Parental poise

It is said that only a special few have the ability to perform with poise under pressure, and that one never really knows whether they are among that select number until they are thrust into such a position.

After this morning, I am happy to confirm that I am one such individual.

Here is the situation. It’s 6.30am on a Sunday. Isaac is downstairs in our living room, continuing his potty training while watching TV. Upstairs, Toby wakes up and starts grizzling, so I head up to fetch him.

Upon my return downstairs, I am greeted at the living room door by a sheepish-looking toddler and the words, “Daddy, Isaac’s spilled a wee.”

Poise under pressure. A cool head when placed in the line of fire. My options are:

(a) Turn around, go back upstairs, and wake Heather up to sort out what might prove to be the domestic equivalent of the BP oil spill.

(b) Scream a lot and expel Zac out into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights.

(c) Take a deep breath, then evaluate and resolve the situation.

At this point, an air of preternatural calm descended upon me, and I realised that dealing with hazardous, potentially life-threatening situations like this was something I was born to do. So, obviously, I went for option C. Plonk Toby down somewhere safe with a couple of toys for a few minutes, ascertain from Zac exactly how the spillage occurred (he was attempting to carry the potty to the bathroom to empty it), explain to him that next time he should wait for Mummy or Daddy to do it, then get him dressed and fetch the magical Vanish carpet cleaner. Sorted.

Even though I say so myself, I’m quite proud. I will never get to take a penalty in a World Cup shootout, nor will I ever be faced with a life-or-death decision on a battlefield. But this was my Waterloo. Or, at least, my Portaloo. (I’ll get my coat.)