Over the weekend, I visited my friend and 4 nieces for niece number 2’s 7th birthday. First thing, I knocked on the door and heard “Nana’s here!” I felt offended. Niece number 1 (the oldest toe rag) thought I was her fifty year old Nana! When I walked through the door, I was greeted with “Do-Do!” By the 3rd niece. Niece number 4 was being fed. The birthday girl was apparently sulking upstairs over something so I popped up to see her. She said she was upset because her sister and sister’s friend wouldn’t let her go inside the fort that they had built in her bedroom. I gave her a big, squeezey hug and told her not to worry. They weren’t playing in it right then so maybe she could sit in it for a while. She was worried they would catch her and “kick her out.” I ended up mediating and I talked to niece number 1 who said she could sit in it for a while. We left her upstairs for her time in the fort before she came downstairs for cake.
As for the cake, with a new Smeg oven to play with, apparently many birthday cakes had been baked but only one had been deemed edible. The others were not the right colour. (Chocolate cake should be brown and not black!) The final cake was smothered in Betty crocker’s chocolate fudge icing, so of course, I was ready to have a slice.
We let the cake settle in our tummies, before we headed to the soft play centre in town. With an abundance of children, we had to go in two cars so I took niece number 2/birthday girl in my car. Just in case I didn’t know where I was going, she gave me directions all the way there, that reminded me of many PPA Costa coffee trips!! We arrived at the car park, earlier than the rest of the crew, so I sent her to push the button on the machine to release a ticket for the car. I showed her how to take the sticky bit off and put it back on so I could put it on the windscreen. (You never lose an opportunity for learning something new when your aunt is teacher!) I sent her to get a second ticket for mummy’s car and said that she could get the sticky bit ready. She handed the ticket to her mum diligently and began playing in some wood chip barking near the cars.
We began walking towards the play centre and I could smell a definite smell of doggy doo doo. I checked the bottom of my shoes and the wave of relief that washed over me was immense. It wasn’t me. Thank goodness. I started inspecting other adults and children around me to see if they had stepped into anything. I couldn’t tell if it was any of them but I could definitely still smell it. The older children could smell it too. The other adults caught a whiff and gradually we narrowed down the suspects to the birthday girl…she’d done it. She’d stepped in doggy doo doo. Not only had she stepped in it, she’d also smeared it up the other shoe, caught it on her untied laces and smudged a bit on her leggings! We all had to stop. I knelt down and I opened my handbag. Out came the wet wipes. I began gagging at the smell as the doo doo was disturbed. It always amazes my friend to find that I have things like wet wipes in my handbag but I know I’ll always need them. (And on this day, I did!!) I wiped as much off her shoes as I could and saved one last wet wipe for the final clean in the toilets a few moments later.
I popped all the used wet wipes into a bag for life and tied it up. Asking the birthday girl to carry the bag across the road to put in the bin, she told me she didn’t want to cross the road by herself. We teachers, never like to miss a chance to stand in the middle of a busy road, whilst allowing an innocent (or guilty in this case) child, cross the road safely. Especially when a safer crossing is just a mere 5 metres away. It just makes us feel heroic in that short moment. So there I stood, guarding her life from speedy cars, as not a single car passed us by, all so that she could cross over the road and back again safely.
We paid for entry into the fun house and I took the birthday girl into the toilets to better clean up her shoes. Whipping off her smelly Lelli Kellys, I used my last wet wipe to scrub off the doo doo from the side of the shoe. I rinsed it under the tap as the smell hit my nostrils like a gas attack. The next time I scrubbed, I added half the contents of the soap dispenser too. The shoe began to froth and the laces dangled, hitting the side of the sink and smearing doo doo on the basin. Rinsing the wet wipe once again, I scrapped the drenched wet wipe down each lace to rid it from the excremental residue. I dropped the shoe on the floor, binned the wet wipe and began washing my hands with lots of soap, seven times over.
We had a lovely time at the fun house. On our way home the birthday girl had to travel in my car again. Instructions such as “Get in this side so you don’t have to climb over the seat.” “Please keep your feet still, all the way home.” “Let’s crack open a window.” “Are you keeping your feet still?” “Don’t put your feet on the seat in front of you.” We arrived home safely a few minutes later and no doo doo had been smeared. My car did whiff a bit though. I walked the birthday girl back to her house and said goodbye to everyone. On immediate re-entry of my car, I whipped out the perfume bottle in my hand bag and began spraying the back seats of my car, behind me. The windows were open all the way to my mum and dad’s and I’m hoping I sprayed enough perfume to mask the smell so it dissipates. I couldn’t see any doo doo on the back of the front passenger seat so she obviously listened to my incessant instructions to keep her feet still. She is a good girl!
Disclosure: permission was granted to write about my niece, by her mother.