I’m not sure how we made it, but the boys, Arthur and Henry are now three, as of March of this year. We pondered the other evening whether they are still considered to be toddlers, because they don’t really toddle; they walk and run just like children now.
People like to categorise children’s ages, such as the “terrible twos” and “threenagers”. I don’t subscribe to such bollocks, personally. As I have previously said, the twos weren’t terrible and I actually quite wanted to freeze that age, or hold onto it for as long as possible. It was a joyous period of learning and discovery that just keeps getting better and more interesting.
Admittedly Arthur can throw some quite spectacular tantrums – the other evening he managed to empty a full, five tier, one metre long shoe rack in a time that, had Norris McWhirter and Roy Castle been on hand to independently adjudicate, I am fairly confident would have set a new world record.
In my very first blog post, I based my optimism in being able to look after children of my experience of raising our two cats, Charlie and Dave. How hard could it be, I pondered. Well, I have come to the realisation that it is more akin to looking after a dog. Or two, in our case. In particular, it is like admiring a breed such as a Husky, or Dalmation, or a Weimarana. What seems like a handsome dog to own actually turns out to require endless exercising to tire out, and they cover your garden with shit and piss in the process. The only difference with having children is that it isn’t as easy to take them to the rescue shelter if they don’t match your furniture or aren’t easily house trained.
We have discovered that Henry and Arthur have boundless energy, and so for Christmas we had bought them balance bikes. As a result of an excessively long winter those bikes didn’t really leave the garage for seemingly months, but now we seem to have skipped spring and entered straight into summer and we have the boys out on their bikes at any given opportunity.
In the early days of this blog, it seemed that every post had an element of poo in it. This waned for a while as poo incidents diminished in their frequency. I assumed that as potty training ensued, this would come back to the fore, but it has largely passed without incident. That said, when we were in the middle of a bike ride the other day, Henry decided that he wanted to sit on the potty. What happened next was the biggest poo I have ever seen emerge from a human. If I’d have said I’d done it, it would have been believable. I’m most surprised Henry didn’t split in two.
I was so impressed with his effort that I took a picture of it and sent it as an MMS to Mrs Aitchworld. Now, every time she opens a subsequent text message from me a picture of a glistening brown whale in a luminescent green potty is always in the feed and never far from sight. The HDR setting on the phone really brought out the colours!
Henry has cracked potty training, pretty much. He is a determined little boy and a bit of a perfectionist to boot, so once he sets his mind on something, he will achieve it fairly quickly. However, on the same bike ride as the aforementioned poo, I needed a wee, so we all stopped in the woods while I found a convenient tree. Of course, now Henry wants to do standing up wees and he is resolute that he is going to achieve perfection in this endeavour, and quickly.
His first attempt ended in an accident. I found him weeing up against the front of the downstairs toilet, with it trickling down and accumulating on the floor where he was standing, soaking into his socks.
His second attempt was outside. Since early May we have had some particularly clement weather and on a couple of occasions we have had the paddling pool out, stripped the boys off and let them play. Henry decided he was going to try standing up wees and went up against a railway sleeper that separates the upper and lower lawns. And bless him, he didn’t get any splash back. Even if he did he could have washed it off in the paddling pool.
Buoyed by his success, he took a massive shit on the lawn. I’m not sure if he is Husky, Dalmation or Weimaraner. You often hear about feral children but Henry is such a clean child, removing clothing if it so much as gets a few drops of water on it to exchange for clean clothing, never mind any dirt, that I don’t think he could be labelled thus.
The third attempt at a standing up wee was on Sunday. I came out of the house into the back yard and Henry was in full flow up against the side gate.
When I was at primary school, the urinal was little more than a wall painted with ultra smooth paint, rather than an actual ceramic or stainless steel job. There were windows at about adult head height or thereabouts, above this.
Children being children, or rather boys being boys, we would have competitions to see how high we could wee up the wall. I was rubbish at this, but regular readers of the blog (if there is such a thing) may or may not remember the Ainsleyworth brothers and sister, whose mum made their fancy dress costumes for them to win the annual fancy dress costume competition in which the costumes were supposed to be made by us, the children. Well, to give him credit, the eldest, John, may have been shit at making his own fancy dress costumes but in the toilet he could build up such a pressure that he could actually wee out of the windows at the top of the wall.
This was both admirable and unfortunate, given that the other side of the wall was the playground and “the wall” was where teachers and dinner ladies would send children to stand, facing the wall, as a time out if their actions became a little boisterous. No one wanted to be stood there if they knew John Ainsleyworth might be on the other side. When John said he needed to go inside for a wee, we all behaved!
Henry, in his attempt at a standing up wee against our side gate, achieved a height that would have given John Ainsleyworth a run for his money, and Henry isn’t even of school age. We will soon have to choose a primary school for the boys and I am sorely tempted to sod the Ofsted rating and just send the boys to my old primary school to see if Henry can go in and take the crown.