Thursday, May 22, 2008
Left: Who would have thought such innocent faces could be behind so much trouble?
So there I was, innocently paying for my groceries. Grabbing my purse out of my handbag, it accidentally caught on a pair of handcuffs and they landed onto the counter for all to see.
“It’s not what you’re thinking!” I wanted to say to the open-mouthed checkout chick, and snickering teenager behind me. “I am not having kinky sex!” (Let’s be honest: I’m a working mother. I’m lucky if I have the energy to have any sex at all!)
Instead, red-faced, I stuffed the offending items back into my bag and tried to look dignified.
Of course, the handcuffs were not mine. They belonged to the police-loving seven-year-old, who has a penchant for dressing up as a cop. I’d had to confiscate them earlier, because he was trying to handcuff his sister to the trampoline.
I’d shoved them into the nearest hiding place – my bag – and promptly forgotten all about them.
As the mother of two mischievous monkeys, I should be used to being embarrassed by their antics by now.
Like the day I answered a phone call in the middle of Big W. As shoppers crowded past me, hunting for bargains, I fumbled in my bag for a pen to write down an important phone number I needed.
“Fuuuuuuurp,” went my bag. Or more correctly, the fart pen inside it.
“It wasn’t me,” I wanted to say, as shoppers looked at me in a mixture of disgust, amusement, and quite possibly, admiration. “It’s a bloody pen”!
But before I got the chance, the fart pen trumpeted again, this time longer and louder.
If you didn’t know fart pens existed, you obviously don’t have a son like mine. They’re shaped like a finger (the pens, not my son), and you pull the end of the finger to make it let rip with a variety of disgusting sounds. Get it? That way the kids can say: Pull my finger!
Oh, it’s hilarious! I don’t think.
I made a point of flourishing the finger as I wrote, but I’m not sure how many onlookers realised I wasn’t really the source of the sounds.
Then there was the day I took my five-year-old Harmonie to the family doctor, who sees all of us regularly.
“So Harmonie,” he asked, as he checked her ears and took her temperature. “How’s Daddy?”
“Good,” she replied casually. “He farts all night.”
As I cringed, our bemused GP admitted: “I think that’s a little more information than I needed to know.”
I guess that’s nothing compared to the days when we were toilet-training Harmonie, and she insisted on telling everybody she met that she had finally graduated from nappies.
“Guess what?” she’d ask – neighbours, friends, strangers, it didn’t matter. “I can poo in the toilet!”
Helpfully, she also went through a stage of describing her most recent achievements, just so others wouldn’t miss out by not having been there at the time.
“It was a snowman one,” she’d say. Or, proudly, “It was green!”
Then there was a time, my husband Kyle needed surgery to remove a lump on his breast. “Doctor pinched Daddy’s napple,” she’d tell whoever would listen. “Now Daddy only got one napple.”
Of course, bodily functions and medical dramas are always of interest to kids. Recently, I had a colonoscopy, thanks to a family history of bowel disease and as another delightful consequence of reaching 40. Not.
“Mum’s going to have a camera stuck up her butt,” Chase announced gleefully when friends dropped around. Is nothing sacred?
But it’s not so bad. I know in a few years time, when the kids won’t want to be seen in public with their mother, let alone acknowledge my presence, it will be my turn to embarrass them. And I’ll certainly be ready to make up for lost time!