“Have you washed your hands?!”
“Have you flushed?!”
Two questions that are constantly spouting from my mouth because nine times out of ten she hasn’t done either of these things, and with the toilet being downstairs she hasn’t got far to go to rectify these things. (Even if it means all she’s doing is turning the tap on and jiggling the towel without her hands going anywhere near the water!)
On Saturday, we were having an unusually relaxed morning at home. Sophie was watching Cbeebies, Oliver, unable to see the television, was both listening to Cbeebies and his big sister’s fascinating commentary on what’s going to happen next as she’s seen this episode for the umpteenth time since she was two years old, and I was hanging out the washing in the garden.
“Mum! I need you!” Sophie yells. It sounds like she’s in the downstairs toilet.
I pretend I haven’t heard. Usually ‘I need you’ means: ‘I want a drink’, ‘I want a biscuit’ or simply ‘I want…. to annoy you.’
Surprisingly she doesn’t call again, so I finish hanging the washing and walk into the kitchen to the sound of the ‘Octonauts’ theme tune, Oliver joining in with his cutest tuneful ‘ngaaaah! and Sophie rushing towards me holding her dress between her legs.
“Do you need a wee?”
“No. I’ve had one.”
“Oh. Well I hoped you wiped your bottom with toilet paper rather than your dress.”
“But Mummy, I did. Well, I didn’t…. there wasn’t any toilet paper..”
“Oh, well I’ll go get some…”
“No, Mummy…So, I used…” we’re walking together towards the downstairs toilet, “the erm….” she’s trying to search for the right word, “towel…small towel for…” I’m now imagining that she’s used the hand towel to wipe her bottom and my intention is to put it straight in the washing machine. As we approach the toilet I realise the hand towel is still looking perfectly clean hanging on the small towel rail. She says, “The towel you wet, Mummy, to wash our faces.”
“Oh, the face cloth!” I say, relieved that she finally managed to explain her predicament to me and glancing to the sink where it normally is. I can hear the flush of the toilet amazed that she flushed without me having to remind her, “But where is it, Darling?” looking on the floor around the toilet where she normally dumps her used loo roll, the circumference of the toilet bowl clearly too small for the reams of paper needed to clean her tiny behind.
“It’s … It’s…!”
“You didn’t actually put it down the…”
She bursts into uncontrollable sobs and flings herself into my arms. Her hands are wet on my back and I can’t believe she’s actually washed them! Sophie’s barely able to breath in between the sobs and gut wrenching ‘I’m sorry’s. In amazement I take a peep down the toilet bowl and see the last flicker of a baby blue facecloth whizz it’s way down the bowl, never to be seen again!
Well, at least she remembered to wash her hands and flush!