Hi, We’re The Disgustingtons – Pleased To Meet You!
**A Laney Files Vintage Classic 2015: I wrote this on my old blog when all my kids were under six. I remember this disastrous visit so well. Can you relate?
Sometimes social occasions are way more hard work than they need to be. Especially when you decide to bring your kids along.
On the weekend, our neighbours, who live in the same row of townhouses as us, put on a garden tea party for everyone in the street to get to know each other. I decided to bring along Mr B and Miss P, while Mr Laney stayed home with the sleeping twins. Being late in the day, I was looking (and feeling) a bit dishevelled. The BB cream had long since evaporated and my hair was a frizzy mess. As I ushered the kids out the door, I caught sight of the snot marks on my left shoulder, courtesy of Baby J earlier in the day. But as usual we were running late and I had no time for a clothes change, so I shrugged it off and decided I was fine with the ‘casual’ look for the occasion.
We all looked a tad scruffy, if I’m honest.
Mr B was in his oldest shorts and t-shirt, his hair wild and overdue for a cut. Miss P’s messy plait had all but come undone, so that most of her hair was dangling in her face. They reminded me of Jeremy and Jemima from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Oh well, I thought. At least we were charming.
It wasn’t a bad start…
We headed two doors down to the little garden party that had been set up and instantly my kids got involved. Mr B started showing everyone his school scrap book and Miss P ran off to explore the garden. See? Charming. I started chatting to the neighbours, one of whom was heavily pregnant, and gorgeously so.
You know those pregnant women that just look fabulous in maternity clothes? This woman was one of them. And to top if off, she was French. For some reason that made her seem even more fabulous. Next to her, I felt VERY aware of the snot on my shoulder. But despite feeling massively scruffy in her company, I wanted to talk babies and gush over her bump. I was sure that I could pull off the casual and carefree look next to her glamorous one.
But did I mention I brought my children with me?
Before I got far into the conversation, I realised I couldn’t see or hear Miss P anymore. I went to search and realised in a panic that the back garden led to the garage, which was wide open to the street. I ran out to check for her but could see nothing. Then Mr B called me from inside the house to say he’d found her upstairs, using the bathroom. Because this was another townhouse with the same layout as ours, she’d been able to find it on her own.
‘I’m having a wee, mummy!’ she called out cheerfully, as I ran up to her.
She was sitting on the toilet, completely naked, her clothes in a little pile on the floor next to the toilet….right beside the big puddle of wee.
A toileting situation
Crap! It was a toileting situation in someone else’s house! And they didn’t have small children! I panicked, wondering what to do first. Smuggle the naked child and her wet clothes out of the house and back to our place? Too conspicuous. Leave them both there and run back for the clothes myself? Way too risky.
In the end, I had my phone, so I called Mr Laney and arranged for him to send some clothes back with Mr B, who could run out to collect them. This worked out easily enough, given we were only two doors down. Although on his return he did go into the wrong townhouse, which had us both running in and out of houses looking for each other, while Miss P stood naked in the neighbour’s bathroom. It was all a bit Benny Hill. I hastily got Miss P dressed, cleaned up the mess with toilet paper and soap, handwashed the bit of floor mat that had wee on it and scooped up the soaking wet clothes to deliver back home, all without any of the neighbours noticing the drama.
With that fire put out, I decided that Miss P was too much of a liability, and was getting in the way of me talking babies with the glamorous pregnant woman, so I bribed her with a biscuit and took her home. But it turns out that Mr Laney was having his own struggles with the twins, who were now awake. As he opened the door and let me usher Miss P in, he handed over Baby A, claiming that he needed his mum (he actually used a couple of other words here).
“This one’s got porridge on him.”
Damn, I thought. This twin still had his pyjamas on from the night before. We really weren’t presenting ourselves in the best light here. I checked his Wondersuit – sure enough, there was still porridge from breakfast all down his front. Oh well. At least he wouldn’t show us up.
Back we went to the garden party, where I attempted to park myself and Baby A next to the glamorous pregnant lady. But Baby A was having none of it, wrestling off my lap and heading off for an explore in the nearby dirt. I watched him with dismay before realising that the pregnant woman didn’t really seem that bothered about making conversation with me anyway.
I felt like an advertisement for ‘what happens when you have four children’. Answer: you become the Disgustingtons.
There’s no sense trying to mix it up with the stylish folk when you’re coming off like this. In any case, when Baby A started picking up banana bread from the ground (which had probably been dropped there by my kids) and eating it, I knew it was time to call it a day on the socialising front. We were just not going to pull this one off today.
It was time for the Disgustingtons to go home. I didn’t mind. We might be scruffy at times, and sure, toilet training sometimes goes awry at our place. But we were charming in BUCKETLOADS.
And that counts for so much more, don’t you think?← Back to blog