This morning my youngest tried to go on the “big potty” i.e. the toilet all by himself. Needless to say, it all went horribly wrong. It looked like a massacre had taken place. A massacre with poo in place of blood. So then I ended up spending the five minutes before all of us were due to be out of the house crouched on the floor in my work clothes, cleaning up room and pre-schooler, all the while assuring the latter that no, Mummy wasn’t cross and yes, he was still “a big boy”, just a big boy who, at this point in time, happened to be smeared in faeces.
Why am I telling you this? Well, partly it’s because it’s one of those madcap mummy mayhem moments that we all love to share (regardless of whether anyone wants to listen). And partly it’s because I would have announced this earlier on Twitter anyhow, only my phone isn’t working and my netbook’s not as practical for such on-the-go tweeting (it takes ages to get going and I’d have only got poo on the keyboard).
The fact that my broken phone has denied me the opportunity to summarise this morning’s poo disaster in 140 characters (with optional crime scene tweetpic) does of course give me an excuse to go into things in more detail on my blog (you can’t tweet about poo too far after the event. My knowledge of Twitter etiquette is sketchy, but I do know that). This is just one of the many ways in which the loss of my trusty (or not-so-trusty) Xperia Mini is changing my social interactions and general behavior. I am – in a minor, entirely self-indulgent way – upset.
It’s not just about real-time poo-mishap broadcasting. There’s the fact that I’m not catching up on the news in the way that I usually do i.e. roll over in bed, head straight for the Guardian App and try to skim through as many Top Stories as I can before Youngest (who’s been in bed with us since the early hours) spots what I’m doing and demands to watch buses on Youtube. The manner in which I make this manoeuvre – before I’ve even really woken up – is not dissimilar to the manner in which I used to roll over and light a fag first thing. All the same, phones in bed probably aren’t as bad as fags in bed, especially if you end up having three-year-olds join in.
The trouble with the phone is, from the moment it’s on in the morning, I’m never really off it. Unless I am actually working, whatever else is going on there’s always a bit of phone action going on in the background. It’s really not good enough. I will be lecturing my eldest about Star Wars – about how it’s not real life and how he needs to interact with the actual environment he’s in – and all the while I’ll have not looked up from the stupid handset in my stupid hand, telling me all about what I need to bid for on Ebay (answer: a new phone) or why there is yet another reason for me and everyone else to hate the Daily Mail.
It’s not that it’s all some imaginary world. I have met real people – in real life! – thanks to exchanges on Twitter. And I’ve found people with whom to swap ideas, people from whom I’ve learned lots and who’ve made me feel inspired. I could in fact just present this whole phone obsession as an opening of horizons. It’s made me “connected”. But that would be disingenuous. There are so many times when it’s turned my eyes from my children to a tiny glowing screen, times when, basically, it has made me into a self-absorbed tosser (or even more of one, as the case may be).
Occasionally I’ve thought “it would have been good to have had all these “connections” in the early days – back when I was on maternity leave – then I wouldn’t have gone quite as mad”. But actually, perhaps the fact that I didn’t was a good thing. I wasn’t living at one remove. There was a time when I could look at a poo-smeared floor without thinking “damn! I totally need to tweet about this!”
So what is the moral of all this? The moral is that I’ve ordered a replacement phone. So it’s not much of a moral at all. But hey, it’s given me something to blog about. Once I receive the new handset I’ll tweet to let everyone know, and possibly write another blog post about that. I can’t promise there’ll be more poo, but watch this space.
The internet – isn’t it brilliant how it enables one to be so self-important about complete and utter crap?