What Not to Say to Non-Parents

A couple of weeks ago I posted about how difficult it is to spin parenthood to non-parents who, for some reason, felt that the beaming smile of a toddler is not adequate recompense for the endless fractured sleep and dirty nappies that come with having kids.

It may not surprise you to find out that I am yet to discover the perfect way to communicate the sheer joys of fatherhood to those who are yet to give up their Saturday, Sunday, or any day for that matter, lie-ins. In fact, I may have made things worse for some of my childless work colleagues last week when I decided to fill them in on the latest developments in our accidental potty training.

I say accidental because we hadn’t quite expected Elsa to want to move on from nappies just yet (we were intending to wait for the weather to turn so it could dry out the inevitable extra washing that it would create), but one evening she plonked herself down on the potty and…well, you can guess.

I was so proud of her, I wanted to tell everyone I met. Unfortunately, most people I met were less than keen to hear.

The fact is that non-parents don’t want to hear about poo. Parents don’t really want to hear about it either, but there is a solidarity among those with kids that means they will give you the time of day without cringing. Outwardly, at least.

As it happens, potty training is moving on apace and, on the whole, it has been successful. I think part of it is the motivation of gaining another stuffed toy from the Peter Rabbit CBeebies series. She’s already notched up Peter, Benjamin and Lily and she has her eye on more. The great news is that she could become toilet trained in record time. The bad news is that I might be bankrupt and no one I know will allow me to whinge about it out of fear they’ll find out too many gruesome details.

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