Boys are different from girls!
Well, what-do-ya know...
You all know I have a pigeon pair: One golden-haired, blue-eyed just-turned-three year old princess two weeks out of the terrible-twos (progress: we've only had 2370 tantrums this last fortnight, aren't the three's so much more pleasant!) and a sandy-haired, greeny-brown eyed sonny boy who is a year and a halfish now and - well - a species unto himself.
Folks, it's sonny-boy I want to talk about today. And, if you have a sonny-boy, I need your help. Your advice. And.... perhaps your shoulder?
Oh, I love the boy. Love 'im to bits. Would leap in front of a bus for him...
But sonny-boy is a climber. An adventurer. A discoverer. He likes to be dirty. Smelly. Wet. He likes to eat... and eat. And eat some more. He's Curious George, he is. A cat with 9 lives. Like most boys, I can only imagine.
All this I can handle.
What I can't handle is coming out in the morning, to find my 17 month-old son sitting up on top of the kitchen bench with a packet of popcorn kernels in his paw, flinging them wildly about with joyous abandon. Have you any idea just how far a packet of popcorn kernels can spread throughout your house?
At every opportunity, my son climbs up on the kitchen table. He then makes his way across and pulls himself onto the kitchen bench when he can reap unfathomable havoc.
But no sooner have I dragged out the (overflowing) Dyson to vacuum up popcorn than I turn around to find my son with the box of Rice Bubbles. If you can imagine what a packet of popcorn looks like on your floor... can you also imagine a family-pack of Rice Bubbles?
How do you discipline such a child? At 16 months, he certainly doesn't understand the concept of a 'naughty corner'. That would involve sitting still. Saying a firm 'no' just gets me a cheeky smile before he goes right back to whatever it is he is doing. A smack on the posterior earns me a laugh. The kid LAUGHS at me for smacking his bottom! So what do you do??
These days, I must be merticulous about closing the door to the bathroom. But my son waits for my daughter to climb up on the toddler-seat and if I'm out of earshot, heaven help me. It is not unusual for me to come in from hanging out the washing or some such, to hear the sounds of splashing coming from the toilet. My son can be found brandishing the toilet-brush like a sword, stabbing it with wilful abandon into the toilet. Or worse, dipping his hands into the toilet like its his own personal swimming pool. More often than not, I find an entire roll of toilet paper, soggy and unravelled all over the floor. And if Fern has not quite managed to - ahem - flush her business down the loo, the outcome can be catastrophic. On one particular occasion, the damage caused by hurricane Elliott in the toilet was so widespread and intimidating, I got stuck in the shower for three quarters of an hour with both kids, praying my husband would return home from work to rescue us. It took two adults to clean up on that particular occasion, and its not an isolated incident.
My son also takes a penchant to the garbage bin. He likes to play with the contents he finds inside. Use it as his own personal pantry if he has a rumbly tummy.
My son likes to eat dog biscuits.
It can take two adults just to change one nappy.
He will not watch the telly. Or read a book. Or play with toys for longer than 5 seconds. How do you therefore entertain such a child?
Help, peeps! I need your taming-tips. What do you do with a jumping-jellybean with more energy than a firework and the ability to scale tall buildings in a single bound?
Here's an hour in the life of me with my son. Needless to say, I rarely have the opportunity to get bored. I swear, this path of destruction all occurred in the space of one hour (yes, I keep liquor in the bottom cupboard. Yes, in 17 years I'll be asking for trouble):