Potty Training Blues

As usual, I’ve been quiet from this blog because I’ve been busy with Rainbow Knits and doing my full-time day and night jobs – bringing up the minxes. And concentrating on potty-training Mini Minx. I thought I’d unload a wee blog post on how that’s going before I get stuck back in to posting more regularly again.

The Good: on a whim we sent Mini to bed with no pull-up pants or nappy over a week ago. Right from the off, she’s been dry and clean at night – no accidents at all. Not a single one! Woohoo!

The Bad: at most she only goes 3 – 4 days with no pee accidents during the day. If I forget to remind her to sit on the toilet, she’ll wet herself. She’s only gone to the potty or toilet of her own volition twice. Ever.

The Ugly: despite having the poo bit sorted out on a previous potty-training attempt a year ago, she’s forgotten now, and has poo’d (pood? Poo-ed? I’m going to settle on ‘pooed’) herself Every.Single.Bloody.Day. I find that I’m teetering around on tenterhooks all day, just waiting on her pooing herself. After I clean it up, I can relax a bit. Every time I hear a little fart, I’m frantically asking her, “Do you need a poo?” Every hour, I urge her to sit on the toilet, just in case a poo comes out. I’ve tried to make it sound like fun (“You can make a huuuuuuge splash! Woohoo!”). She’s still not got it. I’m reluctant to make a bigger fuss, and guess I just have to wait till she ‘gets’ it all by herself.

Me, ready for potty training: rubber gloves, whip, club and gas mask.Though if I were a true Superhero, my super-powers would be 3 pairs of hands, eyes in the back of my head, and the ability to breathe fire.

Me, ready for potty training: rubber gloves, whip, club and gas mask.
Though if I were a true Superhero, my super-powers would be 3 pairs of hands, eyes in the back of my head, and the ability to breathe fire.

Yesterday was gymnastics night, so we got home at 5.30pm. Normally the minxes are eating their dinner by then (if Midi is indeed still awake), so I’m in a huge rush to get dinner on. Midi is going through a massively helpful phase, so when we got in I left the 3 girls in the hall to take off each others’ shoes and coats while I got the hob and kettle on. Midi noticed that Mini had wet herself and shouted to me that she wanted to sort her out. What harassed mother would say no?! I agreed, gratefully. However, Mini hadn’t pooed herself that day, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that the minute I put the spaghetti in the boiling water and dumped the pancetta in the frying pan, that Helpful Midi wailed down from the bathroom: “She’s stinkin’!! She’s done a big stinky poo in her pants! Ewwwwww!”

“Don’t anyone move a muscle! I’m coming up!” I yelled. I turned the heat down and figured I could get upstairs, clean up, and run back down by the time it was cooked. I warned Maxi not to go in the kitchen Or Else, and raced upstairs. Jeez, it was like they’d had a dirty protest! It was everywhere! Even the wall! Still, at least the Daily Mess was over and done with. Breathing a sigh of relief and feeling the daily tension lift, I quickly wiped Mini, chided her, thanked Midi, washed out clothes, wrang them out, found clean dry clothes, got them on my little octopus, squirted some bleach about strategically, gave the toilet seats a quick wipe and made a mental note to do a full clean later, washed my hands, and raced downstairs. Pasta almost done, pancetta very brown. I started making the quickest carbonara sauce in the world (one egg, grate a ton of Parmesan in it, quick grate of nutmeg and pepper, fork it all together, ready to dump in at the same time as a big jug of frozen peas). Then Foster Cat came in…

Foster Cat looks like he’s lost a little weight because Killer Cat’s been nicking his food when I’m not looking. Today he refused to eat anything and I caught him hacking up slimy hairballs. So when the old boy tells me that he’s hungry NOW, I absolutely won’t do my usual “You’re a cat and cats come below kids in the pecking order – you’ll wait”; he needs fed instantly. So I double-checked the pasta and quickly got his dinner out for him. Phew! Made it! Just in time to add the sauce and peas to the pancetta and pasta. I allowed myself a 2-second smugness at being so organised.

