As you know, I try to hold on to a shred or two of dignity. I’m not claiming it works all the time, but my self-image is of a woman with a fair amount of well-behavedness.
But as you may recall, I also have a grandtoddler. And therein lies an ever developing tale, as I am reminded – daily – of the ways in which children develop, and what is required of parents and grandparents.
Why did no-one remind me of the small undignified acts required of a good grandmother? Take the matter of poo-ing.
A very private matter, as you well know. Most people pretend we don’t do it, and they definitely don’t talk about it. So pooing is not the kind of thing one invites others to partake in.
Unless you’re a toddler.
I have lost count of the many times in recent weeks I have been invited to “poo” alongside The GrandToddler. Worse, sometimes I have to pretend that I am actually doing so.
The first time she asked, I sat on the floor beside her, at a complete loss. But you should have seen the sweet, innocent little face, looking up to mine as if this was the most natural thing to ask her grandmother.
So what was I to do?
Feeling embarrassed, my first efforts didn’t impress her at all. In fact, each time, she regarded me as if to say: “Is this the best you can do?” I could see she was running out of patience.
Nothing worked till I came up with an exaggerated version of a bear lumbering toward her then stopping suddenly to stoop and poo in the woods.
That did it. She laughed, happy as all get-out.
But you see my dilemma. Today it’s the pooing thing. Tomorrow? Who knows?
As you can guess (indignities aside), I am fully enjoying the experience of grandparenting. I understand that besotted look on other grandparents’ faces, the giggles that sometimes burst out as they describe the little ones’ antics.
But no-one warned me about the pooing part. What else are my parent and grandparent friends hiding from me, I wonder?