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October 21, 2013 by jeliwobble

It is my personal belief that boys are like dogs; if they don’t get walked at least once a day, they are liable to destroy the furniture.

When I was pregnant with Son, many people would smile at me knowingly and say ‘Oh, I bet you were trying for a boy!’, having had two girls. I genuinely didn’t care very much whether he was a boy or girl; a girl would have meant I knew what I was getting, so I was confident, and a boy would have meant exciting new experiences, so I would have had a wealth of learning to do. So long as baby was reasonably healthy, I would be happy.

In due course, a little boy did arrive in my life and, in the first instance, I was impressed at how undemanding and laid back the lad was. He was early, so he slept a lot, and even when he was awake, he was a chilled out little guy. He was cute, and cuddly, and sweet natured, and not that different to my girls. To be honest, none of them were that difficult as babies. Middlie was a little high maintenance and didn’t sleep through the night fully till she was four but, mostly, they were all pretty good. Lots of people told me that boys, in general, were easier than girls. I had pretty easy girls, so I thought I would be onto a winner here with my boy!

At about the six month stage, when he was sitting up and able to grab stuff, he did something that neither girl had really done. If the girls were bored of something, they would drop it and move onto the next thing. He wouldn’t. He threw things. Hard.

Some of the toys we had were second hand and come down through both girls fairly unscathed. No more. Bumps and dinks appears on things with increasing regularity. Small electronic toys that had been working perfectly fine one day were burbling incoherently the next.

As he grew, it became apparent that throwing wasn’t the only way he was intending to destroy every toy he owned. Toys, of course, had two ways to play with them: The right way and the correct way… Books are not for reading (heaven forbid he should sit still long enough to be read to), they were ramps and stepping stones and walls and teepees for cars. The toy xylophone shouldn’t be played with using the plastic beater; no, carefully collected stones were called for, or other toys, whatever came to hand. The Fisher Price garage doubled for years as a stepstool, despite a perfectly serviceable one being available. DVDs make excellent carpet skates (this is *genuinely* how most of his DVDs got scratched).

Any toy could be tested to destruction but woe betide you, Mother, should you imagine you would be allowed to throw the destroyed remnants away. ‘But, son, you pulled the tyres off with your teeth and chewed them like gum. You can’t use that car now!’

‘But it’s my *favourite*!’ Cue much wailing and gnashing (on a car tyre) of teeth.

He would be *into* everything. Cupboards he shouldn’t be able to get into, items he shouldn’t be able to reach (Fisher Price garage stepstool anyone?), mess where mess should be impossible to happen. He just *did* things which were so beyond what any ordinary person would think was OK to do, that I couldn’t think far enough ahead to prevent him from doing them!

The girls were *never* like this. Even my more accident prone, clumsier Eldest took more care of her stuff and played more sensibly, with less intent on destroying it.

He hasn’t got much better as he’s grown, to be honest. Except, nowadays, it’s not *his* stuff that gets destroyed, it’s ours. He is wily. He will fiddle, unseen, with stuff he knows he’s not supposed to touch. Everyso often, there will come the clarion call – ‘Mummy, I think there’s been an accident’ – where there will follow the sinking of the heart and the wondering what precious item he has inflicted his personal brand of destruction on now.

Yesterday, God only knows how he did it, but he managed to smash the baby bouncer to the point were the plastic was truly irreparable. I suspect he just stood in it, then lost his balance and fell on the toy arch, snapping it away from the base. It really was a good thing that I’d finished using it as I was only thinking on Friday during baby group that we wouldn’t need it any more and I should put it away, or the response I gave him for yet another ‘accident that didn’t need to happen’ wouldn’t have been quite so mild…


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