Monday, 2 July 2012

The day my child exploded

Marty prepares for his world famous
David Dickinson impression
Over the years I have suffered from tennis elbow and housemaid’s knee – or heroic plumber's knee as I prefer to call it. However, I am currently suffering from ‘Dad’s arm’, am extremely painful condition brought on by holding a small child at arm’s length for a protracted period of time. To be honest it’s all my own fault, a classic example of naivety followed by panic.... And here is the tale.

Once upon a time a little boy was racing across the bedroom carpet on his hands and knees, giggling away, as his idiotic father pretended to chase him. This was all prior to bedtime so his father shouldn’t have been getting him all excited in the first place. He ought also to have remembered that said child had eaten only an hour before. However, they were both thoroughly enjoying themselves, blissfully unaware of the disaster that was to befall them.

Let’s take a quick break at this point to discuss some of the fundamentals of parenthood. Yes, it is marvellous and a young child is a delicious bundle of wonder, joy and delight. However, basic biology cannot be denied and the golden rule of ‘What goes in must come out’ is rigorously applied.

Regardless of the number of roses you use to tint your glasses,  dealing with number two’s is not a pleasure; it’s unpleasant when you’re expecting it, it can be damn right terrifying when you’re not.

So, back to the unfolding disaster.... As Marty crawled between my legs I grabbed the end of his trousers and allowed him to wriggle free, listening to his squeals of excitement as he did so.

“These are a bit heavy” I thought, as Marty made his break for freedom... And then two things hit me; first the smell and then the realisation that Marty was leaving brown marks on the carpet with every crawl.

Fortunately Marty doesn’t understand Saxon vernacular of the four letter variety, which is just as well as he ears might have fallen off. I grabbed him before he could destroy any more of the carpet, held him at arms length - for fairly obvious reasons - and screamed “LEANNE!!!!” Sadly my good wife was serenely gardening at the time and didn’t hear that scream or any of the ones that followed. Marty was becoming distressed at the colour of his father’s face and my arms were beginning to give way.

Finally, after what seemed like hours but was probably only a few minutes, sense reared its head. I raced into the bathroom and with little or no ceremony dumped Marty in the bath and turned the shower on him, praying to God that the household plumbing was up to the job.

Being a typical child, finding himself covered from head to toe in crap didn't bother him one little bit. However, the moment you try to shower him down with warm water he starts bawling his head off as if he's about to melt!. Fortunately Marty's screams seemed to reach across the garden with little difficulty at all and sure enough Leanne wandered into view.

I couldn’t believe how unmoved she was by it all. I believe she actually used the sentence “Oh, come on! It’s only poo!”.

Only poo? I could be the parent of a small child for the next 100 years and I’d never reach the stage were the words ‘only’ and ‘poo’ comfortably fitted into a single sentence.

Anyway, the panic was finally over; clothes were removed and thrown in the bin, baths were sluiced down, carpets were cleaned and Marty was once more racing around the room as if nothing had ever happened. It seems I was the only casualty; I can barely lift a pint my arms hurt so much!

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