Behaviour · Family · Home · Humour

What must our neighbours think of us?

 

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The pitfalls of summer…

In the UK, when warm weather and sunshine are something to be marvelled at, we sometimes push our boundaries to the next level by opening our windows!! Hooray!! However, this act of bravery (as the extremities can change from blazing heat to ferocious downpours in the blink of an eye) comes with an unfortunate side-effect: other people can hear us…

I don’t mean general chit-chat between siblings, or our (possibly unfortunate) choice of music being played just that little bit too loud. I mean us, just being us. Family, no-holds-barred. Warts and all…

When windows are closed, my barriers are down. I can scream “Will you two please stop arguing?!” from another room without the fear of disapproval, or “Will you please stop trying to tie up your sister?!” without wondering if I’m being judged by outsiders…

I often wonder if I am the only person who physically cringes at the phrase or question that one of my kids has just (very loudly) proclaimed in the vicinity of an open window. Just today, (a day when we had an unusual amount of sunshine – probably about 2-3 hours! Lucky us!) my 6-year-old daughter thought it was the ideal time to shout out from another room “Mammy – how does the food I eat turn into poo?!” After locating her in her bedroom and explaining (in a nice, quiet, ‘indoor voice’) the workings of her digestive system, I thought that was the end of the subject. Unfortunately not, as a couple of minutes later she shouts to me “Do you want to have a wee first as I think I’m going to have a really big poo as I had a really big lunch”…

Unfortunately, toilet habits seem to be one of the subjects which get commented on quite a bit. Anyone who knows my family know that they can be rather loud – none of them seem to have the ‘inbuilt’ volume button which most people are blessed with. I’m quite sure that our neighbours know as much about ‘our in-and-out’s from our in-and-out’s’ as we do ourselves. Not a nice thought when you’re saying your “good mornings” on the way to work each day…

This afternoon though, my daughter seemed to have found a change in subject. While we were out in the garden, she ambushed me from nowhere with the (very loud) question “Mammy, how do babies get in your tummy?” And that was it… The moment when I would quite happily have discussed poo, wee, diarrhoea, whatever… I would have welcomed interaction from each and every one of my neighbours if it meant that I wouldn’t have to attempt an answer.

So I did the only thing I thought possible. I shouted “Sorry sweetie, Mammy has to go poo”…

 

 

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