I thought there was nothing a child could throw at me that I couldn’t take, if there is a mum that can probably take on anyone with combat training it’d be me. Oh yeah, I reckon I’m a hardcore mum. Crap on the carpet and vomit on the wall, plus dinner to get on the table and all at the same time, oh yeah I got this – totally all over it.
But then there was Charlie.
Charlie is adorable. Clearly this is all part of his cover. The signs were there, I just didn’t pay attention…
Take last summers holiday for instance, I had decided in my wisdom to take the six kids over the coast on my own (because I’m totally a combat mummy right?) the Hubster was going to come later when he was on days off. We arrive at the holiday house and Austin (the town crier) let the neighbourhood know he wanted a drink, I was about to remind him how to ask politely when I heard Charlie tell him “Don’t worry Austin I’ll get you a drink”. I wondered how Charlie would get it, since he is too little to reach a tap yet. So I decided to check. There he was cup in hand, his little willy in the other peeing in the cup and about to hand it too his brother to drink. HOW DID HE EVEN THINK OF THAT?! (I’m fairly sure we haven’t let him watch any Bear Grylls).
Part of me nearly didn’t stop him, and I hear you judging, but come on you can’t tell me isn’t there just a little part of you that is thinking it would be SO funny if he actually took a sip. I fought off the temptation to laugh my arse off at my child’s expense, and stopped the drink being handed over.
I now regard anything given to me by the small one with suspicion and a good sniff.
Little brothers, evil incarnate. They’ve sat and watched their elder siblings, and while they were still figuring stuff out and getting in trouble, little brothers are taking notice working out the loop holes.
And then there is Charlie… you never know when he’ll strike either. I took him to the loo at the shops recently, and on this day I had chosen to wear a skirt, a mistake I won’t make again.
Sharing a public toilet cubicle with a small child is always a bit interesting at the best of times, Mummy are you doing poos?! (He sticks head under the gap to look at your neighbour) Are they doing poos? Or they open the door while your pants are halfway down, being the helpful little people that they are.
On this day Charlie had done his thing and then I needed to do mine, and while he observed the proceedings he noticed I was wearing a skirt. Clearly in his mind this observation had to be made in the form of a public announcement “Mummy you ain’t got no pants on!” I hear a stifled giggle in the cubicle next to me and I explain loud enough so I could be heard by my neighbour “No honey, mummy has a skirt on and here are my pants SEE?!” Nope, not good enough for him “No, you ain’t got no pants on!” As I try to convince him otherwise, people in the toilets are just laughing out loud now, and I realise that at some point I’m going to have to go out there and face women who think I’ve gone shopping sans panties. Maybe I’m more of a commando mum than I thought?
So I wait until I think everyone is gone (“What are you doing mummy? Can we go now? What’s in that bin? Can I play with it?”) and sneak out, but oh no there had to be someone still at the sink. She laughed and said how funny little boys are, but I could tell she was checking me out for visible panty lines. I drag the boy out to his father who was waiting near the food court, and there was a brief lull in which Charlie decided was the best moment to tell his father “Mummy ain’t got no pants on!” Fifty heads turned simultaneously and looked at me (agog, food halfway to their faces), all of them clearly wondering if I had indeed gone shopping without pants. To which the Hubster responded, with a glimmer of surprise/hope in his eyes “Really?” Yeah sure Hun we’re how old now?!
It seems I have a challenge before me.