In parenting, one of the first things I discovered was that everything is all about stages. A mum’s time is occupied with varying, constantly changing, time consuming needs from birth onwards. It’s initially all about feeding, then weaning, progressing to the, backbreaking, hours spent finger walking and now, the latest phase I’ve entered; loitering by bushes, in public places, waiting for my son to poo.
Now, let me start off by saying that this isn’t actually as bad as it sounds!
At two, he is still, mainly, in nappies and, indeed, does wear them under the foliage, but, boy oh boy, can he take forever? I’m there for what feels like hours! And why oh why do we always see the same folk, passing by, again and again, puzzling, quietly, or out loud, as to why I’m still hovering by the side of a shrub. You see, being the clever little chap he is, Sam hides himself so completely away that he can’t be spied, leaving his poor mother, quite frankly, looking a little odd.
And I do get it! I mean, we all enjoy a little privacy when performing our daily administrations, and how pleasant it must be for him to spend a spot of time looking at nature, finding sticks and pinecones and generally passing a pleasing piece of time in this way. But I do question why it can never take less than twenty minutes. Which may not sound like a long time, but trust me, as a well-practiced woodland creeper, it’s definitely long enough!
When this pooping amongst the perennials phase started, I was actually a little bit excited; I could get out my phone, reply to a few messages and sometimes he’d even select a spot with a conveniently located bench nearby. Free time! Hurrah! I’ll take this, thought I! But these loitering luxuries are not always a given and well, on rainy days I just look even weirder. And wetter. Plus there’s then the whole toddler waddle up to the changing facilities which we’re, inevitably, miles away from. I’ve never uttered the phrase; “Please don’t sit down poppet” as much as I do, on those treks to civilisation.
I still haven’t worked out yet whether I should simply just fully accept the situation and be honest, announcing to my fellow tourists that I’m not a strange malingerer, but am actually waiting for my child to finish his constitutions in the conifers. However, I somehow feel this approach leads me down a whole new, longer conversational path, of having to explain he is wearing a nappy, and isn’t just imitating the dog, who, to add to the scene in your head, we’ve often also got with us.
I know that, in reality, this is a good step forward, in terms of potty training, and a part of me thinks it’s quite lovely that he feels so at ease in the great outdoors, yet I can’t help but think I’d like it all to be a just a tad quicker!
However, until he’s either fully in pants, or things perhaps do speed up a bit (will they, anyone?) I can only embrace this next stage of parenting, be thankful when it’s not raining and keep my fingers crossed there’s a bench.
Oh and I guess I’d better hope this really is just a phase, as I’m genuinely not sure this al fresco approach will go down well as he grows. That could lead to an altogether entirely different game of pooh sticks…