“I wish you could see this!” I shout at the phone. “It’s amazing. It’s… oh, my god!”

“What?” my wife asks.

“It’s got a face!”

If you simply listed all the things that happen on an average parenting day, parenting would sound awful. Objectively, even the good bits of parenting are tedious, gross, mawkish and baffling. Often all at once.

Occasionally, though, there are genuine parenting miracles. Moments when everything comes together, when the interminable, sanity pummelling daily grind of bringing up children pays off, and you are finally rewarded.

I had been avoiding potty training my two-year-old son, well, principally because I am a coward. Also, his juvenile-chimp personality indicated that it would probably be an unparalleled nightmare. But nursery is coming. So one day, I take off his last daytime nappy. Put on his big boy pants, and ready the mop.

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After three days of being more like a zoo keeper than a parent, I am taking a picture for my wife of my youngest son’s first successful potty poo. It is a thing of incredible beauty. I am weak with excitement. And to top it all, it looks like it’s got a kind of cartoon face.

“It’s got a face! It looks like a cartoon slug!” I screech at my wife, my parenting years of tiredness and failure and confusion melting away. I gaze lovingly at my reward lying in the white plastic pot. It is the last, first of it’s kind I will ever see. My joy is tinged with sweet sadness.

“It’s amazing! Well done son! I’m so proud of you.”

“Well done son!” my wife shouts tremulously from the phone. “We’re so proud of you!”

My son beams at his cartoon-faced miracle which smiles happily back up at him. Well done everyone!