Naughty: To Be Or Not To Be

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Sunday’s Guest is  Sydaney Moog (Not Woog)


Recently, I’ve been told by certain people that my 2 and a half year old boy is naughty.

Naughty because he likes to run around and not sit still.  Naughty because rather than sitting inside watching TV (not his favourite shows such as those on the Disney network or cartoons) he prefers to ride his bike or climb the jungle gym in the backyard.  Instead of sitting placid indoors, he prefers to explore the rooms, looking for people or discovering the contents of the fridge.

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As defined on the interwebs by the Oxford Dictionaries (, naughty is “badly behaved; disobedient”.  This is where the debate begins.

Is he cheeky? Does he have ants in his pants? Does he lack the ability to sit still for more than 30 seconds?

Yes, a resounding, big fat yes to all of the above.  But he certainly is NOT badly behaved, or disobedient.  He is as obedient as any 2 and a half year old is (which I have to admit is not muchly so).  I am in no way saying that my child is perfect.  I am no way saying that my child is the best behaved little person on this planet.  Faaaarrrr from it.  At this age, he is testing his limits, trying to learn right from wrong, not quite understanding what he can and can’t do.  There are days when he drives my husband and I insane, where at the end of the day we collapse into the foetal position and rock back and forth.

But his “naughtiness”, the way in which he explores the world around him, how  he touches everything, picks it up, looks at it from every angle to see what it does, how it works gives him personality and character and expands his mind and imagination to explore and navigate the big bad world around him.  The way he approaches people to “ask” for what he wants, how he tries to rope you into his being his playmate, how he thinks that everyone has boundless energy such as his shows determination, a zeal for life and an innocence that sometimes us adults lose.

Let me give you a brief history on my son’s life.

Born at 25weeks gestation, he weighed a mere 766 grams.  We were told that he would not survive the day, but he fought and made it through those first 24 hours.  We were then told that his journey, OUR journey through the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit would be tough and he may still not make it through to the end.  But after 4 tough months, where we rode the world’s largest and scariest roller coaster, he and we made it through and we took him home.  In the 2 years that he has been home, we have been in the hospital 3 times, twice for Bronchiolitis and once for acute pneumonia.   Just last year he could not run more than 5 minutes without coughing, spluttering or vomiting, but now he constantly runs around in circles, as if trying to make up for lost time.

To my husband and I, seeing our son run and jump and climb and ride without a care in the world is more than we ever imagined whilst sitting beside his hospital crib as we prayed that he would survive another night.

So let me ask you this.  Look at the definition of the word naughty.  Should an energetic, gregarious, curious, inquisitive 2 and a half year old be called naughty or should they be encouraged to explore and ask questions?  Do we want meek, passive little people who are too afraid to leave their comfort zones and not venture into the world of the unknown?

Ask me that question, and I know how I would reply on any given day – even whilst lying in the foetal position.

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