You know when someone warns you not to look up, you just can’t help but take a quick glance skyward? Or if you’re not allowed to scratch your nose for some reason (whatever that reason may be. What would it be?), then your nose itches and twitches and you’d do anything to be able to scratch it.
A similar thing happened to Maeve in the public toilets this week. We’d had a very long, but fun, day wandering around the shops after swimming. In hindsight, I should have popped her into her carseat an hour or two earlier and let her sleep all the way home.
Like any two-year-old, she has to do everything herself. I held her under the arms while she sat on the public toilet seat, but then came the familiar words, ‘I do it.’ Reluctantly, I let her go and she steadied herself and balanced with her hands curved round and under the edge of the toilet seat.
Don’t think about it, I told myself. We know how I go with germs. It’s a familial thing. I know my Dad will be dry reaching if he’s reading this.
When she was finished, I lifted her down. ‘Well done, Maeve. Now don’t put your hands in your mouth until we’ve washed them.’
And there it was. All she heard was ‘Put your hands in your mouth’ and all she wanted to do was put her hands in her mouth. We wrestled (with her overalls around her ankles) and I carried her kicking and screaming and trying to hold her germ-ridden hands outward away from her face, her body and me (which is hard to do when you’re carrying the child and don’t want the overalls to fall onto the germ-ridden floor).
I held her up near the basin with one hand while I pushed the germ-ridden soap dispenser button and spread as much of it as I could on her hands, then held them under the tap. I gave up in the end and put her down while I dug in my handbag for my bottle of germ-killing gel.
And she lay down, flailing her arms and legs and pressing her cheek onto the tiles.
Sorry Dad. I’ve finished now. I had trouble too.
Here’s a look at some of the things I’ve been working on lately:
And now I have to go because my fingers are itching.