Ha! Fool! Imagine being stupid enough to ever think I have anything under control? Ever? Just as I dumped dinner into one saucepan, ready to mix and serve, Mini came waddling in like a constipated gorilla. “I done a poo. In my bum. It stink. Pooooooooo-eeee! Big poo, Mummy. Yuck-yuck. Help”. Aw, crap… Sure enough, she’d pooed herself for the second time in 15 minutes.  And we’re not talking one big poo split over 15 minutes; these were 2 separate, massive, dumps. Evil Old Trout checked the clock first, hoping that The Boss would be in any second and he could deal with it. He was already late. And the elder 2 minxes were at the table, waiting. Damn! Nothing for it but to serve their dinner up in 3 seconds flat, slap it in front of them, all the while reassuring Mini that I wasn’t ignoring her, then race upstairs with her dead-armed in front of me, bicycling her gooey legs, praying that not too many lumps escape before I could hose her down. But escape it definitely did – she fragged both toilet seats, the toilet lid, the flusher, the sink, the bath, the floor and me. (The walls escaped that second onslaught – it was a good day).

I’ve now run out of bleach (doom! disaster!) and think that my constant headaches are not, in fact, from caffeine withdrawal – they’re probably from having to get up close to that terrible stench every day. I love my 2 year old dearly, but I can’t love her poo. And she’s the child who can’t visit a farm without holding onto her nose throughout the trip!

So no, potty training isn’t finished in the Trout Household, yet, and it’s making me very grumpy.

Toilets and the Suicidal

Yesterday I was full of bravado about giving the supermarket a miss for as long as I had a cold and Mini Minx was potty training.  Today I felt a little better thanks to copious Sudafed* (it took me from near-dead to slow loris reaction times: maybe good enough to control a 2 year old and a car), the sun, and a brisk walk to and from school in the freezing cold morning air without any cross words at all between me, Maxi and/or Midi.

* This is the first time I’ve taken Sudafed since early 2005; every cold since then I’ve either been breastfeeding or pregnant.  Man, that stuff rocks!  It dries my nose and eyes up for hours at a time.  I can actually function!  …ish.

This is the fancy toilet seat - got 2 lids to cope with little and big bums

This is the fancy toilet seat – got 2 lids to cope with little and big bums

I made sure Mini had an empty bladder before we set off.  Out of the blue she insisted that potties were for babies and that she would only ever use toilets.  More progress – excellent!  I guess the fancy toilet seat The Boss put on the bathroom toilet was finally a hit with someone.  Maxi hated it and Midi was frightened of it.  On hitting the supermarket, it all came flooding back to me, from a dark, almost-repressed memory: shop backward!  In other words, go to the far corner of the store and zig-zag up and down the aisles, working towards the toilet.  Midi used to wait until we were at the furthest point from the toilets before wailing that her wee-wee was coming out.  Maxi used to keep schtum until she was peeing all over the shopping.

As we were coming to the end of the expedition, with just the dairy and fruit & veg to gather, I checked if Mini needed to wee.  “Yes!” she chuckled from the trolley seat.  (Trolley seat… I know!  She *hates* sitting in the seat!  For the first time ever, she asked to ride in it because she was tired)  I didn’t wait to be reminded and zoomed to the front desk, abandoned the full trolley with the 2 ladies who smiled knowingly at us, and dashed Mini to the toilet.  Predictably, she didn’t actually need to go and just wanted to check out the toilet roll dispenser and what it felt like to sit on another toilet seat.  But there’s no way I was going to take the chance.

After braving the surliest check-out “assistant” known to mankind, we drove home, Mini nodding along to my old euphoria cd.  (Don’t worry about the checkout woman, by the way – I didn’t flame her or eat her up for lunch, I just gave her some attitude straight back and did things entirely *my* way).  I’m glad I was listening to some happy music, because I was relaxed enough to notice some strange gestures from a car coming the opposite way who flashed his lights at me.  I’m pretty good with gestures (all the finger ones – I’m from Glasgow – as well as the more esoteric full body wave “No, no, I insist, Constable: you drive on and let me teach my kids how to cross this road properly”) but these flaps were quite incomprehensible.  A hundred yards or so further up, I realised what he’d been signalling: an old woman with a black hat, flying hair, dark clothes and a dark baby buggy was striding down the side of the little no-national-speed-limit B road  I was zooming down.  It’s a fast old road – I tend to stick to 60mph because I’m an old fart and I’m regularly overtaken.  Yes, she was facing oncoming traffic, but she had no escape route to the side of the verge if one of the regular big grain artics or a car hadn’t noticed her in her camouflage and clipped the buggy: the verge was too high.  I wonder what was going through her mind?  “Ooo, I’ve got a great idea: I’ll take my precious grandchild out for a nice walk actually in a fume-fest of a road!  We’ll dress all in dark clothes so we can’t be seen, and we’ll scare the bejesus out of any drivers that actually notice us.  Excellent!  The ultimate game of chicken!”

