The label guy

A meerkat toy with a chewed label.

“Once you label me, you negate me,” said the philosopher Kierkegaard once upon a time. Let’s skate over the fact that I only know them thanks to Wayne’s World.

Although he was probably using these immortal words to articulate the profound folly of those who base what they say about others on relatively limited information and understanding, that’s exactly what I’m going to do in this post about my younger son.

But only because it’s literally about labels. See what I did there, eh? Yes, Xander has developed a strange fascination with the small pieces of ribbon-like material that protrude from his toys’ bottoms.

Granted, he’s at the stage where anything he can lay his hands on will inevitably get a good gumming. But he really does seem to home in on them like a laser-guided missile. There can be just one with a label or tag on it buried in the toy box and, before you can say “where have all the others gone? Have they disappeared so Tom can emphasise his point?” he’ll be merrily trying to snaffle it.

Some of his toys have rather bemused facial expressions. Now I know why. I don’t remember Dylan doing it, so this is definitely one of his little brother’s first obvious foibles which, although baffling, is delightful.

Hardly anything with some form of waterproof micro literature attached has escaped unscathed. Just about every toy or garment in the house has been subject to a good munching. He’s made his mark on, among other things, a leopard, a pair of pants he nabbed from the washing – clean ones before you ask – the one it’s ‘illegal’ to remove from the sofa and two meerkats.

He clearly does it because he’s teething, but the thing that gets me is that there are much chewier things to sink his four teeth into. Funny little thing!

What are your little ones’ strangest habits?


  1. Sally

    I think this is quite common – have you seen those toys called ‘taggies’ – square soft fabric with tags all the way around for toddlers to munch on – Flea loved ’em.

  2. The Fool

    Children are weird aren’t they? So far I don’t think Matilda has had any really weird habits, let’s hope she gets them out of her system before she’s a teenager.

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