Perhaps a real milestone as a mother is being able to go to the toilet alone. It’s a short reprieve from the relentlessness of small people wanting to know your every move.
Mother of two, Laura Thomas*, is used to sharing her personal space with her five-year-old daughter, Kate and two-year-old son, Cooper.
This week, the 38-year-old mum hadn’t been feeling well, so she decided to take a trip to the bathroom, alone – and then the police got involved.
A police car was dispatched when London toddler Cooper called 999. File image via iStock.
"At one point yesterday, I rushed to the toilet leaving Cooper and Kate in our front sitting room. I heard one of them pressing phone buttons but I was pretty much stuck on the toilet. If I'm at home alone with the kids I pretty much always have to leave the door open so I can hear what they're up to.
"So I yelled - 'stop playing with the phone!' - and thought no more of it. Then after a while I heard the phone ringing but I was still stuck on the toilet and I also thought it was them holding buttons down or something," said the 38-year-old.
Watch Mamamia Confessions: The weirdest things our kids have done. Post continues after video.
Then Laura heard the landline ring, which hardly ever rings. The only person that uses her home number is her mother, and it kept ringing.
"I eventually shouted to Kate to answer it but she refused, and said Cooper had been fiddling with the phone. I got downstairs and eventually I answered it and it was the police. They asked if I was OK and if I was Ms. Thomas.
"It was so embarrassing. I realised straight away from Cooper's face that he'd done something, so I just apologised to the police and said it had been my toddler, and that I was definitely safe and fine and they cancelled the cop car which was on its way," she said.
Cooper, who is nearly three, had called the police while his mum was upstairs and they thought the situation was serious enough to dispatch a car. Despite her best efforts, Ms Thomas normally doesn't get the chance to go to the toilet alone.
"Someone always wanders in, or they immediately start yelling about something. Even if there's been total peace for several hours before that, the minute I go into the bathroom it all goes crazy," she said.
Cooper didn't call the police to report his mother for leaving him in the lounge room with his sister - he phoned to ask if he could take his toy puppies to the shop.
"Afterwards, I kept asking him how he knew about how to phone the police... Probably TV.
"I do sometimes threaten him with the police, I'm afraid to say, when he's giving me trouble about getting into his car seat. I say the police get cross with boys who don't sit properly to get their seat-belts on. But he doesn't seem to be scared of them."
Ms Thomas says the police were understanding about the "massively embarrassing" incident and now the children know that they should only call the police during a real emergency.
"I guess I'm glad he might know what to do if he really had to."
*All names have been changed.