Well, the good news is I'm not dead. The bad news is you are missing about 8 months of your life...however, let me be the first to tell you that you just became interesting! We now have conversations. It's brilliant - I ask a question and you answer, and it doesn't matter if the response is you bursting into the ABC's - we are on the same page, or at least in the same book. Recently, I was so excited about a party you had been to that as i drilled you with questions, you turned to me, rested one hand on my arm and told me to 'calm down'. It was then that i knew we had reached the next stage and that whole ridiculous babbling, wash, rinse, repeat stage was over. You were my friend!!! Everything had changed - things like blowing bubbles - i no longer have to pretend and applaud you for licking the miniature wand...
However, let me share with you part of this transition. Currently, you are on the home stretch with toilet training, and now it's just the occasional accident...usually on my knee or when you crawl into bed with us in the morning - "wait, what's that warm feeling?"
Anyway, one weekend we ran out of diapers and that was it. We were going cold turkey. (Also, I think all the wipes had gone too, and the paper towels - we really are those parents that forget to bring snacks, fill sippy cups, carry spare underwear, feed pets, buy gifts at Christmas - the list goes on). Anyway, when the bulged diaper of a poop is not only visible across a playground, but it carries the stench of an adults 'evacuation', well, then it's time to call it a day.
So, I needed a battle plan and since my nose usually bears the brunt of anything gross - my attack was to share the suggestion of sensory disgust. I started with... "Oh, no more diapers - who wants to be smelly down there?". Or, "ugh (said softly), we don't want wee wee all on you down there". "How about we try some nice and clean big girl knickers?". Things like that. Now, aside from the Elmo potty book, i hadn't really sought out any formal thinking on the matter, which is perhaps a shame. However, I don't trust anyone that only speaks in the third person... as such my relationship with Elmo is strained at best.
So, i had my tactic and all was going very well. Easy...right?
Fast forward a couple of weeks when i pick you up from preschool. Now, I'm new to this parental club business - i just get a little uncomfortable seeing them all bosom up and talk tofu snacks and toy drives. I've noticed that some parents when they collect their child will even sit down in the classroom, in those tiny plastic chairs, and do things like read to them or play in the sand box, rather than whisking then away home. (Seems a bit for show, if you ask me). Anyway, this is not me - I'm like a mountain lion. Stealth. In and out, only stopping long enough to use the hand sanitizer. Having said that, I'm not totally rude. I'll nod and smile at anyone, just not long enough to engage in conversation.
Anyway, today your little face lit up as you saw me and you ran to me shouting "Mummy" at the top of your little lungs! (Think Princess Di greeting Prince William and Prince Harry as she stepped off Britannica...yup, that's right) Before i can scoop you up, you run to me and bury your head in my legs. Just as joy almost forced me to introduce myself to the lady standing next to me, whose own child hadn't even noticed her- you remove your face from between my legs and shout to the world, "ugh, stinky wee wee. Oh yucky!"
Now - there are only a few places to go from there. I can try and explain to the other mothers that we are going through the transition to underwear phase, or i can just let them think that i forgot to wear a scented pantyliner that morning. I silently thank God that i had not come in my workout clothes, and instead was dressed in business attire, having come straight from work. Oh God, i thought - please just let a bottle of Summer's Eve fall from my bag. Seriously - for all my pee jokes, this was not a moment where i cracked a funny about dribbling and sneezing. No, this was out and out embarrassment. I wanted to scream - "BUT I HONESTLY DON'T!!!!"
But i didn't - i forced a chuckle that actually almost turned into a burp and tried to make eye contact with another mother to find some camaraderie, but all eyes were down or looking away. Dear Lord - they were actually embarrassed for me. They probably thought I birthed a 14lb baby and never recovered. So, I tried to brush it off with a snort and made some bizarre comment about "ooh, the things they come out with - goodness, where does it come from?"
Silence...literally, crickets and tumbleweeds.
So now, when you have a bath or you accidentally pee on me, I bite my tongue and use words like "fresh", "summer breeze", "lovely", when stressing the importance of cleaning that "area" properly. As an act of caution, I have also adopted a different approach to publicly greeting you. I am prepared - I bend down, stretch my arms as far as they can reach and scoop you up before you even get close to my fragranced, summer breeze.