Saturday, September 07, 2013

Obedience, a kind word and using the pot.

1. While I'm feeding Bettany and waiting to chat with the breastfeeding peer supporter I discover that Alec will when asked trot away and fetch items from the pushchair which is parked round the corner and just out of sight.

2. When I see that the couple at the table next to us in the cafe are reading that newspaper that I don't give any attention to I immediately assume that they are going to disapprove of me and my unruly brood. I unpack everyone and organise them so they are comfortable. I am ready for a fight -- either from the couple or from my children.
Then the wife says very kindly "You've got your hands full." and then "You're doing very well." I am quite overcome and feel like bursting into tears.

3. Alec asks for the pot right in the middle of lunch. We've just sat down in a busy cafe. I have been asking him if he wants to go every 15 minutes all morning (he said he did once, and we ran down three flights of stairs only to have him deny everything).
"You don't, do you?"
"Mmm, no." Then a moment later he says. "I really need to widdle."
"Would you watch our things?" I ask the mother at the next table. I am stuffing Bettany back into the sling, grabbing the travel pot and the changing bag and trying to unstick Alec who has wedged his head into the back of his chair (don't ask).
"How long will you be?"
"Two minutes," I say over my shoulder as we fly towards the family loo. "Maybe five," I add more honestly.
Alec refuses to use the pot that I have been carrying round all morning because "It too small." It becomes more appealing when I show him that the only alternative is the terrifying porcelain thing in the corner (we'll work on that later). The relief I feel when he produces makes my praise for this achievement feel very authentic.



  1. 2. Sweet woman! I once reassured parents in a restaurant that, since my friend and I were the only other customers, and her children's happy noise didn't bother us, she could just relax and enjoy herself rather than trying to keep them quiet . . . She seemed relieved.

    1. I bet she was! Until you've done it you've no idea how difficult it is to eat out with children. It's not relaxing at all, and if you're worried about being judged by the staff or by other diners it makes it ten times worse. I know we would do better if I were more relaxed (the children pick up on my stress it makes them nervous and therefore disruptive) but I struggle to relax when I feel defensive. I should just ignore those around me, really. It's blissful when I can achieve the parenting bubble that keeps all outside influences out, and it makes everyone calm and well-behaved.

      I wouldn't eat out at all, but I really want A&B to learn these social skills; plus I need a break from cooking and clearing.


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