If you have a son...

.. you might find this useful. Mum to mum --- a list of skills you need to master. Oh I'm not talking about stuff like patience and endurance, you'll never have enough of those anyway. I'm talking of real, practical things. Read on..

1.  Learn to fill air in cycle tyres. It's a backbreaking task and the air refuses to stay inside whizzing out as soon as you remove the wretched pump.

2. Learn to assemble a thousand tiny pieces to make a robot/train/building. Or else you can hide away such toys as soon as they're discovered under that innocent-looking wrapping paper.

3. Learn to get comfortable with transformers (car to robot, robot to car, car to robot, robot to car... over and over and over again) and beyblades (you'll be made to fix the darned thing again and again and will be dragged into matches till you're feeling like a spinning beyblade yourself).

4. Learn to differentiate between a Saurapod and a Tyranosaurus and make up stories about them.

5. Learn to take complaints in your stride..
- From the security guard: Your son was racing the lift.
- From the neighbour: Your son broke my potted plant.
- From the other neighbour: Your son messed up my rangoli.
- From the aunty in the next building: I got hit by your son's football.
- At a birthday party: Your son tripped the girls, burst the balloons, brought down the streamers, licked the cake.

6. Detach yourself from worldly goods. You really don't know how long that gorgeous clock you got for the kids' room will last or how long the pelmets will hold or when the sofa will breathe its last.

7. Enroll in a gymnastics class so you can balance on that tiny stool on a table on the bed to get down the clothes he tossed up on the fan/cupboard.

8. Get earplugs. Whether he's playing computer games, watching television or out in the playground he'll give out periodic war cries that can be pretty unsettling for the unsuspecting mum.

9. Get a laptop. You already have one? Well get another one unless you're fond of endless tussles over computer time for sooner rather than later the brat will get hooked onto those games.

And finally the biggest, toughest one..

10. Have another son because boys play with boys...ONLY.

Edited to add: A word of caution -- if you do risk point No 10, you'll have twice as much of 1-9. That's FYI.