We don’t take O to people’s houses any more, there was a period of time when we did but several incidents that have occured combined with the sheer stressfulness of stopping him from wrecking our friends lovely homes, have rendered us completely incapable of relaxing while he’s around. So we either visit people individually or my in-laws very kindly have him for us on the odd occasion.
This decision was made not entirely guilt free but we have reasoned that there are times when we need to take a break and recharge our batteries and the alternative was for us to become recluses, which isn’t healthy for anyone.
One of the first instances that gave us pause for thought, on reflection could have happened to any child, it was my friends joint birthday party for their little boys. O would have been about 2. Everyone was having a fine old time the party food had been eaten us mums were having a good old chat. I was relaxed and O was playing very happily with some toys when a smell occurred. I soon realized that the smell was coming from O. No alarm bells were ringing at this point just the mild inconvenience of having to change a nappy. On closer inspection though the poo was so large it had escaped from out of his nappy and not only gone on his clothes but (inexplicably) over all of the toys in the basket he was playing so quietly with. Just to high light my complete incompetence as a mother I hadn’t brought a change of nappy or clothes for him. Doh!
Anyway toys were washed and dried a rather large nappy was borrowed and once we cleaned up poomageddon we made a hasty exit. This incident was chalked up as one of those embarrassing but normal things kids do like pointing out a smelly stranger or telling preschool staff about your drinking habits (R I’m looking at you).
Another incident occurred rather unfortunately at the same location as the previous one. I had my guard down and was drinking tea. O was in another room. My friends husband had been growing a collection of chili plants. There was 3 or 4 plants and a fair few chilli’s. O was in the room with them playing. The image of him standing in the doorway ruined plant in hand with his mouth open trying to cool down his tongue will live with me forever. He had eaten 2 complete plants with chilli’s. As a side note this was the turning point in the realisation that he will eat absolutely anything.
The lure of destroying and consuming all plant life was just to much over the next few years. It got so bad that he couldn’t be trusted to roam around a garden and had to be physically restrained on a lap.
This was no fun for anybody.
This along with hands in drinks climbing on tables and other antisocial behaviour was too much. It was acceptable for a 2/3 year old but as he got older it was a problem. When a six year old is standing on a table people are eating off you realise enough is enough.
I wish it was different I’d love him not to be excluded but for our sanity and for the sake of our friends houses a decision had to be made. I realise that he’s not bothered and he’d much rather go swimming with grandad than be restrained on a lap at a party, but the guilt is still there. And we miss him.