“Daddy, I need a poo.”
One of the major differences in having a new born three year old is the fact they can talk… immediately. Boy, can they talk.
Don’t get me wrong, this has benefits. B generally tells you what’s wrong, generally means it and a whole host of guesswork is taken out of it. There’s no thrusting a bottle in his mouth to see if that works, sticking him over your shoulder to wind him or smelling his bottom to see if he’s delivered.
When he needs to go, you know.
Unsurprisingly, I’ve never taken a three year old for a poo before. The request left me with something of an internal conflict. A sense of pride that he’d chosen me over mummy for his inaugural performance (In your face mummy! I’m the popular one) mixed with a typical British unease about anything at all personal. I’d fantasised about watching him walk out at Lords, making his Test Cricket debut, but never this.
I’d been vaguely reassured by B’s foster carer, who’d explained that when he went for a poo he liked her to wait outside. I can understand that, every man likes his privacy. However, it appears that this little man likes some “man time” whilst he’s clearing the decks.
Me – “Shall I wait outside?”
B – “No, you must come in”.
Me – “Ok, if you’re sure? Feel free to change your mind”.
Now it appears my son is not a man to be rushed in the toilet department and after a while our conversation about a T-Rex’s favourite breakfast and our impending trip to the park became a little stilted. I’m not great in the majority of social situations but this definitely became more awkward than that time when Clive Anderson interviewed the Bee Gees [a reference there for the kids]. So, I decided to take a moment and closed my eyes.
B – “What are you doing daddy?”
Me – “Oh, nothing”.
B – “Why have you closed your eyes?”
Me – “I was just resting them”.
B – “…[straining face]… watch me daddy”.
Me – “eh?”
B – “… [straining face]… stare at me whilst I have a poo”…
Me – “umm…”
B – [In the voice of something from The Exorcist] “STARE. AT. ME.”
So, what do you do? There’s no time to Google it. I’ve been brought up right, so I did what I was told. I STARED at a three year old child that I’d known for about a week, whilst he sighed and grimaced his way through an effort worthy of an Olympic weightlifter.
I don’t imagine toilet tales are an unusual part of parental life. However, what my CV lacked was that “relevant job experience” built up over the last three years. I don’t know my little boy very well just yet but feel that we’re getting closer with every motion.
This learning curve is steep…