July is a significant month in our family life: containing a birthday and our wedding anniversary. This year, it loomed monumentally for another reason: toilet training.
|No caption needed here, I think. Except if you haven’t yet embarked on the joys of toilet training: note the removable bit in the middle. One of the cleverer inventions, we feel.|
|Stickers + chocolate = 90% success rate (AT HOME, anyway) by the end of 5 days.|
|Tired, pooped out Mummy…|
|Our first outing, to Canons Ashby (a lovely Jacobean jewel box of a house), on the first weekend of toilet training. This is not E’s first pair of trousers for our visit, and we’ve literally only just walked through the entrance.|
|The parterre, a peaceful place for contemplation, just below the croquet lawn and in front of the giant mulberry bush. Sadly for all the other visitors that day, it wasn’t peaceful once we arrived.|
|R with S, or as we like to think of them: a slave and his princess…|
|E, having built a big tower, with only a little help.|
|…then proceeds to demolish it with gusto.|
|He was desperate to play croquet – joining himself into the middle of a family game (but not our family!)|
|Our son, Sport personified!|
|H ran through this section of the garden at speed, dodging refined English retired couples, shouting to E (in her arms) “Don’t poo! Don’t poo! Don’t poo! Don’t – oh!”|
|In the Eeyore House, post-lunch, having a marvellous time. R and H were sitting on a bench feeling wrung out.|
|A rare moment of rest.|
The surfboard enters the picture as we left it. We had finally run out of changes of clothes for E and were heading back to the car. R carrying S in one hand and the (empty) potty in the other, and H behind him with E perched in the buggy in t-shirt and underpants like an under-dressed maharajah. Our caravanserai attracted a reasonable amount of attention and resulted in general hilarity. H was so overcome she could not make eye contact with anyone and had to stare fixedly at the ground to avoid collapsing into giggles. The last time she looked up she saw a young pre-teen girl unloading a surfboard (!) from the back of a car, which was H’s undoing. We can’t imagine how a surfboard contributed to a great day out at Canons Ashby, but we’re convinced it must’ve been more rewarding than a potty!