My Psychokinetic Child

The oddest thing I’ve ever experienced happened this afternoon. I’ve spent my life hoping to encounter something supernatural that I couldn’t dismiss out of hand as the result of some highly improbable yet entirely possible set of circumstances, and I very nearly got it today thanks to my psychokinetic child.

The facts of the matter are these: My mother-in-law treated us to pizza for lunch. Lizzie, my wife, drank a glass of Coke during the meal. While we were waiting for the bill, my daughter leaned over and lightly touched the empty glass with her fingertip. And the glass literally exploded.

This is one of the few occasions in which the word ‘literally’ is used accurately, because we’re not talking a slight cracking here, no; we are talking about an incredibly loud bang that shattered the glass and sent a thousand razor-sharp fragments flying in every direction across a circle with a diameter of six feet, one of which cut open my mother-in-law’s finger, but luckily left the rest of us untouched. Bewildered, confused and a little bit apprehensive, but unharmed nonetheless.

It didn’t sound or behave like a glass on a table top falling over and breaking, and nor did it sound or behave like a glass being knocked off a table to smash on the floor. Instead, it sounded and behaved like a glass being dropped onto a table from the ceiling. Every conversation in the restaurant instantly died as fifty diners turned as one to work out what could have caused such a violent breakage. A waitress who saw it happen was shocked and seemed wary of approaching the table, casting sideways glances at my daughter as she helped us clear up.

My first thought was that somebody had shot the glass, such was the energy of the explosion. My second thought was that my child has psychokinetic powers and released a burst of energy that shattered the glass. As I said, it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced.

Alas, being something of a sceptical rationalist, a saner head started to prevail. The glass had contained ice, which caused it to contract; as the restaurant was on the quayside at Portsmouth, the sun reflecting off the sea and pouring in through the window caused the glass to expand; and the resulting tension between these two opposing thermal forces created a wellspring of potential energy awaiting the tiniest impetus to release. When my daughter touched the glass with her fingertip she exerted just enough physical stress to trigger all the pent-up tension, which caused the glass to explode. Nothing supernatural or special. Unusual, granted, but not beyond the realms of scientific possibility.

Damn it.

So I won’t have to check my daughter’s scalp for a suggestive birthmark when I give her a bath this evening.

Unless it happens again, of course…

Projectile Poop

I don’t know how I’m going to cope. I really don’t know how I’m going to cope. Up to now I’d taken everything in my stride. Poop? Fine. Vomit? Get on with ya. Endless screaming? Bring it, my ears are numb. But I just encountered something I had no idea how to deal with.

Izzie needed changing. I knew this because she was making her surprised, pouty Derek Zoolander face – ‘I’m really really really ridiculously good looking. But I’m sitting in my own faeces.’ So I took her upstairs to change.

Sure enough, oodles of poop. Make that gallons. So I started to wipe and she chose that moment to pee all over herself. That’s okay. I can just finish up, change her sleep suit, no problem.

So I’m wiping and she started to poop again, like a particularly foul Mr Softee ice cream dispenser, all over my fingers. Again, that’s no problem: inconvenient, but it’ll give me something to talk about as the father of the bride. I clean myself up, continue to clean her up. So far, so normal.

And then it happened.


I have no idea how a baby can explosively project a stream of Chicken Korma four feet across the room. I’ll admit it, I screamed. I leapt back like a gunshot had gone off. It was on my hands and the spare nappies; it was dripping down the wall and off the changing table; it ran in a line across the carpet towards the door. I didn’t know what to do.

I could have sworn that Izzie was smiling at me.

Luckily, Lizzie came to my rescue. Since I’ve taken over the night shift and she’s getting more sleep, she’s ten times better in the daytime. As we cleaned up, I thought how odd it felt to be in need of rescue instead of the rescuer. If I had been on my own, there’s no telling how long Izzie and I would have floundered about elbow deep in curry sauce. What if I’d been in public? What if I’d been right in the firing line? I’d have been painted from forehead to navel!

There’s a line in a movie called The Ghost and the Darkness. It’s something along the lines of, ‘Everyone’s got a plan until they get hit. You just got hit. The getting up is up to you.’

Well I just got hit. Projectile bowel movements are beyond what I was prepared for. Now I just need to work out how to cope if and when it happens again.

I’m thinking a shower curtain around the changing station isn’t a bad idea!