Park Life: Corrupted - by a bunch of girls
Saturday 13 March 1999
Normally such a visit would not work. Within 10 minutes of arriving our eight-year-old son Darcy would be champing at the bit and demanding to go, which is why we don't see as much of friends-with-daughters as we used to. But in a recent development, alongside football, collecting football stickers, fishing and warring with his Digimon computerised game, Darcy is now hooked on Beanie Babies, the first hobby he and his mates must have picked up from the girls in their class.
Beanie Babies are a range of infuriatingly cute soft toys in the shape of animals, small and cheap enough to be collectable and addictive. At our friends' house, Darcy duly disappeared to discuss the relative merits of Tracker the basset-hound, Nut the squirrel and Crunch the shark with Lily and her friend.
The four parents, meanwhile, cringed at the cutesy voices our children adopt when dealing with their Beanies, and tut-tutted at the way our offsprings' worst acquisitive traits had been exploited yet again by a marketing campaign designed to part them from their pocket money. Darcy must now weigh the merits of one new Beanie Baby against 12 packets of stickers - a task that would surely stretch Gordon Brown.
But given Darcy's taste for rough sports (which I approve) and violent computer games (which I don't), my own feeling was that Beanie Babies were a good thing, even at the risk of turning him into a Graham Le Saux- type footballer - one who collects antiques, visits art galleries and, heaven forbid, reads The Guardian. For the first time, Darcy has a peaceful hobby he can share with girls.
Or so I thought. A circular was sent from school alerting us to a spate of bullying in the playground. I opened my interrogation, but Darcy pleaded ignorance. There must, I insisted, have been some incident to have sparked this letter. "Well," he said, "we were playing football the other day, and suddenly the girls attacked us with their Beanie Babies. Someone threw Nut in my face."
So much for the gentle influence of soft toys. What these girls clearly need is a sprint around the park to work off that latent aggression.
Life & Style blogs
Revenge porn: What is it – and how big is the problem?
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Windows 10 release: Microsoft bypasses 'Windows 9' with new operating system
The Fappening: After the third wave of leaked celebrity photos, why can't we stop it?
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- < Previous
- Next >
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Are you looking for part time/ ...
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Currently looking for teachers ...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...