Oh. My. GOD. So this morning Teddy woke up at 6.20am. This is not unusual. Normally, we can hear him start to wake up at about that time, trying out ALL the nouns in his tiny little brain. We tend to wake up to a weeny voice, carefully picking its way over some tricky consonants. It’s something like this:
“Car. Carrrrrr. Carrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.”*
And then a little later on, we might get something like this:
“Bah-kee. Bah-keeee. Bah-keeeeeeeeeeeee.”**
And then, sounding a touch more hopeful, we tend to get:
“Dah-deeeeeeeee? BABA? Dah-deeeeeeeeeeeee? BABA BABA?”***
Those are all the words. Sometimes – a lot of the time, in fact – he’ll tend to go back to sleep once he’s realised that there’s no fun to be had the bad side of 7am. This morning, however, things were different. And we should have known that right from the start. He was crying – not a big, scary, I’ve-fallen-out-of-bed cry, but just an ongoing whimper, interspersed with the odd, plaintive, “Bahkee”. Bugger it, I thought, he’s pushed Monkey out of the cot. I’ll leave it and see if he goes back to sleep. Five minutes later, he’s still whimpering. There’s been no escalation, just a continuous, “Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah, bahkee.”
Resigned to an early start, I heaved myself in there, without first putting on my glasses. This is an important thing to note. I am VERY short-sighted – if a two-foot goblin had been switched for Teddy in the night, and I went in to his room without wearing glasses, I probably wouldn’t notice until he started gnawing at my calves. And even then, I’d just think, “Oooh, more teeth! Hopefully it’s the molars.”
So there I am, and there’s Teddy (I assume), standing up in his cot. Instantly, I thought, hello, he needs a change. And then – even in my myopic, tired state – I notice a small dark patch on Teddy’s thigh. And an unbalanced bulging to one side of his bum. And the closer I peer, the more dark patches I see. Teddy, who is holding both Monkey AND Bunny, and rubbing them up and down his legs, flings out both chubby arms for a morning cuddle.
You know that phrase about the realisation dawning on you? Something to do with tiredness, short-sightedness, and also being me, meant that my mind did this:
“Hmm, I’ll need to change him straight away and he hates being changed first thing, he’ll probably kick off, smells like a substantial one, bugger it, why did I go in, why didn’t I make Dave go in, what’s that on his leg, did we let him go to sleep with some food or something, ah no, that looks like it might be…. poo, I think it might be poo, and there might be a bit more there, and possibly there, I think his nappy might be falling off a bit, it’s completely undone in fact, I don’t want to touch him, I don’t want to go near him, OHMYGODTHERE’SPOOEVERYWHERESAVEMEFROM CERTAINDEATH…”
And my voice did this: “…Dave?”
So Teddy has had an early bath. And, thankfully, I discovered some year-old Napisan at the back of the cleaning cupboard, half of which has been poured into the washing machine along with his sheets, his clothes, bloody Bahkee and the sodding great Moose he’s become attached to, which is unfortunately dark brown and wasn’t that close to him, but we’re taking no risks. We’re not having any random poo in this house, oh no.
And the thing is, I wasn’t going to talk about the events of this morning at all – or the August Poosplosion, as we’ll come to remember it – I was going to talk about Winnie the Pooh, but isn’t it delightful how well those two things marry up? Poo and Pooh. So obviously, I was delighted when it happened, as I thought that fabulously I’d have a fascinating little anecdote to pad out another rambling post. I was overjoyed!****
So. Pooh. I was thinking about this the other day. It was during that big Facebook round robin thing where everyone was asking everyone else to list three positive things that happened to them over the day. I see its point, I understand its worth, but, a) I’m not a joiner, and b) I don’t like to disclose too much about my life, despite having a public blog and all other indications to the contrary, and c) I’m one of life’s natural whingers (I honestly, hand on heart, don’t know where Teddy gets it from).
So, eventually, predictably, I got included in this thing. Esther, would you write three positive things about your day, asked one very lovely friend*****. Oh bugger and arse, I thought, how am I going to do that when I’m such an Eeyore? And as the phrase hit me, I began to think about Eeyore and what a bad press he gets. After all, what’s wrong with being an Eeyore? And then I got defensive about him, as though he was being attacked by donkey-haters, when in fact nothing had happened apart from me thinking how wonderful he is.
Eeyore, you see, is by far the best character in Winnie the Pooh. He’s one of the funniest characters in children’s literature – possibly the universe. He’s a genius. He’s the one character we should all aspire to be. These are facts. If you were to round up your closest friends, and most loved members of your family, and were to ask them who their favourite Pooh character was, and they didn’t say Eeyore, you should remove them from your life immediately. Just like that – one swift cut is usually the easiest way, there’s no need to linger. Why? This is what the other characters mean:
“I like Pooh the best.” (“I am feeble-minded.”)
“I like Rabbit the best.” (“I am an egotist, and also feeble-minded.”)
“I like Owl the best.” (“I enjoy feeling superior, and I’m also feeble-minded.”)
“I like Piglet the best.” (“I’m a four-year-old girl who talks to unicorns out loud, and I’m also feeble-minded.”)
“I like Christopher Robin the best.” (“I miss boarding school and nanny, and I’m also feeble-minded.”)
“I like Rabbit’s Friends and Relations the best.” (Now you’re just being silly.)
But if they like Eeyore, then they are quite the best kind of person; a rational person, a normal person, and a person with a well-developed sense of humour. Eeyore acts as a foil to Pooh’s cretinous remarks and Piglet’s ludicrous assertions. He coldly disregards Tigger (who you may note I omitted from the list above – no-one, no-one likes Tigger), he ignores the chatterings of Rabbit, and avoids getting into disputes with Owl. He surveys the chaos in front of him and comments on it from on high. He is, quite simply, a prophet of our times.
Consider his lack of anger, and magnanimous forgiving of Pooh for having destroyed (DESTROYED) his house. “Brains first and then Hard Work.” He says. Quite. And then, when introduced to the insufferable Tigger, in a display of Geneva Convention-esque diplomacy, he says (in a whisper, mind, so as not to offend): “Could you ask your friend to do his exercises somewhere else? I shall be having lunch directly and don’t want it bounced on just before I begin. A trifling matter, and fussy of me, but we all have our little ways.”
So there you have it. If you consider yourself an Eeyore, or even a bit of one, you are holding yourself in very high regard indeed. And if you are called an Eeyore, why – it’s quite the best compliment a person could receive. Eeyores unite. In fact, if I can end on a quote:
“I think -” began Piglet nervously.
“Don’t,” said Eeyore.
* This means, “Car”.
** This means, “Monkey”.
*** This means, “Jesus CHRIST, what’s a boy got to do to get your attention? Get up, you lazy bastards, I want my porridge, goddamit.”
**** This, dear hearts, is not true. I was covered in poo and a touch peevish.
***** And I’ve only just realised I never did it. So, um, three positive things about today: 1) Teddy’s diarrhea appears to have cleared up. 2) I’ve learnt how to spell ‘diarrhea’. 3) Last night I dreamt that Tedderina poked her finger right through my stomach. I’m not sure that’s technically a positive thing, as opposed to a nightmarish thing, but I’m going with it.