I read somewhere that when you have kids you might as well hand them a baseball bat or similar, stand back and let them at it in your house. Apparently it will save you loads of trouble having to watch your things die slowly. They compared it to removing a plaster. Just rip it off. Kinder and less painful in the long run. Whoever “they” are “they” weren’t wrong. About the demolition derby that is. Especially most particularly when you have boys. Two and a half years ago, my sister in law very kindly cleaned our house when I was sectioned. Oh ok, by sectioned I mean Caesarean and not remanded in a Looney bin. But she came away from the experience muttering about how “they even draw on the walls!” They, in this case, being our boys. I can spend an hour tidying up with little or no difference but Mister Husband, on the other hand, would put Aggie and Kim to shame after only 10 minutes. Another witticism, of which I am particularly fond, was sent to me via e-mail. It said “be the kind of person who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil goes, oh shit. She’s up.” I am not this person. But my kids are. And Satan, for what it’s worth, I hear ya buddy, I hear ya. Chatting to a friend with two kids, she confided that both she and her husband have their dinner of an evening standing up at the kitchen sink. The kids see them there; think they are doing the dishes so they leave them alone to eat in peace. Other peoples’ stories such as this are incredibly heartening. I think, thank God I’m not alone. I love our boys, of course I do, that’s a redundant statement, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish they were a bit quieter. A bit more introspective. Godammit, I can’t even watch re-runs of Malcolm in the Middle any more. I keep wondering which of our lot is going to be Francis or Reece. Lois, I feel your pain. I’ve been reading a book for a number of years now. I have finished it; I just keep going back for further explanations and reasoning’s. I keep it in the door of the car for handy reference when I’m caught at lights or in traffic. It’s called Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph. It offers fantastic insight into the intricacies of the male species, starting from birth right up to that troublesome age of manhood. I’m getting great mileage out of it. But Steve, there’s still 4 of them and only 1 of me. I am outnumbered slightly and can be at sea most days. Naturally enough, Steve those are the days when all of your reasoning’s and calming logic goes right over my head. I don’t care that one side of their brain works while the other side takes a power nap, and this, in your mind, is the reason why they piss all over the floor whenever they see a toilet seat. I just want someone to come into my house and put manners on them! Oh, and clean up the piss! Another annoying little idiosyncrasy kids possess is their fondness to rat on each other. Girl Cousin was staying with us one afternoon. Both she and Screecher Creature No. 1 enjoy similar positions in the family. Girl Cousin is an only child and the oldest granddaughter. Indeed, she is, at present, the only granddaughter. Screecher Creature No. 1 is the oldest in his family and the oldest grandson. There is a year between the two of them but despite that, they get on quite well. Girl Cousin is used to a lot of one on one attention and our poor lads are used to, well, fighting for some. Girl Cousin plays nicely and doesn’t occupy much space. I know this to be true as I have witnessed it. Our boys, on the other hand are a law onto themselves. Boys have to explore everything. And loudly. Girl Cousin tidies up after herself and likes things to be in their place. My lads use the furniture as gym apparatus, toys get flung everywhere on an hourly basis. They punch, hit, and kick each other. Girl Cousin is polite and quietly spoken. The only one louder than the boys in this house is me. I firmly believe I have a damaged vocal cord. The one I reserve for screaming at them. A big huge part of me was looking forward to this “play date” as I was interested to see what the shift in dynamic might bring. But my eyes were opened, as it were, when Girl Cousin came to play. Within 10 minutes of her mother departing, it appeared there was a whistle blower in the camp. One of “the boys” was “moving the buggy.” It seemed I had a little helper on my hands and she was determined to keep them in line. Later on that evening she appeared again to inform Mister Husband and me that “the boys are throwing clothes everywhere.” I think she was a little bit taken aback at the swiftness of Mister Husband’s reaction. The boys were indeed, “throwing clothes everywhere” and having a great old time until Mister Husband appeared on the scene and put a rather abrupt end to the fun and games. Later on that evening when Girl Cousin had gone home, it transpired that she “told” them to do it. Of course, the Screecher Creatures didn’t stop for a minute and think for themselves. It seems though, regardless of gender, they all like to rat on each other. I suppose it’s a kind of protection racket in a basic sense. Tell on the perp, they’ll get their asses kicked by someone else and I’ll live to see another day. Today Screecher Creature No. 3 was heard roaring from the bottom of our (considerable) garden. Like the Doppler effect, the sound from far away was getting closer and the power of the tattle tale was so strong, he battled his way through knee high, withered, stiff bits of dried grass and thistle to complain that one of the Screecher Creatures “hit my neck.” It wasn’t even a good tell-tale, bordering on mediocre in fact. It wasn’t worth his while especially when, tale of woe told, he obligingly turned on his heel and went back the way he came, struggling through the tall grass again! But I can talk. As soon as Mister Husband walks in the door, I’m off. I rat on each and every one of them. Sometimes he laughs, sometimes he shakes his head, sometimes he pats me on the back and says “there, there.” To sum it up, I think it is fair to say that all kids great and small, are fond of tittle tattling. And in some cases, the mammies are too!! How many of us have used that old chestnut “wait till your father gets home?” As I thought, a pretty good show of hands. Another saying springs to mind; they didn’t get it from the ground!