To round off Mini’s day, though, she took herself off to the toilet unreminded and unbidden, to wee.  That’s a first!  And the washing machine is silent tonight.  I’m daring to wonder if the worst is actually already over…? <—————- me, jinxing things

Could Be Worse…

Tired out from all that minxery

Tired out from all that minxery

I know, I know, I’ve stacks of posts from over Christmas and New Year to catch up on, but you know me – if Mini Minx isn’t napping during the day, then I’m not blogging.  But before I launch into them, I just thought I’d update this little online journal of my girls with a wee description of today.  How’s it been for us?

Well, yesterday we had a brilliant first day back at school morning routine: everyone up in time, everything done in time, no cross words at all, and a lovely unrushed walk to school.  Today?  I got payback for yesterday’s easy ride.  No-one liked their breakfast.  No-one wanted to even eat breakfast.  Maxi Minx flexed her new melodrama muscles and shouted at me like she’s seen the characters in Tracy Beaker yell at adults.  As we’d had words about this last night at swimming when she screamed, “I hate you, you’re a liar!” to me, CBBC is now banned for a day or 2.  Maxi and Midi fought over who was closing the front door.  I picked up Midi and moved her off the step, where she crumpled dramatically like a Chelsea footballer, screaming at the top of her lungs.  On the walk to school we managed to walk past 3 houses before I got to mutter my Last and Final Warning to Little Miss Go-Slow With The Biggest Pout In The World (Maxi).  I don’t understand why she hates to be with me on the walk to school, yet when the bell goes at school she smothers me in kisses and acts as if she’s being painfully peeled from me.

Back at home, Mini wanted to go to the supermarket.  I’m starting a cold and feel gooey-headed and miserable.  She’s just started potty-training (again).  I think I’d rather eat beans for a week or actually starve than combine the 2 in a supermarket.  I also can’t face having my shopping peed on by a 2 year old (Maxi’s favourite trick, only 4 years ago.  I’m still traumatised).  I suggested we go for a nice walk along the beach instead and look for treasure.  Mini suggested she lie on the floor and have a lovely screamy tantrum instead.  I did my tax return while she calmed down and did a jigsaw, then we made some bread together.  I was on my best behaviour, ignoring the flung flour and the splashed water, so for an encore got her to help make the French toast for lunch.  Mini’s still calling eggs “Knock-knock-eggs-put-thumb-in”.  Funny, but not as much as Midi’s name for them, at a similar age: “slimeys”.  Yum, appetising!

Mini had 3 dry days in a row then wet herself yesterday when she was too tired to remember to go to the potty.  Today was similar: she managed to stay dry until she started to fall asleep after missing her nap.  So that’s another 2 sofa covers washed.  I wish she’d pee on the middle on – that’s the only one actually needing a wash!  Don’t even ask me about poo…  The last 3 times we’ve tried potty training she had the poo bit cracked.  Not this time – every single day she’s managed to cack herself.  Today she waddled down from where she’d been pretending to nap: “I poo in my bum!”.  I’m getting good at dead-arming her in front of me, up the stairs.  But in the clean-up operation, she fragged the bathroom floor, the toilet seat, both toilet lids, the bath, the sink, and every item of clothing she was wearing.  What I managed to shake out of her pants blocked the toilet.  Still, at least with this cold I can’t smell all the poo or the bleach.  And some progress: she can now take herself to the toilet, pee, flush, re-dress and come back down, all without help!  Woohoo!  OK, so I need to tell her when to do it, but it’s a start.

