Just as we were heading for the exit we stumbled upon Legoland’s Waterworks – an outdoor play area filled with non-slip floors, spurting jets, waterfalls and sprays. I had dutifully packed the pygmies’ swimsuits as per the park’s web instructions, so the children were soon suitably attired. I sat down to watch them frolicking amid the fountains, their faith in me as a fun-provider restored.
A happy half hour passed before my three year old son ran over to me.
“G’s done a poo!”
Oh surely not? Perhaps she had simply expressed to her big brother a desire to have one. I craned my neck to examine her swimming costume from afar – no suspicious sagging, no spreading stain… I concluded it had been a false alarm. But then I saw it. Lying on the floor between a flower-shaped sprinkler and a spurting toadstool was a smooth, chocolatey brown, perfectly formed poo. It looked so innocuous one would have been forgiven for assuming someone had deposited a spoonful of Nutella on the floor, or that a small velvety mole had lost his way and crawled onto the concourse.
I glanced around to see who else had noticed it, but no-one was running shrieking from the play area. No one was grabbing their child in horror and calling for a health and safety inspection. The situation was still salvageable. A small child ran past precariously close to the offending article. It was only a matter of time before someone got a foot full. I needed to act quickly.
Whilst the children may have been appropriately dressed for water play, my own swimming costume was languishing at home and I had no desire to get a soaking. I drew nearer and crouched casually on the edge of the play area. Like a Crystal Maze finalist I memorised the seemingly random pattern of the jets, mentally mapping my route and setting the ideal pace in my mind. I was ready.
I sprinted towards my laughing children, picking up the pace so I could enter the target area at the optimum speed to achieve my objective. I ducked in anticipation of the horizontal water ambush I knew would otherwise hit me in my left ear, and hurdled a babbling foot-high fountain as it shot up beneath me. By then just feet away from my target I assumed a low, puma-like run, arm outstretched. Like a Wimbledon ball boy I grasped my prize firmly, never checking my pace, reaching the other side and depositing my handful in the nearest bin. Mission accomplished.
I fear we still have some work to do on the toilet training issue.