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Monday, December 6, 2010

Dangerous toys or Dangerous boys?

I've been doing a lot of web surfing for the perfect gift for each and every person on my list and stumbled upon a list by Forbes of "the 10 most dangerous toys of 2010"  on yahoo's homepage. 

Among them was a rocking horse and I immediately understood how a rocking horse can be considered dangerous, especially if your name is Dracen. 

My mind went back in time to 2007 when the Dracenator was just 3 and a half years old.  Charlie and I had just recently started dating and I was sitting on my front porch swing talking to him on the phone when the Dracenator busted out of the front door with his rocking horse and proceeded to ride it down the 7 or 8 stone steps that led up to the front door. 

I shrieked into the phone as I ran to the other end of the porch at lightning speed only to find him laughing since he had gotten lucky and slid straight out across the sidewalk and into the yard.  I reprimanded him of course and told him not to ever do that again.

I then took my place back on the swing and explained to Charlie what had just happened when I look up to see the Dracenator back in action.  He was about to do it AGAIN!  Before I could muster up any coherent words and get them out of my mouth, he was gone. 

He was not quite as lucky this time.  He still reached the grass but the rocking horse flipped over causing him to do a nose dive into the yard. There were a few tears and some grass stains from head to toe but he pretty much came out unscathed.  Thank God!

That boy has given me many a gray hair to dye.  When he was an infant, barely able to crawl, he disappeared from his blanket of toys in the living room.  I had gone down to the basement for a minute to put some clothes in the washer and came back up to find him gone.  Nowhere. Vanished. 

I can't even describe to you the panic that set in once I had searched the entire house over to find no trace of him.  I knew Devin wasn't responsible because he was at school.  I was just about to make the choice between collapsing into an unconscious state or calling 911 when I decided to look outside.  

I opened the storm door, made my way down the stone steps and found him sitting there on the sidewalk playing with a blade of grass. I have no idea how he pushed his way out that door and down those steps without a scratch but I knew right then and there I was gonna have to buckle down and tighten the reins on that little rugrat because he was, apparently, a different breed of baby than his brother had been.

I didn't go to sleep at night.  I passed out from sheer exhaustion.  

He climbed, jumped, ran, cartwheeled, flipped and spun on a daily basis.  My dad, when he was up from a visit from Georgia once, nicknamed him the Energizer Bunny.  Charlie later coined the term, "Dracenator". 

He was 3 years old when Charlie first met him and he described him like this: He views the world as one giant rubber band and he's gonna see just how far he can stretch it.  

Then there's Devin, four years older, who could not be more different.  He once came upstairs from the basement and said to me as calmly as possible, "Charlie needs a fire extinguisher." 

Of course I set into psycho panic mode, took the basement stairs in two bounds and jerked the fire extinguisher off the wall all the while shouting, WHERE'S THE FIRE?! WHAT'S ON FIRE?!  Turned out there was quite a bad grease fire in the grill but no person or physical structure was ablaze.  

Still, my point is, the boy's pulse never rose a beat. 

The difference in their natures is the cause of much dispute and turmoil around here which often leads to me feeling like I'm on the verge of a breakdown.

Like one day last week, they started in with their bickering the minute they walked in the door from school.  I could feel my temper rising, the tiny bubbles beginning to form that I know will eventually lead to a full blown boil.  

For nearly 3 hours I barked at them to get their homework done and clean the guinea pig cage.  The boiling point was reached around 6 pm when they finished off my very last nerve by continuing to scream and shout over who was gonna do what guinea pig cage job.  

Seriously, y'all.  

I LOST it.

I am pretty certain, from the looks on their faces, I must have looked a little like that chick in the The Exorcist.

My throat hurt from screaming.

I was not proud of my behavior. At all.

But you know what?  

That guinea pig cage got cleaned in record time.  

Raising hard-headed because you can best believe that is one thing those two have in common boys can be tough duty but I can tell you, with much sincerity, that life around here is anything but dull.


A bonafide Mom of BOYS,

Don't spend much time frettin' over things like the "dangerous" toy list. With the average boy ANYTHING can be considered dangerous.  I've seen them make weapons out of plastic coat hangers, scotch tape and magic markers and slide down stairs and crash into walls on pieces of cardboard, even the "laid back" one.  



  1. From looking at his sweet innocent face, you'd never know he rides the world barebacked and hands-free!

  2. That reminds me of a time when I left the room to use the bathroom and when I came back my son was gone. After my heartattack, I found him under our wicker chair fast asleep. No idea how he got there!
    A dull home is boring!

  3. I totally agree. Boys can make ANYTHING dangerous.

  4. Ok -- the baby story freaked me out. I can't believe he got outside! That's crazy.

  5. I absolutely, entirely, 100% agree with you. Anything can cause harm. I saw a picture once of a little boy with a fork stuck in his nose. Disturbing, yes, but it goes to show, nothing is safe from boys. Nothing.