanging a sopping wet pair of Ben 10 undies on my pram handle, like some kind of white flag signaling my complete and utter defeat. Shee-ittt.