Friday, 26 August 2011

Naughtiness, Thy Name Is Rory

We need a new vacuum cleaner.  Oh how we need a new vacuum cleaner. Ours is ancient but was chugging along quite nicely until Rory got wind of how to use it.  Ever since then, I have had to dismantle it several times and poke various household items out of it with a coat hanger. These have included the majority of my son’s socks, my wedding ring, a wealth of playdough, the front door key and a cheese sandwich.  I think it was the cottage cheese incident which finally killed it though (one of the worst sounds a parent can hear emanating from the living room is a two year old exclaiming “oh no! Cottage cheese ALL OVER PLACE”, followed by the sound of the Hoover being turned on and the squelching of said cottage cheese as it gets sucked up the nozzle).  I must point out here that I am not a terrible parent who ignores my child while he plays with electrical items – I simply worked out early on that if I wanted to get any housework done I had to involve Rory, and he was particularly charmed by the vacuum cleaner.  Being an intelligent sort, he worked out how to plug it in pretty quickly and although he knows that he is under no circumstances allowed to do this, the cottage cheese incident was a one off.  The naughty step was well occupied that day, I can tell you.

So, when I saw that Dirt Devil were running a competition to win £200 worth of their products, I really felt I should enter, partly because of our desperate need for a vacuum that doesn’t smell of month old cottage cheese and partly because the competition asks you to blog about the naughtiest thing your child has ever done.


It’s hard to know where to begin really.  Rory is now a relatively biddable (if mischievous) toddler, but he was the baby that nightmares are made of up until he hit around 18 months.  There was the time he cracked an egg down the back of the radiator when the central heating was on, resulting in a sort of instant omelette that had to be prised off in eggy clumps with a stick. There was the time that he ate page 64 of the Christmas Radio Times and then vomited it up in various secret places around the lounge.  There was the time he worked out that water made his Aquadraw mat change colour, so he removed his nappy and did a big wee on it.  There is the time that we only ever refer to as The Great Toilet Paper Incident Of 2010.  It really is hard to know which to pick.

I decided, in the end, to share with you something that he did shortly before Christmas last year.  He was 18 months old and going through a phase of finding his pushchair to be an absolute abomination.  Unfortunately, this coincided with a great deal of snow.  He took exception to the snow and refused to walk in it and as I don’t drive, this led to us not leaving the house for days on end.  Cabin fever had set in, we had watched The Snowman so many times that Aled Jones had started to appear to me in my dreams and damn it, I just needed to get out in the fresh air for half an hour.  So, I sought the advice of friends on how to coax him into the pushchair.

The advice was as follows:

  1. Get his favourite toy dressed to go outside as part of the going outside routine. Turn it into a game.
  2. Make putting his outdoor clothes on a fun activity with lots of songs and silly faces.
  3. If he still resists, threaten to leave the house without him.
  4. As a last resort, walk out of the door without him and pretend to leave, then stand by the door and await his screams of displeasure. This is your cue to open the door and say “well if you want to come too you need to get in the pushchair.

Genius.  This is how it went:

*Start the whole leaving the house routine by dressing Les the Meerkat up in socks and a hat.  Improvise a little scarf from a J-cloth.

*Tell Rory that he's going to get ready to go out just like Les.

*Shove outdoor clothes on Rory. As fast as I get them on him, he removes them. 

*Try being fun and silly with the clothes. La la la, this is all just a funny game. He kicks me in the face.

*Hold him down with one elbow and wrestle clothes on to his helpless body.

*Briefly wonder if holding my child down with my elbow would be frowned upon by the health visitor then push all such thoughts aside because, seriously, we haven’t left the house in four days.

*Attempt to put him in the pushchair all the while singing "this is the way we leave the house" with a moderately unhinged air.

*Rory goes rigid and then proceeds to flail about until I get kicked in the face again.  The pushchair is propelled backwards several feet and one of his shoes flies off in the struggle.

*I strap Les the Meerkat into the pushchair with lots of "Oh Wow Les, you are so good and so brilliant and we're going to have so much fun going outside."

*Wonder how my life came to this.

*Tell Rory that if he doesn't get into the pushchair and be a good boy JUST LIKE LES, then me and Les are off to the shop without him, where we will purchase Milky Bar Buttons and a new CBeebies magazine.

*Another boot in the face whilst trying to strap him in.

*Les the Meerkat and mummy leave the house saying "bye then Rory, we'll be off now."

*Rory waves us goodbye.

*I shut the door and await the screams.

*All is quiet.

*Where are the screams of anguish?  I WAS PROMISED SCREAMS OF ANGUISH.

*I peep through the window. Rory has strolled off to the kitchen and is helping himself to cheese from the fridge.

*Give in.  Sit on sofa with Les the Meerkat in his winter collection in one hand and a lump of cheddar in the other, watching the Snowman for the 24th time in two weeks and rocking almost imperceptibly backwards and forwards. 

*Rory sticks his head up the chimney again.  Splendid.


  1. Oh I remember that! Did Les ever get his chocolate buttons?

  2. I always laugh about this one. I had to tell my mum about it as she recalled a time my brother locked her out (actively, he had to turn the key) and sat on the sofa watching Postman Pat. She banged at the window at him several times - he would just glance up from Pat, then ignore her. She had to go and get the key from my dad at work.

  3. I can totally imagine Ethan doin the same. He'd say bye and wave me off no doubt and then go and put meg and mog on to watch. He can turn on the tv and xbox to do that, no probs...

  4. Hilarious! I LOVE your blog! :) xx

  5. Of course, what you should have done was hold a carving knife to Les' throat and say;

    "In the pushchair kid, or the meerkat gets it"

    I had to resort to soft toy hostage situations on a number of occasions....and only once had to carry out my threats!

  6. Oh my God, that's sheer parenting brilliance. I'm filing that one for future reference.