Mini’s berserker tantrums. She adds “Nnnngggg!” sound effects for added drama. Image from chessville.com

School run: Stupidly, I’d let Mini walk down to school, rather than put her in the sling or buggy, because I was feeling too breathless.  Maxi came out of school, took one look at me, pouted, and legged it behind a bin.  Mini tried to head in the opposite direction, straight towards the road, but I got her in a firm Two-Year-Old-Safety-Lock.  She looked like the Tasmanian Devil, thrashing to get free, but I couldn’t because Midi came out at the same time, wearing some enormous black rimmed fake glasses.  I confess that I didn’t recognise her at first.  Her teacher came over to tell me that she’d been out of sorts all day, complaining of tummy ache, feeling ill, but not enough to phone me or send her home.  I assured her that I never minded being asked to come collect her and would drop everything.  But as her teacher sees her day in, day out, I do trust her to spot when Midi genuinely needs to go home and when she’s probably just fine.  I later discovered that she’d only eaten an apple and a tangerine all day – sandwiches left uneaten – so perhaps that explains the tummy ache?  Though she’s a bit hot and said her ear hurt…  Brufen solved it, but we’ll see.  And the glasses?  She was the Line Checker.  The kid who checks the other kids are standing patiently in line gets to wear the glasses.  Cool!

After being briefed by Midi’s teacher, I let Mini loose.  Big mistake.  Straight for the road.  My voice may be hoarse, but it certainly carried.  As did my old feet, as I zoomed up to my baby.  Baby, my foot – she’s a chuckling tormentor.  I lost count of how many times I scolded or yelled at the girls to walk together and stop pulling off toward the road.  I think the locals and the regular drivers of the big artics recognise us and give us as wide a berth as they can on the road.  But in my fearful heart, those minxes are only a tantrum and one single large step away from death.  Most days I have the energy or patience to try and lighten the collective mood and regroup the girls fairly happily.  Not this evening.  I can’t breathe without coughing, I ache, my head hurts, my eyes are streaming, and actually I’d rather like to lie across the pavement and refuse to walk, too.  Budge over, Midi and Maxi!  I also think they enjoyed my demonstration of how to use swear words as adjectives… **fail**

Back at the ranch we had a lovely evening of fights, arguing and tantrums.  The most impressive was Mini’s over a pear that she refused to finish eating.  When she threw it on the floor for the 3rd time, I put it in the compost caddy.  She reacted as if I’d binned her favourite toy.  I swear her arms grew another few inches in her desperation to reach it.

I am again awake - let the wild rumpus resume!

I am again awake – let the wild rumpus resume!

I think I set myself up every night for a fall, bothering to cook at all.  Tonight Mini was complaining of sore teeth (?! Actually, see the photo above right) and Midi’s ear hurt, so I thought I’d make something soft that they didn’t need to chew much and that I know all 3 like: macaroni, cauliflower and cheese, with apple crumble for pudding.  I got Midi to help scissor up some bacon so I could do brussels sprouts and bacon on the side – another favourite.  Not tonight it wasn’t!  Midi ate it, moaning about how horrible it was; Maxi ate a tablespoon-ful; Mini managed a dessertspoon-ful.  I don’t know what’s fuelling the latter, because she’s still running up and down the stairs and playing with light-switches at 2115hrs.  Maybe she’ll sleep tonight…?

<———— maniacal laughter

Beds

Today’s post is mostly about beds…

Cotbeds

We put Mini Minx into her Big Girl Bed on Sat 15 Sep.  Although she’d not

Midi helps tuck in Mini; we stopped her using Botch Tape and explained that tucks would be enough to keep her in bed (ha! Optimistic fools!)

been trying to escape from her cotbed, I reasoned that if she did, she would badly hurt herself.  Looking ahead a few weeks, I intend to start potty-training her soon.  If I recall correctly , potty-training is lots easier when the child can get up in the night and in the morning and go to the potty or toilet themselves (I’m still mentally scarred by Midi’s “nappy-art” adventures…).  So I decided to get Mini into a big bed, let her get used to it, then when she’d settled down from the new freedom, start potty-training her.Well, it’s now 12 Oct, and that little madam has been relishing the easy access a low bed has been giving her to Mummy’s bed, Midi’s bed, being able to refuse to stay in bed for naps and night-time…  It partly explains why it’s taking me so long to catch up with these posts: I spend any free time at night knitting and designing for my business, whereas day-time free-time is spent blogging.  And Mini’s not exactly been napping successfully.  <doom!>

