How to do EVERYTHING!


Some dozy plonker A generous benefactor saw fit, one Christmas, to present my son with: “The Boys Book: How to be the Best at Everything”.

Now, on first glance (and by that, I mean, at the cover) you’d surely think what a good present for a boy living in house full of girls.

In truth, that’s what I naively thought all those Christmases ago.

In days gone by, I even felt proud as my son actually chose to read words rather than flick through comics.

But then, all these ‘events’ happened in between. Influenced by chapters entitled: ‘How to annoy your brothers and sisters’ and ‘How to hypnotize a chicken’ and ‘How to make a stink’.

I have had enough telephone calls from teachers to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. Indeed, when I see ‘School Calling’ illuminated on the receiver, my instinct is to feel sick with dread rather than concerned that my child may be ill. You’ll therefore understand me when I say, my son doesn’t need to add to his list of skills: ‘How to play a trick on the whole class’.

Then there’s the chapter entitled ‘How to insult someone and get away with it’ – he didn’t get away with it!!!

I notice, on close inspection of the book, the author has omitted his name. Could it possibly be in case attempts at ‘How to fall without hurting yourself… much’ or ‘How to fight off a crocodile’ are unsuccessful?

I can honestly applaud lessons in ‘How to tie three essential knots’ and ‘How to give mouth to mouth resuscitation’. Bravo!

And I’ll be positively glowing if he correctly follows ‘How to eat in a posh restaurant’.

But really? ‘How to save the world’? I didn’t call my son Tom or Bruce or Keanu…

My boy has simultaneously learned how to freeze his finger and warm his feet while locating a thunderstorm and surviving a volcanic eruption.

He’s particularly excited about the prospect of ‘Mummifying an ancient Egyptian’. Luckily I haven’t noticed any old Egyptians around here. Only ancient Mummy’s.

I need to be on high alert today. He’s been studying the chapter ‘How to lose your head’. And the ‘How to shave’-d hair still hasn’t grown back on his arm. So I don’t fancy his chances of growing a new head!

30 thoughts on “How to do EVERYTHING!”

    1. Your son has it too? Has he not become a Catholic saint? Or gagged a know all? Or dowsed the garden for water? Or vanquished a vampire?😉

      1. He’s done a magic trick or two and done a couple of experiments – I think a vinegar and bicarb soda volcano is in there… nothing grounding worthy…. but he’s only 8… I think one time told me he knew how to defeat a crocodile… he just loves the book because he wants to be the best at everything…🙂

      2. We’ve had the volcano going off here too!!

        One of my daughters once told her younger sister how to horse ride. Then the younger sibling went with her class to a horse riding camp for a couple of days. She told the adults she KNEW how to ride and no one checked, just popped on a big horse all by herself. After a while it became apparent that she had no clue what she was doing!!!
        Luckily I didn’t know anything about it until she was home, safe and sound.

    1. It’s a nightmare isn’t it, dealing with irate teachers? Wouldn’t it be good if we irate mothers had a place to phone and complain?

    1. What? Is it not working properly again? I just had to ‘approve’ a regular commenter. WP what are you doing to my poor readers????

  1. *ineffectually tries to hide laughter* I do seriously review gifts before allowing them in the house. Wrapped ones are a bit more difficult, but having a kid who’s a slob also helps with this…

    “Momma, where’s my silly putty Santa [Daddy] gave me for Christmas?”
    “You mean the silly putty you got stuck all through your hair and in the carpet and your bedding and your new pajamas?”
    “Yeah.”
    “Hmm. I don’t know, but I bet if you kept your room clean it wouldn’t get lost [grown up speak for I wouldn’t throw it away when you were at school].”

  2. Haha, my son was given a book for his birthday last year, I can’t remember the exact title but along the lines of ‘100 science experiments you can do with things lying around the home’, well the title is more catchy than that, but that’s the gist! I always know when he has the book out because he’ll come and say something like “Can I have some salt, a match, a straw, half a melon and an old cream cheese tub?”, and I sigh wearily, knowing that in a couple of weeks time I will find a tub under his bed with some festering brown sludge in it. As if boys need further encouragement to conduct experiments – and the gift was from a mother who has a boy of her own, you’d think she’d know!

    1. Perhaps her own son has the book and she wanted another parent to suffer? A friend did that to me once, gave my daughter a horrendous squeaky musical toy. My daughter loved it but I hated it! My friend thought we could despise the toy together…

      I told my son about your book and he thinks he has the same one!!! I have to be honest, I haven’t looked under the bed for sludge at all. Now I am very afraid.

  3. We read a lot of books but I hope this one never makes it on our list! Sounds like somebody was trying to make a quick buck by writing junk. And what’s up with the title? My kids always want to the best/first and it irks me. I don’t mind a little competition but kids don’t need more pressure than they already put on themselves. Is the last chapter called “How to destroy this book by fire and not burn down your house?” Better be careful!

    1. You should definitely ban this book. Seriously. It should never make it on to your reading list (you have been forewarned, and forewarned is forearmed ;-)).

      I’m so glad you brought up the title. I think it is important for children to try their best but they do not need to be the best – especially at ‘everything’.

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