Today I found my 17 month old son happily quenching his thirst from the toilet bowl. I was in the kitchen organising several upcoming birthday presents and cards, when I became aware of suspicious noises from the bathroom, barely 10 feet away from where I stood. My mind, which had simultaneously been considering the Pop-master question on Radio 2, and the wording of cards in front of me, suddenly registered that not only was Luke not pottering round my feet as he had been a minute or two before, but also unexplained clinking and slurping sounds from the bathroom. The clinking turned out to be my metal measuring cup banging against the porcelain as he scooped out cup after cup of water from the bowl. The slurping-well..you can guess.
After cleaning him and the floor around him up, putting on cbeebies and breathing out again, I did think about what had happened and how I dealt with it. Had this happened 10 years ago with our first child Anna would I have dealt with it in the same way? The answer is a resounding no. First of all, I would DEFINITELY have phoned the pediatrician ( we lived in the US at the time-everyone had a pediatrician!) , possibly even gone to A&E, sanitized Anna and the bathroom within an inch of their life , and finally beaten myself up with guilt for the rest of the day. I would have been way too mortified to share the incident as well (except possibly with a priest in confession ;-))
This morning however, after breathing out again,I had a little wobble of guilt ....and then stuck the kettle on. I even began to see the funny side so I put it on Facebook to give my friends a laugh and a wince too. Was Luke any worse off because of my more relaxed attitude? Did it mean I loved him any less? Of course not! And although it's important not to be blasé about hygiene and safety, in the end there was no real harm done. My take away from today's little episode? Keep the bathroom doors firmly closed at all times when little Master Luke is about!