Boys and Knives


About a week ago Luca came up to me and said “Mum, what’s this” and then handed me a pocket knife.

Rob has had it for years and like most of his gadgets it never gets used, instead it’s just shipped around the world whenever we move and it ends up in a lonely cupboard doing nothing. Usually not far away from all the exercise equipment I buy and never use.

Anyway as soon as I picked it up I explained to Luca that it’s a pocket knife and then I started pulling out all the bits it has. By this stage I’d drawn an audience and both Charlie and Jude were watching. All three starry-eyed.

“You see, it has a corkscrew and a little screwdriver and a pair of scissors and see it even has a toothpick”.

As I pulled out more and more implements of potential skin cutting it dawned on me ..


I could see the delight on my sons’ faces and the intense focus on every single instrument I pulled out of the pocketknife. I could almost read in their eyes the things they were planning on chopping/cutting/stabbing/breaking with this new wonderful device they’d discovered.

It was then I realised I was making a huge mistake. HUGE. They could never unlearn of the pocket knife and I knew this wasn’t the last of it.

I then told them it was a grownups thing only and they were not to play with it.

Obviously they paid no attention and the very next day Luca walks back up to me with it in his hand. “Mum can I see the scissors again?”

Me “Where did you find that? I hid it from you”.

“Um, it was in the kitchen drawer”.

So we went through it all again. “This is not a child’s toy. It could seriously hurt you, leave it alone”.

It still wasn’t the end of it. “Mum where have you put the pocket knife?”. Me “I’ve hidden it. Far far far away”.

“Can I use it to do my assignment? I could cut the box up with the scissors.”

Oh my God. Seriously what was I thinking? I’m old hat at this boy parenting thing and I still screw it up from time to time.

I am going to blame their Dad. He has this huge scar on his arm and when we first met he told me how he got it. For christmas when he was six his parents gave him a pocket knife.  That very same day he sliced his arm open quite badly when he was up a tree and knew he’d be in trouble if his Mum found out so he tried to sneak back into the bathroom in an attempt to get away with it. But his Mum followed the trail of blood to find him in the bathroom trying to put band aids all over the cut whilst standing in a pool of blood so he was caught.

Subsequently the cut was so bad that their family holiday plans were ruined as they were supposed to leave that night but because of Rob’s knife wound they couldn’t.

Now, dear reader, I am positive of what you are thinking. Because I thought the same thing …

Isn’t he lucky he didn’t slash an artery? …

As if that was what you were thinking, you were thinking “WHO THE HELL WOULD GIVE THEIR SIX YEAR OLD A POCKET KNIFE?” .. weren’t you?

The moral of the story? Rob’s Mum is probably the most sensible person on the planet.

Proof that even the most sensible parents get this parenting gig wrong sometimes too.



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