Hammocks

Stop sniggering and go to sleep. Like the cat in *her* hammock, aka the sofa back

I think I mentioned that I saw a wrap in the most beautiful shade of green that I’ve ever seen, and I’m afraid that my PayPal finger slipped… O:-)  Luckily Mini loves it as much as me, and requests it most mornings on the school run (she’s always safely on my back, out of harm’s way.  Or people who think it’s ok to distract kids next to busy main roads.  Same thing, really.  And it means I can hold Maxi and Midi’s little hands, which I love).

Anyway, I was thinking about how I’d bought it in a size 6 so that I could start wrapping Mini in a Double Hammock, partly because she’s getting so heavy, and partly because although the Didymos Indio Cypress is a linen/cotton blend, it’s pretty thin.  For once, I felt I needed the extra support.  At the same time as I was musing all that, I was also fretting about Mini not napping, and me not sleeping much thanks to her kicking me in the head all night long (especially when Midi decides she needs a nocturnal Mummy-Cuddle too and takes up most of the space).  Somehow the 2 thoughts melded and I came up with this: an indoor hammock!  If only I could trust Mini enough to actually let her nap in it.

Vegetable Beds

That’s it, next year I’m covering the veg beds in fine net.  The cats used lots of seedlings to keep their bums warm and so we lost all our carrots.  The buddleia was a raging success with the local butterflies so much so that they laid eggs all over the cabbages, brussels sprouts and broccoli.  I know I’ve moaned about having to do a messy caterpillar cull every few days, but honestly, where are they all coming from?!  I got around 200 this week alone.  Are they indestructible?  Zombie caterpillars?  Immortal?  On the run from next-door’s garden?!  I really hate killing anything and feel so incredibly guilty squashing them.  If the nets don’t work keeping butterflies away from veg next year, I think I’ll have to bribe the minxes to kill the caterpillars.  Well, the younger 2: Maxi is far more guilt-laden and sensitive than me, poor kid.

Early Grave

Black Forest Belly-Bustin’ Gorgeousness

I don’t know what it is about the start of autumn that makes me feel melancholy and desperate to trough chocolate.  The Boss understands.  So he made this artery-buster of a cake for me: 4 layers of chocolate cake soaked in morello cherry juice and kirsch, whipped cream, morello cherries and grated chocolate.  Does it look nice?  It tasted even better than it looked!  Did it make me feel better?  Oh, I’m not sure – I’ll have to try again.  For scientific comparison purposes, of course…

Speech Module Upgrade

It’s clear that last night Mini Minx received a software upgrade to her speech module. Today she has suddenly added (simple) sentences to her repertoire of words, gestures and signs.

I’ve been wondering for a while how many words she could say, so for the week ending 19 Feb 2012 I kept a little log of everything Mini said. I just jotted it onto my ongoing shopping list, the one piece of paper I never lose. I didn’t include words I suspected were new (they numbered maybe 2-3 a day) and just jotted down words I knew I’d heard her say a few times before. So it wasn’t a scientific log of her vocabulary at 23 months old, but it was good enough for government work. I thought she’d have maybe 20 words. Nope. 85, plus 2 sentences. To be fair, many were pronounced similarly but in context were clearly different. Eg “ca” said with arms outstretched means “carry me down the stairs, Mummy-slave”, whereas “ca” followed by “drive-drive!” whilst miming steering a steering wheel definitely means “car”.

The actual words made me laugh: she can say her name, as well as me, my, mine, but can’t say ‘you’ or ‘your’. She can say no, but can’t say yes. Her sentences were ‘I want that one’ and ‘I want that one now’. All very typical, normal, utterly self-centred 1 year old.

Last night’s upgrade means that she can now say, “Balloons all gone” (with a very Gallic shrug), “I cold” and “I poo”.

