Another fun session at an indoor play centre. It must be the sticky laminated tables that are so irresistible. Oh no, it’s because you can lose your child legally and safely for a good hour or so without a second thought, leaving you to chat and drink foul coffee and pretend to have a life. Well, that’s what it used to be like. Now I chat, drink foul coffee and hope that B stays asleep in his car seat.
Which is what is known in the trade as Wishful Thinking. So as I grapple with getting B on my breast for an afternoon snack, E appears, hot and sweaty from his exertions climbing over a vinyl-covered landscape of fun.
“I need to wee,” he announces.
“Can you go with daddy please?” I ask.
“No, you mummy.”
“I can’t darling, I’m feeding.”
I can sense this is not going to end well. No amount of cajoling from us gets him close to agreeing to go for a wee with daddy, and even my fail-safe negotiator’s trump card of chocolate buttons falls of deaf ears – so not wanting a puddle of urine to mop up I reluctantly decouple B from my left breast and hand him over to daddy.
As we approach the loo I am wondering how the hell I am going to lift him onto the toilet, given I am still physically recovering from the C Section and to say it is slow and painful would be a bit like saying being hit by a bus chafes a little. And given that I then will have to support E to stop him falling into the toilet, I am desperately casting around for a Plan B as we approach the ladies.
Plan B hits me as we enter the toilet. Or rather, it hits my foot. I look down to see a little plastic stool. The thoughtful play centre owners have supplied said item to aid little people on the toilet. So full of this thought they seem to have been in fact, it appears there was no room left to think about cleaning the toilet. It is one of those toilets about which you wonder if it is humanly possible to carry out your business without ever coming into contact with a surface. We enter the cubicle, and I eye up the slightly hairy, stained toilet as I lift the seat with the tip of one finger. I glance at the toilet handle, which could be designated a site of biological interest as it must be home to at least seven undiscovered strains of bacteria.
“How about weeing like a big boy, standing up? We can use this really cool stool.” I casually say to E, expecting an instantaneous knock back.
“Okay,” he replies. I can’t get the stool in place and his tousers and pants down quick enough, in case he changes his mind.
“You need to hold your willy, poppet,” I instruct. “Point it into the toilet.”
“No, you do it.” E replies.
“No, you’re a big boy, you can do it.”
“No, you do it.” Right, I know when to bow out gracefully from a stand off and this is it. I fear that if I push him, I will end up back at Plan A which could set my recovery back weeks, not to mention the nauseous thought of E’s backside being in prolonged contact with that grim toilet seat. I am no clean freak – from the moment we started to use bottles with him as baby, dropping the teats were subject to the five second rule – just so long as they were not on the floor for more than five seconds, no re-sterilisation was required (and you were allowed to count to five very, very slowly). But even I baulked at the cavalier attitude to hygiene in this loo.
So I lean over and hold his willy. There are many things I would rather be doing at this juncture than holding my son’s tackle in a filthy toilet, but necessity is the mother’s lot, apparently.
“Ready, ” I say with a nod.
Despite my claimed readiness, when the wee shoots out I am slightly taken unawares. I thought I was pointing his willy down into the bowl of the toilet. It certainly looked like it was. But it turns out I was sorely mistaken, and it is, in fact, pointing fairly skywards. The first few seconds of wee hit the flipped-up toilet lid with some force. Buggar. I immediately adjust my aim downwards but in doing so must have inadvertently tightened my grip, which seems to effect the direction of the pee, and sends it off at an alarming angle, covering the right hand side of the toilet rim with more pee. Bollocks.
I relax my grip and over-compensate by moving his willy too far to the left, spraying more urine on the other side of the rim. Jesus wept. Who knew you had to be a trained fucking marksman to be left in charge of a weeing penis? By the time I have got this dangerous weapon under control, E has emptied his bladder and the stream slows to a dribble, leaving a series of drips first on the rim and then down his legs and in his pants. Bloody hell, that was tricky. Granted, this is the first time that I have been left in charge of a peeing penis, but really, that is one ridiculously senstive bit of kit. Give me a garden hose any day of the week. I am amazed no one has turned it into an arcade game, employing a series of pop up targets to shoot at as you grapple with the hair-trigger willy controls, battling against other willy shooters in the multi player option. Actually, that’s pretty much how I imagine a group of men behave when lined up at a urinal.
I feel momentarily guilty about spraying the toilet lid with my son’s pee, but quickly conclude that it probably knocked more germs and filth off than it contributed, and after washing hands, we depart the scene of the grime… sorry – crime, swiftly.