So. What do Donald Trump, the Royal Wedding and Toad's inclination to destroy things have in common? Absolutely nothing. Except that they apparently occupy the same space in my brain at the moment.
Now, we may be on our own strange little planet here, but that does not mean that we are entirely oblivious to current happenings involving the non-Toadie centered universe. For example, my take on Donald Trump: the man has taken credit for someone else proving he's a liar. Also? That's about as much space in my world that I will allow him to occupy. One sentence.
The royal wedding? Lovely, as expected, but at the risk of incurring the wrath of, I don't know, everyone, I didn't like Kate's dress. I'm sorry. I loved her sister's dress, thought it was far prettier than the bride's. Apparently I'm also on the wrong side of the fashion fence when it comes to the hats, Oh. My. GOD. The hats. Seriously, I'm all for a pretty hat, they can be terrific when chosen well. But the absurdities perched atop the heads of most of the women there were just, well, absurd.
Case in point.
This, dear Princess Beatrice, is not a hat. This is something I would have had in my room decorating a shrine to my Barbies when I was 10.
Right then. Now you know I pay at least some attention to the outside world, back to Toad-ville!
FYI: When I mentioned in the Toadie-Style post about a way that Toad sits that I find particularly adorable, this is what I was talking about....
This is Toad first thing in the morning. He comes downstairs to my study, and turns on his i-Pad - but see how he's sitting?
On his knees, feet crossed and tucked perfectly under his butt, and he does this all the time. I love it.
Alright, enough cute Toadie-sitting. :)
I know I have mentioned several times Toad's proclivity toward taking things apart and/or destroying them. I have contemplated writing about it for a long time, but funnily enough, have been worried about how people would see and think about him afterward. I know, I tell you everything else, what's the big deal? Well, I guess when you really get a sense of how serious it is, it's a bit shocking.
The most important thing I will tell you is that despite what he does, with few exceptions, it's not really destructive behavior. His purpose is not to destroy the things he does. On the contrary - he essentially shreds his beloved Blue's Clues books and you know how much those mean to him!
It's truly a compulsion. Where it comes from, why it started, I have no idea.
It's just what he does.
If there is a flaw or a defect or something he can manipulate, he will work at it. Well, he'll work on something even without anything he can exploit. And he is nothing if not persistent. I keep all of his Blue's Clues books - more specifically, what's left of them - in bins in his room. Think Rubbermaid is pretty tough stuff? Think again...
I use it because of all the different tubs and bins I've tried over the years, they do last longer and are not sharp when ripped or cracked, unlike some other brands. But he is still able to destroy them.
This used to be one of my best whisks:
I have to hide kitchen implements that are interesting.
This is part of the slate tile that surrounds our fireplace in the family room. What you are looking at is a groove that he made with his finger in one of the tiles, all the way down to the base. He found a spot that he was able to pick away a bit, then just used his finger to wear it down all the way. Slate. With. His. Finger.
Now you know why it hurts so much when he pinches - those little fingers are like, Herculean.
Then of course there are the walls. We moved in to this house when it was new, so, inevitably there were nail-pops all over the place in the first couple of years. Josh had a field day with those, picking the paint and dry wall right away so you could see the nails/screws. In his bedroom, I'm not sure how it started because there was never a nail underneath, but, he has managed to make a hole in the wall next to his bed, again, with his finger alone.
This is about half an inch deep, and goes right to the sheetrock. FINGERS OF DOOM.
The problem with fixing these, is that he just goes right after them again - he can always find a way to un-do the repair.
He would very much like to pull apart the hardwood flooring. He spends a lot of time hunched over on his knees, face close to the floor, fingers running all along the seams, anything that looks like it could possibly be worked on to get it apart... he tries. He has yet to get anywhere with it, but he has not given up.
If you haven't read my 4th of July incident post, now would be a good time to do that. Granted that was not due to the compulsive behavior, but it was destruction by Josh (and scary as hell) nonetheless.
