Back in the early days of this blog, there were a lot of posts about poo. Not mine I hasten to add, and I don’t intend to start logging any details about my, erm, logs, but now I come to mention it, there was that time a couple of months ago when Arthur managed to figure out how to work door handles for the very first time and it was at the exact moment when I was in the bathroom catching up on some reading matter. I was mid shit and he wanted a cuddle. I managed to fob him off with a high five and a fist bump and off he went. Unfortunately he hadn’t worked out how to pull a door to (if I hadn’t have been there at the event I would have sworn that lad was born in a barn), never mind use the door handle to close it. The next thing I know, Henry is in the bathroom along with me wondering what all the fuss is about.
The boys have figured out how to work the bolt on the bathroom door if they are in the room while the door is shut, so I took the pin out of it in case they ever did find their way in and realise they weren’t livestock after all. This is fine if there is just me and Mrs Aitchworld in the house – there is no dignity left between us. We have both seen each other at our worst. Love is running to the bathroom and back at the speed of Hussein Bolt in order to fetch a potty for someone who is in bed and right on the cusp of a lumpy yawn. Seeing each other on the toilet is tame by comparison.
On this note, how do the boys know when a major hangover is occurring? It isn’t very often we drink, so when we do it tends to hit like a freight train the following day. And the day after that, if I’m honest. The morning after this particular event, for the first time in a very long time, the boys decided their toys of choice to bring into our bedroom at 6am (or maybe just before) was their Casio keyboard and a kazoo. Now, even though it was the Yuletide season, a pre-programmed Casio concerto of Jingle Bells and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, at full volume, inches from your ear isn’t a welcome sound. We quickly invested in a Gro-clock, even paying for express delivery, so that if we ever decide to drink again, we can at least program the sun to come up a little later to give us a chance of some extra sleep.
Anyway, every year not long after such events, just after Christmas we have a foreign student stay with us for three months, on a work exchange scheme. This year is no exception and to get round the no lock on the door situation, the understood rules of the house are that if the bathroom door is shut, it is occupied. The problem therein is that if the boys keep leaving the door wide open after they have visited me mid motion, the sight of me with my pants round my ankles, running like a parent in a school sack race in order to shut the bathroom door, is likely going to scare our student into never wanting to return to the UK, if they just happened to see the open door and thought the room was vacant.
All of which meandering and thrutching leads me to the point I was attempting to get to, which is that we are potty training. Again, not me; I’ve kinda got the hang of it. But the boys have started their road towards being house trained, in particular Henry. The other day he actually took his first ever shit on a potty. I don’t know why, but it is the proudest I have ever been of something, and it wasn’t even my achievement. When I stood back and thought about it for a moment, I did wonder how low my life had sunk that I was so impressed with a shit in an injection-moulded, primary-coloured bowl. But Henry was very pleased with his effort too, and his pride was kind of infectious.
Of course not every shit is a hit and there have been accidents along the way. You have one perfect day, where there was no extra washing involved, and you think you’ve cracked it. You are a master in the art of toilet training. You get complacent. And the next day the washing machine and tumble dryer run from morning to night, coping with all the missed opportunities. The national grid is there just for us sometimes. I fear our next electricity bill – it will probably crack the tiles underneath the doormat when it lands. There is no way our internet service provider will be able to cope with the amount of data in it, if our utility company were to email it it to me.
As any regular readers of this blog (if there are such people) will attest, my mind is an odd place. I have recently enjoyed watching the TV series Limitless, which was a spin off from the film of the same name. The premise, if you are unfamiliar, is that there is a pill which unlocks the full capacity of your brain, leading to excellent learning capabilities and memory function. Although the effect of this pill is very exaggerated in the film and TV programme, memory and mind enhancing drugs do exist, albeit as a side effect for curing narcolepsy, and I have been sorely tempted to try them. However, upon unloading the umpteenth load of washing from the tumble dryer and pondering the electricity bill issue, my brain went into overdrive, even without the aid of any medication.
Firstly, although it wouldn’t solve the electricity problem, I wondered could the vent from the tumble dryer, the one that extracts warm air from the dryer out through a hole in the kitchen wall, be better ustilised to heat the kitchen somehow. At the moment, it is hidden behind the tumble dryer and the kitchen units. Surely it could be better utilised? My mind wandered yet further when I emptied the filter/fluff collector device. There must be a use for all this tumble dryer fluff. There has to be. I don’t know what it is, or how you would even commercially collect it, but I will find a way somehow.
Even without the artificial heightening of the memory, I recalled a number of years ago I was at an exhibition where someone was demonstrating slug pellets made out of compressed sheep wool. The natural salts in the wool deterred any slugs from visiting your flower beds. I have worked with food ingredients and chemicals for many years, and I know there are sodium phosphates and salts in washing powders. I mused whether there would be enough residue from these in the tumble dryer fluff, that if it were compressed into pellets would it do the same job? I think an appearance on Dragon’s Den beckons…