Which reminds me: potty training. Well, every afternoon this week around 1700hrs I’ve taken off her nappy and put her in her teeny, tiny pants (“Woe’s pants” she calls them. Or sometimes, proudly, “pink pants. Mine”). She’s run around for half an hour, sat through dinner for an hour, then gone upstairs with The Boss and her sisters to do something productive on her potty and get ready for bed. Thus far no accidents. Tonight, however, she did her first pee on the sofa and wasn’t at all impressed with the ensuing cold, wet feeling in her trousers. Hopefully this means she’ll be motivated to learn how to control her bladder pretty quickly. Well, either that, or be satisfied with being put back in nappies!

Potty-training Looms…

Saturday 25 Feb

Just a quick update before I finish and publish some long-drafted posts (it’ll be confusing, so I’ll put the dates they’re from at the top). Mini Minx used the potty properly twice again tonight. My resolve not to potty train her before the age of 2 is beginning to crumble. I may well compromise and let her cut about in Big Girl Pants from before dinner until bedtime. Then any accidents will be over a moppable floor and highchair. Oh, how I wish our kitchen could be hosed down and squidgee’d clean… And I don’t know whether they make girls’ pants small enough to fit her wee bum.

In other similar baby milestones, while I’m updating about Mini beginning to potty-train herself, she’s slowly self-weaning too. I’ve said loads of times that she’s held on to her night-time breast-feed for over a year, despite weaning herself off the other feeds. Some weeks she doesn’t have any Mummy-milk, other weeks she wants it every night. Last night she wanted a lick of each side, then stomped off upstairs to take herself to bed, satisfied that I was still her milk slave, but obviously not wanting any actual milk. At post lunchtime naptime she regularly asks for “Milk. Inna cup. Inna lid. Hot, hot, hot” whilst signing ‘milk’ and ‘hot’. She’ll drink it in her cot, sometimes while reading a book (Twinkle, Twinkle or What The Animals Say are her new favourites) or waving goodnight to everything out her bedroom window (sea, birdies, flowers, bushes, trees, cats, dogs, etc. etc), then she’ll tuck herself up under her duvet (singing ‘tuck, tuck!’ to herself) and go to sleep. I think she’s starting to do this at night, now, too. Sometimes.

 

You ARE to potty-train me, Mother

Both battleground and spoils of war

Thursday 23 Feb.

Mini Minx upped the ante in our running Battle of the Potty.

While getting the minxes ready for bed, either me or The Boss (usually him) takes off her nappy and lets her play with Maxi and Midi’s old pink potty whilst brushing 3 sets of toddler teeth, washing hands, faces, botties, etc.

Tonight she insistently asserted, “Poo! Poo!”

No chance, my little love, you’ve filled 3 big stinky reeking nappies today. So I took my eyes off her for a few mins to sort out brushing her sisters’ teeth.

“Poo!”

“Yeah, clever girl.”

“Poo!”

“Uh-huh, Mummy with you in a minute.”

“POOO!”

“Yep, good girl.”

“Mama! Poo!!” So I looked round from carefully scrubbing around Maxi’s latest loose tooth.

“Holy crap!” I exclaimed (yes, that was a pun, and yes, I am a potty-mouth myself), as Mini leapt into the air, startled. “You’ve done a poo! In the potty! Wow!” so me and Mini’s sisters erupted in some mental, loud, over-exuberant applause. Oh right, I noted to myself, and you’ve also pooed on the floor. And have now stepped in it and are dragging it all round the bathroom and over the entire pile of clothes – yaaaargh! Then she proceeded to proudly stick her finger into her vulva and pee on the floor, spraying it everywhere. Maxi and Midi giggled, I whipped her onto the potty, reassuring her she was the cleverest girl in the world, whilst inwardly wailing at the mess. She kept saying, “Wee-wee! Wee-wee!” so I shouldn’t have been surprised when she then peed in the potty as an encore.

Guess who’s a smug toddler? 23 months old today. It’s my move, now. I am afraid. Very afraid.

Mundane Pleasantness

By crikey, the girls are growing up!  I can actually do things with all 3 of them, on my own, now.

