Friday, February 22, 2013

The Beige Banana Hockey Rage


Late yesterday afternoon I was engaged in a pretty exciting game of air hockey with my daughter. I used to let her score a few or even win. Now I don't really have to and she makes a decent game of it. Right in the middle of the game she started writhing around in the tell-tale way that means she needs to go to the bathroom. Quite why she leaves it to the last minute is anyone's guess. It's also a mystery as to why admitting that she needs to go isn't a bad thing. At least half the time she'll argue that she doesn't really have to go immediately - only to then give in five seconds later. Which she seems to think is an entirely different epoch to the moment when she rejected the laughable notion of needing the bathroom.

Now many parents can attest to knowing their children's bathroom habits inside out. While I'm not fumbling about in my daughter's stools (prodding with a pencil for consistency - slicing them with secateurs) I am of the boringly, trained-by-rote variety that knows that if she needs to go to the bathroom around 5.30pm then it's statistically more likely to be a Number Two type delivery. As we were all the way across the other side of the house I asked, "are you just going for a pee?" If she did need to squeeze out some fudge I might have come and assist her afterward. She's old and skilled enough to deal with this all by herself 75% of the time. But as I've mentioned - a launching of the bran barge at this time of day more often than not involves me being roped into proceedings. Knowing the urgency of the situation I asked her again. "Pee or poo?" (worst Pick A Hand game ever). She looked confused and wriggly - looking up and to the left to mentally figure out the answer. Eventually she answered, "...I don't know." The amount of wriggling she was doing meant that the question was moot at this point - she had to start the journey and now I had to follow after her.

She sat in the bathroom and I stood in the doorway of the mudroom and livingroom - just out of vision (and frankly also just out of the reaches of any foul smells) but within listening reach so as to engage in the odd habit of one-on-the-bog toilet conversations that the rest of my family seem to enjoy having. Apparently my line of questioning about which bodily-waste was being emptied was still weighing on her mind. "Daddy?" she asked. "Why did you ask me if I needed to pee or poop when there's no way to know?" No way to know? Wah?! After a quick back and forth (during which it had been understood that I didn't need ot assist with anything) she made the tenuous claim that she has no idea until one or the other comes out what she's going to be doing in the bathroom. Not only that - she claimed that was the reality for all people and not just her. I pointed out that I know. And her brother clearly knows seeing as he often comes belting across the living room raising the alarm, "Daddy!!! I NEED TO POOP!!!" And that her mother also clearly knows judging by the public service announcement she often makes that she's on her way to churn one out and that we should probably prepare to come look if it's one she's particularly proud of/scared by the circumference of. But no - my daughter rejected that idea wholesale as nonsense. She got quite snotty about it quite quickly so I tried to get her off the subject and back to being schooled at air hockey. About fifteen seconds into which she froze rigid in the air like a pointer spying a squirrel in the distance. However in her case it was the fast-dawning realization that she did indeed need a shit. She was up and off incredibly quickly and I scrambled off after her. After the beige-banana was born we made our way back to the other end of the house to finish up the air hockey game.

At which point she instantly snapped. I sat at my end of the table. My son was sat perpendicular to us in the middle. At least he was until his sister glanced at him and mid-smile leaned right into his face and screamed, "WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO STOP ME FROM PLAYING!!!" Obviously he was a bit surprised by this so just gave her the scrunched up What Is She Like? expression. To which she seemed to think was some sort of direct laying down of the gauntlet - so she shoved him over and continued to accuse him of espionage. Now I'm no doctor but I'm pretty certain that you can't accidentally shit-out the part of your body that incorporates reason and calm. In fact I'd say quite the opposite. I've had a few, "tricky shits" in my time that have left me with a sense of serenity and dare-I-say accomplishment after they've been toothpasted out. But I've never dolloped one out and triggered off an inner rage. Just saying.....

 But that's certainly what it seemed like had happened to my little girl. Either that or she'd taken the spirit of hockey to heart and was trying to replicate the true meaning of that sport. I dragged her off her brother and tried to reason her down. No chance of that at all. I kept reassuring her that no-one at all was trying to stop her from playing air hockey. After about 90 seconds of her snarling and now insisting that I was also in on the whole thing I stopped being reasonable. Because now she'd moved from having a misunderstanding to being a massive pillock. Emphasized by the fact that not only did she want to continue her angry ranting but she tried to follow her brother and I and physically drag us back into the toy room to receive a damn good thrashing. She'd lost the plot by this point and it was quite apparent that she was just going to be a twat for twenty minutes regardless of reasoning, punishment or reward. As I was trying to get her to go to her room (quarantine the virus before it destroys all) her mother came home. Who two minutes later was carting her off upstairs to sit with her in her room while the demons inside her raged against the world. Twenty minutes later she was fine - and apologizing.

Maybe she's right - she really has no prior warning that the shit is about to come thundering out.

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