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The joys of boys

  • September 21, 2017
  • By Bronwyn Mulrooney

It happened again. I opened the freezer and nearly peed my pants (the post-pregnancy bladder will do that to you).

Because yet again, there was a toy masquerading as frozen food in the freezer. And although this is the norm in our house, it gets me every time.

The freezer is just one in a list of things that is no longer sacred in our house. Others include my utensils, or any implement I need to make food, actually, which are kidnapped and held hostage on a regular basis. My whisk and pasta spoon are favourites, and both suffer from severe Stockholm Syndrome.

Remote controls. Ah, now these are prized territory: wars are fought over them every afternoon and most nights. Leaders (read: parents) try to protect them, but the militia (read: The Oldest Child) sneaks up when you’re not looking and sets its rebel army (read: his siblings) to steal them away.

All is fare in love and remote control war until The Baby comes along and throws it in the toilet. True story. I was on the phone with a client. The Baby got the remote from under the couch where it was being held as a POW and chucked it in the toilet where someone had just done a wee (we’re under severe water restrictions, so if it’s yellow, we let it mellow).

So while squashing the phone between my shoulder and ear, I managed to retrieve the remote. Long Suffering Husband was pretty pissed off that he had to spend the night drying pee out of the motherboard with a hairdryer. But like all good soldiers, it lived to fight another day.

Which brings me back to this week’s gems: a frozen dinosaur head in the freezer and a primitive, bow-like stick protruding from the pantry shelf that almost took my eye out when I walked past.

You’d think after 5 years of having all kinds of crap put into cups of water and left to freeze I’d be used to this by now. I’ve had building blocks, cars, aeroplanes, little men and even a gigantic helicopter where only the back propeller actually fitted in the cup of water (WTH?) left to chill out in our freezer.

But no. I opened the freezer to get the fish fingers this evening, and let out a bloodcurdling scream. It was the crazy eye staring back at me that did it. Or maybe the one fang that had escaped the ice and was protruding out the top of the glass. It doesn’t matter, save to say this time I almost had a heart attack.

At least once a week I take this same dinosaur out the freezer and let him thaw in the sink. And wordlessly, like a dinosaur-ice-maker of the night who prowls the kitchen while the rest of us sleep, it somehow makes its way back into the freezer.

I’m convinced it’s the Oldest Child. I think he hides behind the kitchen island waiting for me to open the door and crap myself every time I see that T-Rex eyeballing me. Occasionally he leaves nice things in the freezer, like ice-trays with flowers and toothpicks. I’m not certain why that particular combination, but there you have it.

And then there are the rocks. The legion of rocks. OMG, these things may as well just shack up in our house. Sometimes they get used for making pretty things, like sculptures and hobbit houses.

But mostly they just get collected in whatever repository is available (The Baby’s pram, school bags, my handbag…), brought into the house, and hoarded to be used to reinforce towers and forts.

While that’s not a problem in itself, it’s the rocks that get abandoned after they’ve been released from service that are. I normally find them when letting the dog out to pee. In the middle of the night. With my bare feet.

The latest is jars of ‘perfume’ made with decapitated alyssums from the garden. I’m not complaining, these are a vast improvement on the ‘potions’ that contained…well, actually I don’t even know what they contained. I couldn’t see the bottom of the cup and was too afraid to ask. Let’s just say we couldn’t use the cup to actually drink from again.

Muffin pans for armour, colanders for helmets, and what samurai is complete without his trusty oven glove (you know, just in case your opponent spontaneously combusts or something).

String for ziplines strung across the dining room that I nearly beheaded myself walking through and that The Baby pulled down and the dog got tangled in; teetering towers built from Tupperwares; and that one storm trooper that always seems to be watching me.

I don’t know what life with girls is like, but this is how we roll living with boys.

By Bronwyn Mulrooney, September 21, 2017
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Welcome to Muddy Boots, a little escape from your everyday world that features my personal experiences with family-friendly travel, leisure and lifestyle activities in South Africa. I’m a fulltime writer, editor and author; wife to a long-suffering husband; mom to 3 young boys (aged 10, 4 and 1); and pack leader to 2 mutts and 1 thieving Weimaraner who steals (and eats) everything he sees. We all live together in a little village at the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains in the southern Cape, where the weather is wild and traffic jams usually involve waiting for herds of lazy bovines to cross the road. BRONWYN MULROONEY
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