If I had a hammer… I’d probably leave it in the shed

Well, it’s official. We have a crawler! As I was speculating last week, Dylan has established that moving his arms as well as his legs is an integral part of cruising the carpet. Chaos will ensue, as will some basic DIY work to install stair gates.

I am fundamentally useless at such things. Indeed, I used to get chucked out of the workshop during CDT lessons at school because I was taking up too much of the teacher’s time. Instead, I had to go and do technical drawing. I was equally inept at this, of course.

I was talking to one of my mates at work this week about what it is to own tools. We concluded that it made one feel like a proper man about the house. Although owning the tools and actually putting them to their intended uses are two different matters entirely.

My toolbox bears a name that is also that of a proper hard-working northern man. For my part, I was born in the north but fit the profile of the archetypal southern softie perfectly. I may well feel a sense of importance when I get the toolbox out, but the truth is I’m terrified of most of its contents.

Being a horror fan, I know what I could accidentally achieve with the drill, so I leave it well alone. In fact, it’s something of a mystery as to where I accumulated most of my tools.

The only things I actually recall buying are a junior hacksaw about a month ago which, it turned out, we didn’t actually need and a set of 15 screwdrivers I bought in a pound shop while I was at university in 1999.

The irony is that I actually spent two years as Deputy Editor on a couple of woodworking magazines. Not only did I pick up a good understanding of how the associated jigs, joints and jargon worked, but I was also once the cover model on one of the titles.

Hard to believe, I know, but the organisation I worked for was very good at keeping costs down. If you were a bloke, you’d end up pretending to know what you were doing with a power tool.

The camera never lies eh? It bloody does! I went as far as insisting that it was switched off and the business end blurred in Photoshop afterwards to create the illusion of movement. Sad but true.

All this said, I got two small jobs done. I installed a simple rotating locking device on the shed to keep the warped door a little closer to its frame. I then got rid of a small wasps’ nest with the aid of one of Dylan’s empty baby food jars. Then I basked in the reflected glory of completing these two missions for the rest of the day.


  1. John C

    I’ve now got 5 kids and the latest is rapidly approaching crawling/cruising. With the first one we started by moving everything up. Then further up as she started pulling herself up, then further up, and then everything went back down. With the second we repeated the process. With the third came a wave of apathy. And we’ve not bothered since. Kiddy locks on kitchen cupboards drove me so mental I *had* to remove them for my own sake.

    As for the contents of the toolkit, I swear they migrate there over time. I remember buying the box and maybe an adjustable spanner or two but I’m sure I’ve never bought that many hacksaws and screwdrivers. And the hammer seems to be able to escape.

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