Yesterday (Thursday 26th) was busy, busy, busy.  Chase over to a strange health centre to wait for 10 mins in a line to pick up some registration forms, scuttle round to the dentist who promises the girls will be at the top of the waiting list for NHS patients by August, then zoom off to the old  dentist.  All in the pouring rain.  Across 7 or 8 roads and in and out of the car.  Trying to enforce decent road-crossing drills in Midi and Maxi (Midi does the comical fast head-shaking thing, too, as she crosses.  I don’t think she really listened when I explained what she was looking out for).

Dentist – well, I explained to the man that I wanted Maxi’s brown spot on her tooth checked.  It took him a while to locate it.  I got a tad impatient, because her teeth are so white that the dark brown spot (2mm across) kinda stands out a lot…  I showed him where it was, and he looked and had a think.  A long think.  I was worried that he’d so some unnecessary treatment just to get me off his back.  He asked the dental nurse for fissure sealant.  Fair enough, I thought, then nearly yelped as we went to start treating Maxi with no warning.  Just in time to save himself from having his head ripped off, he remembered himself, and started to explain (rather well) what he was going to do.  Thank goodness!  Maxi Minx was a very good girl and didn’t move a muscle (though her big blue eyes were spinning and searching all over the place).

At the end of her treatment, the dentist turned round and started writing on a bit of paper; the dental nurse stood and smiled at me.  I was too tired and too obstinate and too fed-up of feeling awkard, so instead of asking, “Can we go now? Is that it? Do you want me to wait or just go?” I just stood and smiled back at her.  Lucky – apparently I had to take the piece of paper to reception.  After handing over the precious piece of paper, I loitered expecting to get a bill.  The receptionist stood and smiled at me.  I just smiled back.  (God, they must think I’m a half-wit. Nope – I’m just not a mindreader and do, in fact, need some direction sometimes).  “Would you like to make an appointment?” she asked.  “No thank you”, I replied.  There was an embarrassed silence, with us both smiling at each other.  This time I gave in first, and did ask, “Can I go now?” “Oh!  Yes!” she grinned.  So I guess the treatment was free.  And by golly, I hope it was actually what Maxi needed.

As the girls had been so well-behaved, I decided to do a very quick supermarket shop.  Yeah: at lunchtime.  With 3 hungry little girls.  On my own.  With the school-kids filling the shop.  Without a shopping list.  Mad.  Actually, we had a bit of fun.  Maxi was the ‘Mummy Helper’, Midi helped by keeping Mini happy, and Mini grinned gummily at her big sister the whole time.  She loved the individual attention.  As the girls were so good, I got braver and braver and started filling the trolley higher and higher.  I got a bit delirious at some of the reductions on the fruit & veg (perfect strawberries reduced to a few pence just because they came wrapped in loose clingfilm rather than shrink-wrapped, and 2 heads of broccoli for 26p) so ventured further and further from the door.  Before I knew it, we’d been in 45 mins, the trolley was full to the brim, I’d done a weekly shop (saving time the rest of the week), and we were the far end of the store with just the bread to get.

Suddenly, Midi announces in a panic, “I need a wee!  Right now!”  Oh crap.  I zoomed down the massive shop as fast as I could, yelling, “Hold it in!  Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze!  Nearly at the toilet!” the whole way at the top of my voice.  Not for Midi’s benefit, but to warn other shoppers specifically why I was coming through and why I would not be stopped, even if I ran over their toes.  I reached the security guard at the front, yelled: “I’ll be back (for this trolley)!” over my shoulder as I dead-armed Midi and Mini to the toilet, with Maxi wailing, “I need a wee now, tooooo!” behind us.  Phew!  Both got there just in time.

Back in time for lunch before zooming out again to take my baby elephants to their ballet class.  While the eldest 2 danced, Mini staggered round the hall, making everyone laugh with her shriek-laughing and big raggedy smile.

It was a simple zausage and tomato sauce pasta for dinner, so no need to race back home at 1000 miles an hour: we could take our time and all 4 of us screech and drum along in the car to the kids’ CD (their favourite is Track 7 on the Bookstart CD, ‘The Meeting’: drums and bagpipes).  Mini won because her shrieks are louder than any other noise known to mankind.

Yesterday was a great day!