Many, many toys have fallen victim to his compulsion. He once pulled apart a MagnaDoodle with his bare hands. And I mean, he had managed to break the hard plastic frame around the doodle part, then, actually peeled apart the screen piece. If you've ever wondered what those are made of, all I can tell you is that between the drawing surface and its back layer was a greasy fluid the smelled like petroleum and of course, the iron filings that actually make the pictures. We called poison control. We were the first people ever to report possible ingestion of Magnadoodle... stuff... and they were stumped. He was fine. But I won't bring another one in to the house.
He loves, and I mean LOVES these little cars/trucks by Tonka. They are soft plastic/rubber and he is rarely without one in hand. He even takes them to school.
He also chews on them.
And works them with his hands.
And works them so much, that he eventually manages to destroy them, just like the Rubbermaid bins.
You can see with this one, he's managed to almost break off the front end - the wheels are now twisted almost all the way around and the splits are making their way to the top. It's a bit mind boggling, really, these are not flimsy toys, I don't think I could do this kind of damage to them. It does take some time, but it's his endless, constant manipulation that eventually gets the better of almost everything he can get his hands on. And he's a hell of a lot stronger than he looks or that his size would indicate.
You can't give him any of the really cool sensory toys, like the squishies with the lights in them, the tentacle
balls (stop giggling I'm talking about these) , those things, because he bites them, and they break. Always. He loves them, but, he breaks them. And then they either leak whatever mystery fluid is inside, he eats the squishy rubber bits, or the lights/batteries come out. Oh yes, batteries. This is a problem. If he manages to get the batteries out of anything, he will CHEW ON THEM. Which is kind of really not awesome. So he can't have anything with a battery compartment that isn't closed with a screw. If it twists open/closed or just latches, we can't have it around.
And then, there's the furniture. 4th of July incident demonstrated how unfortunate a choice a glass-top table was. But even a wood table is not immune to the work of Mr Destructo. Exhibit A:
So, this is the coffee table. See scratch marks all around the perimeter? Not scratch marks. Those are teeth marks. Josh took it upon himself to clamp his teeth down around the outside of the table and then drag his upper teeth right to the edge - he did this around the entire table.
We had it re-finished. Brought it home. And before we could figure out how to keep him from doing it again? He did it again.
So it was re-finished. AGAIN. Now it has a custom made piece of glass that sits on the top. That's right, glass. The stuff we decided was bad. But it's less bad in this context. Life is full of contradictions, that's all I can tell you.
When we moved in to the house we are in now, he had a bed, dresser, and bookshelf in his room (the sleeping part). Now he has a bed. And even that is not long for this world. He took both the bookshelf and dresser apart with his bare hands. Just ripped them apart. Not all at once, over time, but enough so that both were essentially destroyed. This is part of what was left of his dresser...
He is in the process of doing the same thing to his box spring.
I know these things look insane, and, they are. But you have to understand, some of it is sensory (the teeth on the coffee table) and the rest is just this need to take things apart, work at them. It's not the outcome he's after, it's the process. If you were able to watch him, you'd see. Unfortunately I don't have video of all this behavior, mostly I'm running around trying to fix things and keep it from happening.
There is one case of flat out, anger-induced carnage, though...
This, is what's left of the climate control system for the middle row of my car.
It is located in the back of the center console for the front seats. It is also within perfect kicking distance of Toad's feet. Which, up until this last Fall, were usually in hiking-boot type footwear. Toad Rage.
It didn't have a chance. If you are wondering why I didn't have him in the third row, it's because a. the dog is usually back there so I don't have the third row up most of the time, and b. up until this last Fall, he was in his big Britax car seat which wouldn't fit in the the third row.
(Air will still come out of the vents, you just can't control the flow or direction any more.)
If we could just figure out how he could utilize this compulsion in some sort of productive way, that, would really be something.
Maybe we could sit him in a room with all those hideous wedding hats...
ps. the date and time on for this post are completely wrong so don't be confused. No idea why it did that.