PARENTS

Why You Would Not Put A Sheep In A Toilet

03/09/2014 17:19 | Updated 22 May 2015

Why you would not put a sheep in a toilet

Do you ever have really odd conversations with your children? It's hard enough that I seem to spend most of my time having simultaneous conversations with Ava and Ruby as one gabbles on about something or other, while the other gabbles on about something entirely different.

But when they're in sync, it can get even odder.

The other morning, I came downstairs and went into the living room, where the pair of them were cuddled up on the sofa. Ruby said to me: "Mummy, you don't put a sheep in toilet."

I looked at her. She was wearing a very serious expression.

"No," I said. "You would never put a sheep in toilet."

"No!" Ruby cackled. "Sheep too BIG!" she continued, as if the size of a sheep would be the main reason for not putting it in a toilet.

Ava thought she'd add her two pennies: "And it's too woolly. The toilet would get blocked, wouldn't it, Mummy?"

"Er, yes. But you see, Ruby's right that a sheep wouldn't actually fit in a toilet. And really, you wouldn't want to put a sheep in a toilet anyway."

They both looked at me for further explanation.

"I don't think a sheep would like to be put in a toilet, even if it did fit. It would probably be quite upset."

"A cat would fit in a toilet," Ava said. I counted the blessings of all the cats in the neighbourhood, who are not allowed to come near us because they make Ruby sneeze.

"But you wouldn't actually put one in a toilet, would you?" I said. "You don't put animals in toilets..."

"A cow?" Ruby interjected.

"Definitely too big," I said. "And again, rather unkind."

"You could put a fish in a toilet though," Ava looked quite certain of it. I thought back to when she'd told me about one of the goldfish at nursery who'd died, and wondered 'could they possibly have...?'

"Because it could swim!" Ah. No they didn't then.

"Well, yes, in theory, Ava. But toilets are not a place for any sort of animal. Can you come and have your breakfast now?"

Ruby wasn't done. "You don't put spider in toilet, or fairy in toilet, or lion in toilet..."

I wasn't sure where else we could go with this strange chat, and had no idea why we had started having it in the first place.

"Come on!" I said. "Breakfast! Let's all go to the kitchen and you can mix up the eggs." They ran past me, clamouring to be first to drag a chair to the worktop. I followed them down the hall and passed, on the way, our downstairs loo.

There was something poking out of the door.

I'm pleased to say it was scrunched up on the toilet floor, rather than stuffed in the toilet basin. And I'm pleased to say it was not a clean, folded one. It was something that had been purloined from the washing basket...

A sheet.

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