One day last week I went to check on the Child before going to bed where I discovered she had fallen asleep with the potty on her head. Wedged right on her teeny toddler noggin. As I was carefully removing the, thankfully clean, potty I had one of those parental out-of-body experiences you get sometimes when you’re doing something so ridiculous that if someone had told you about it before you had kids you would have sworn they were on hallucinogenic drugs.
I wish I could say those moments were infrequent but the truth is parenting is basically hundreds of bizarre moments strung together by a tiny human and the occasional glass bottle of wine.
So here are my top ten surrealist as hell parenting moments that I was never warned about in any parenting book and have made me question my sanity (and my daughter’s) on a daily basis:
- Putting the cat on the naughty step because she wasn’t very nice and I wanted to be consistent about bad behaviour in front of the Child. And yes the cat did sit on the step for a minute for each year of her age. I’m still waiting for my apology though.
- Completely immerse myself in the role of a disco-dancing unicorn called Ubercorn for a week because the Child refused to respond to me as anything else. At least it’s an improvement on the week she referred to me as the evil-stepmother from Cinderella.
- Kneeling on the floor of a public toilet, hugging the Child whilst singing the entire Frozen soundtrack in an attempt to get her to have a poo. She did not.
- Using the phrase “don’t stick your spoon down your knickers’ on more than one occasion. It is good solid advice though.
- Getting more excited than the Child about the prospect of a guy off CBeebies, dino-rapping in a field in Cheshire.
- Becoming obsessed with the Child’s bowel movements to the extent that I cannot stop myself desperately shouting ‘do you need a poo?’ every 4.25 seconds.
- Pretending to talk to random Disney characters on the phone during dinner to try and persuade the Child to eat. It worked. Once.
- Sticky-taping flower heads back onto the stalks because the Child is so upset that she broke them and I can’t bear to shatter the illusion she has that I can fix everything.
- Spending my evening sewing straws onto a red woolly hat because it’ World Book Day the next day and I forgot to buy a sodding costume so am hastily putting together a Hungry Caterpillar get-up using straws, a woolly hat and a body warmer.
- Concocting a story about a dragon that lives in our loft but occasionally sneaks down at night in an attempt to stop the Child getting out of bed. Don’t worry, I’m already saving for the therapy she’ll need when she’s older.
And in case you’re wondering, the morning after the potty incident I asked the Child why she’d done it. This is how the conversation went:
Me: Why did you put the potty on your head last night?
The Child: I wanted to see what would happen.
Me: And what did happen?
The Child: I fell asleep silly.
It was hard to argue with that.