Finding Option 3

It always happens when you’re at your most tired and looking after the kids by yourself. One or multiple children engage in a maddening act that would be enough to make a grown man cry.

This happened to me yesterday. It was the end of a very busy patch with my husband absent more often than usual, I was sick and all of my children seemed to have swallowed hyperactivity pills. Needless to say, I was exhausted.

Having taken the day off work and with my eldest at kindergarten, I was sure that my day with the two-year old twins would be a lighter load, enabling some much needed rest.

It all started well, with an easy kindy drop-off, drama-free trip to the shops and mess-free morning tea.

Nappy change time came and one of the twins seemed keen on some time without a nappy, as he often does. I thought, “Why not?” It soon became clear that I should really have considered all possible answers to the ‘why not’ question.

First, he weed on the carpet. No big deal. I quickly cleaned it up.

Just as I finished, I heard giggling in the dining room, where I was greeted by the same twin, dancing and giggling on, yes on, the dining table, leaving what seemed like a million little pebbles in his wake. His grand finale, as I got to him, was yet another wee.

Half a bottle of disinfectant later, the mess was cleaned up, but my little performer wasn’t yet finished.

Apparently, I had somehow asked for an encore, which I got in the form of yet another wee on the carpet in the lounge. Three messes. Fifteen minutes.

Now, at this point, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself that I probably should have put a new nappy on him well before this. You’re right. I should have. But, if I’m honest, my parenting is riddled with a serious lack of common sense. Case in point.

For me, however, it was at this point that I was faced with a critical decision. Option 1 was to discipline my child. Option 2 was to grit my teeth and resentfully clean up the third offensive mess within 15 minutes.

What I discovered, though, was an option three that revealed itself like a slow-motion sequence in a movie. As I dropped to my knees screaming, “Noooooooooooo”, it was like the sun shone through the window and played on my dull, unwashed hair, whispering that it was nearly naptime. An end was in sight and, if I played my cards right, I could turn this gut-wrenching, stomach-churning event into a moment of glory.

Now on my knees, I threw a towel on the mess, grabbed the table-dancing, ridiculously small-bladdered child (who had obviously had drunk a lot that morning), tickled him on the belly, realised that holding him this close without a nappy was risky and threw a nappy on him… then laughed. And then he laughed. And then his brother laughed.

And then we slept.

Option 3, I’m going to look for you more.

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