People who don't have boy children will never ever be able to appreciate just how boy-y they are. I'm not saying girls are a walk in the park - I know, I was one - but boys have a way of turning any room into a bombsite including lost limbs, bloody wounds and shrapnel within five minutes of entering it.
We had two little boys who live across the road come to play this afternoon. That made a total of 4 small boys. Luckily another small boy who lives up the street who was supposed to come didn't. Thank god. I couldn't have handled anymore.
First they charged down the icy road on the way home from school, determined to break an arm, crack open their heads or get hit by a car. They refused to listen to the yells of two mothers telling them to 'STOP!' When we finally caught them and I read them the riot act about not listening and not stopping, I was told by my almost five year old: 'Well you didn't stop, so why should we?' Well that would be because I was trying to catch you.... You could tell it was going to be a circular argument so I dropped it.
We went in the house. The hallway which had been relatively tidy before, was suddenly decorated with 4 coats, 8 shoes, 4 hats, 8 gloves, 4 scarves, about 15 book bags/gym bags/lunchbox/other bags. Before the last flung shoe could settle on the ground, the 'I'm hungry' lament arose. In quadruple volume. They immediately all charged to the fridge. Due to our budget cuts, snacks are now on strict rations and there was not going to be a free for all. I had a cunning alternate plan - to make popcorn, and the other mum had bought a pack of biscuits. So once we had four of them sitting at the table with cups of milk and chocolate chip cookies and popcorn popping on the stove, I thought we might have a reprieve.
I was wrong. My almost 5 year old come 15 year old sloped off, put the telly on, got out his spiderman computer and ignored everyone while eating his biscuit on the sofa. This encouraged all the rest to follow suit. Boys and biscuits aren't known as a tidy eating experience. Fighting ensued about who was sitting where (because obviously, no-one was actually sitting on their bottoms, they were all standing on their heads, hanging off the curtains, pushing the cushions onto the floor etc.)
Just as things were about to get nasty, the popcorn was ready and served at the table. They charged over, tasted one piece each and pronounced it to be disgusting and returned to wrecking the furniture. So I suggested we get some toys out - stupidly grabbing the Pirate Playmobile, toy of a bazillion tiny parts. Much grabbing, tugging and fighting that seemed to last a lifetime but was probably less than five seconds worth, they'd manage to wrestle it from my hands, up-end it all and billions of tiny gold and silver pirate coins scuttled across the floor.
Immediately they pounced on the weapons. My three year old was the proud owner of the cannon with real firing cannon ball. He proceeded to chase the others aiming at their heads shouting: 'A-pair to die. Pirate dogs. I'm going to kill you.' Then the cannon ball would be launched at the others, narrowly miss someone's eye and they'd all charge around the island unit in our kitchen in a determined effort to crack their temples out on the sharp corners. This game (which involved plenty of shrieking) went on for some time (5 minutes) and despite excessive volume, the other mum and I actually managed to have a brief chat interrupted with 'put that down', 'slow down', 'don't aim at their heads', 'don't pull his jumper like that'. It was very relaxing.
That game became dull as games of death do so they stopped for a snack. The popcorn. Which wasn't disgusting anymore. It was certainly good enough to carry around and drop every few seconds. If they made any attempt to pick up the dropped bits (not because they were conscious of being tidy, they just didn't want to waste a bit) they'd then not be able to pick up and hold the bowl at the same time and thus the entire lot would go onto the floor before the next herd of pirates would charge through shouting 'A-pair to die etc.' and crush the popcorn into fine popcorn dust.
They quickly found a new toy - skittles. With hard wooden balls. Which obviously weren't aimed at the skittles at all. After many near misses of vases, pictures, windows and heads, my two decided that they both wanted the ball and had an out and out fist fight to get it. They were separated and one was sent to their room.
Our friends decided it might be time for them to leave (i.e. the mum did) but this resulted in much howling from small boys x 4. As I was trying to pack up the skittles while the other mum collected up the shoes, coats, hats and other paraphenalia, my children both tackled me to the ground in a determined effort to get the skittle ball back. It's quite awkward at times like this when you have someone watching you. Had I been on my own, I would have unleashed the smacking hand and shouting voice. As it was, I had to fight like a girl to wrench the bag out of their control.
Our friends scuttled away. I looked at the popcorn crushed, playmobil and skittle covered floor, sofa cushion mountain, spilled drinks, shoes, coats, yadeyadeyada and wanted to weep. I've only just now sat down having tidied away, hoovered, packed dishes, made dinner and now have the two small beasts sitting quietly eating and watching TV - not something I normally allow but I feel that today it might just be the best option.
I'd like to blame this behaviour on them being extremely tired after a full week back at school - and it is partially to blame - but basically they're boys. They're loud, bouncy, aggressive, rough and messy. And that's just what little boys are. Could someone hand me a barbie doll please? I need to therapeutically comb some hair and dream of quiet afternoons playing dollies.
Oh bugger. The peace has ended. Apparently one of them has kicked the other in the eye and they're coming to show me the damage. sigh