Our holiday draws to an end. The Incredible Hulk (21 months) has whined and moaned his way round Cornwall. He’s kicked me in the face in a pushchair related tantrum in the maritime museum, he’s tried to jump off a ferry – I nearly let him – and he’s become enraged by a horse riding hat at the farm. He’s been an absolute pleasure. But it is not he, but the Diva (3 and a half) who brings shame on family Mess Stress and Fancy Dress.
On a rainy evening, just before bed we decide to take a family swim in the lovely little pool at the farm. It’s indoor, nicely heated and there’s another family in there with a little girl that the diva has enjoyed playing with before. While Mr M,S&FD deals with the Hulk’s swimming short related tantrum – he is unwilling to wear swimming shorts – me and the Diva start our swim. 10 minutes in, she’s having a whale of a time and the hulk has calmed down enough to join us. Then she starts acting shifty. Something’s up so I conclude she probably needs a wee but doesn’t want to stop swimming. After about 5 minutes of negotiation, including promises of ice cream before bed, we exit the pool for a wee. I help her with her swimming costume and lo and behold, as I pull it down I reveal a load of small bits of what was clearly once a poo, stuck to her skin. Great. She now starts screaming “Mummy, there are little bits of poo all over my tummy, I am yucky” at the top of her voice, wailing “get it off me get it off me” in despair and doing a frantic dance till she skids (pun absolutely intended) on the floor and bangs her head. Now I have to pick up the shitty child and cuddle her to calm her down, covering myself in her watery excrement in the process.
Now I am in the eternal parenting quandary, do I go and own up about the poo to the other family who are happily swimming around in potentially shit infested water, or do I clean her up and get out as quickly as humanly possible? Seeing as my husband and child are also swimming in the poisoned water of doom, I go out and own up. Mr M,S&FD volunteers to tell the people in charge about the poo (he’s a good man) and we get changed and leave as quick as we can, the Hulk screaming all the way as he’s now decided he doesn’t want to remove his swimming shorts. I sometimes think it’s better for everyone if we just never left the house.