Well, here we are, almost at the end of January, and it's good to see that my 2013 vow to blog more has got off to a flying start. Or not. On the plus side, almost the end of January means ALMOST THE END OF DRYATHLON. Yes, one month of wailing, gnashing teeth, shouting and stamping - oh, and no booze - is finally about to end. I know that this is the point where I should start extolling the virtues of not drinking for an extended period of time and use this forum to encourage you all to do the same. Well, on the plus side, it was easier than I thought it might be (although in my head I think I'd imagined me having to be physically chained to a wall to stop me from breaking ranks and rampaging through my drinks cupboard, pouring spirits into every orifice I could find), and I am probably slightly more (and I do mean very slightly ... it's not like I drink the expensive stuff) financially solvent as a result. I've also raised almost £200 for chariteeeeeeeeeeee. So a little bit richer and infinitely more smug and virtuous.
On the down side ... well, where to start. Firstly: NO WINE. FOR. A. MONTH. There are only so many times you can drink Coke Zero out of a wine glass and try to pretend it's an adequate substitute. Speaking of Coke Zero, February is going to find me going into rehab for addiction to the bloody stuff. I am under no delusions that wine is good for you, but I do suspect that Coke Zero is probably even worse. People told me not drinking would "absolutely, 100%, guaranteed" result in substantial amounts of weight loss. These people are lying shitebags. Absolutely zero weight loss, despite sticking to a calorie counted diet ... until I got shagged off with the whole thing and decided to throw myself wholeheartedly into the 5:2 diet. More on which very shortly no doubt, but suffice to say thus far it is flipping AWESOME.
Having said all of that, it is done, I have silenced the cynics (although I suspect the most hardened of these probably still believe I've been secreting vodka into my pots of Muller Light), I have Done A Good Thing, and whilst it's not quite on the same scale as running a marathon it is still a feat I feel I can be justifiably proud of. It has also been dull, tedious, and 1 February cannot come around soon enough. And I will of course be repeating it all again next year. Almost definitely.
That was all completely unrelated to what I was planning to blog about today, as you can probably tell by the title. (Good to see my sense of focus and direction is as acute as ever.) On to Mr Jamie and the potty training ...
Long time blog readers (I looooooooooooooooooove you!) will remember this blog's Second Most Read Post Of All Time (the big black nipples just about topped it), which resulted out of the potty training of Mr Jamie. The flashbacks and screaming nightmares are yet to leave me. So with this in mind, you can imagine my reaction when Mr Jamie told me he was going to potty train Beth ...
"Jamie, are you sure? I don't think she wants to do it just yet, and I haven't got time to help you today."
"She DOES Mummy. I know she does. She wants to get stickers and chocolate for weeing and pooing on the potty, don't you Beth?"
"Fine. I will look forward to saying 'I told you so'."
And so I hid in a corner and rocked, and Mr Jamie got on with the task of potty training Beth.
"Now Beth, when you need the toilet you go and sit on the potty, and then if you do a wee you will get a sticker, and if you do a poo you will get CHOCOLATE BUTTONS. Mummy, do we have any chocolate buttons?"
"Oh. Well you can have a sticker and then Mummy will go out and get you chocolate buttons."
"Hmmmmm." (That was me, in case it wasn't immediately obvious.)
I admit to being deeply, deeply cynical about the chances of this working. And so it was that, as I sat there with my cynic's hat off ... Mr Jamie walked Beth over to the potty, pulled down her tights, took off her nappy, sat next to her and held her hand ... and watched as she produced THE LARGEST WEE EVER. IN THE POTTY.
I was stunned into silence. (Those of you who know me well will know how rarely this happens.) Mr Jamie was smug like you would not BELIEVE:
"Well DONE Beth! I told you Mummy! I told you she would do it! Now you are a big girl and now you can have a sticker."
"Beth done it Mummy. Beth done wee on potty and Beth get sticker and COCKCOCK BUTTON." (I have really got to work on her pronounciation. She also calls aeroplanes and helicopters 'cockcocks'. It's an embarrassing trip to the airport just waiting to happen.)
"Yes, yes you have. That's very good. Well done." I sat back and waited for disaster to follow.
But it didn't. Despite the absence of any cockcock buttons (or even the chocolate version), and despite my cynicism, the rest of the day continued in this vein. Mr Jamie took Beth to the toilet at ten minute intervals, pulled down her tights and nappy for her and rewarded her with stickers when a wee was successfully produced.
I was stunned. Stunned, and bloody delighted I hadn't had to get involved in anything bar the occasional emptying of a wee into the toilet. I decided to make the most of Mr Jamie's control of the situation and went upstairs to do a workout while Neil gave the children tea. So confident was Mr Jamie of Beth's bladder and bowel control by now that he'd put her in pants. I know. Maniac.
30 minutes later and two small children wandered up the stairs, ready for bathtime. By the smell of Beth, it was clear that something had gone awry with the potty training process. She was, let me remind you, now wearing pants. Pants which had very recently become filled with poo. I responded in my usual, model parenting manner.
"Oh Beth. For goodness' sake. I told you if you wanted to wear pants you would have to go on the potty? Why have you pooed in your pants? Now we have to clear all this up."
And then in, like an avenging angel, stepped Mr Jamie, physically forcing himself between me and Beth and going over to give her a hug.
"It's okay Beth. Don't worry. You have tried really hard to do all your wees and your poos on your potty, haven't you, and you just forgot now because you are a bit tired. Mummy will clean you up and we'll have a nice bath and then in the morning you can try again. That's a good idea, isn't it?"
There is only one of us who is fit to be a parent. And it is definitely, definitely not me.