How Parents of Babies and Toddlers Are Bad for the Environment

smoke-258786_1920It has come to my attention that parents of babies and toddlers are perhaps just a little bit bad for the environment. Or maybe it’s just me. Either way, here are my ten reasons why.

 
1. Disposable nappies

I think this one speaks for itself. There are nappies. So many nappies. Admittedly cloth nappies are available. Environmentally responsible people use these. For the rest of us, there are just two issues with that idea: (1) see point 4; and (2) no, just no.

 
2. Everything is plastic

Everything. Everything in the whole house. The endless toys, obviously. But it’s worse than that. It’s the cups, the plates, the bowls, the cutlery, the coasters, the place mats. Things that used to exist in non-plastic varients are now non-breakable plastic. Of course, as well as non-breakable, it’s non-biodegradable.

 
3. Paper napkins

Well, who hasn’t ever entertained the children by giving them paper napkins to play with in cafes and restaurants? Children are easily entertained. Yes, the rainforests are a worry. It’s just that, well, being glared at for having badly behaved children is also a worry. There is a variation on this activity involving the provision of straws (or ‘wands’ as the children believe them to be). This is no better: see number 2.

 
4. Washing machines

The washing. The washing is endless. Particularly when you forget to dry it and have to wash it again.

 
5. Boiling the kettle

Apparently, one should avoid repeatedly boiling the kettle, as that is bad for energy consumption and the environment. Yes, sorry about that. The correct number of boils to time to cups of tea made ratio for parents of babies and toddlers is: boiled ten times in four hours, no tea made. Before you conclude parents are solely responsible for climate change, it should be noted that, on at least three of the occasions the kettle is ‘boiled’, they will have forgotten to plug it in. Every little helps.

 
6. Wipes

Baby wipes are not good for the environment. We’re so terribly sorry. But did you know how bloody amazing they are? You can use them for pretty much anything. And we do.

 
7. Drawing

Back to the rainforests here. This time all the drawing paper that received one tiny crayon mark before being declared ‘finished’. It’s not always quite as bad as it sounds: sometimes there is a tiny crayon mark on the other side too. Parents can try to mitigate the impact of this one by presenting the barely marked paper as ‘fresh’ paper at the next drawing session. Sadly, toddlers are experts at detecting tiny crayon marks on a piece of paper: ‘It’s dirty!’
‘Turn it over then.’
‘This side’s dirty too!’ Bugger.

 
8. Food waste

They just don’t eat it. But it really isn’t considered acceptable to stop serving your children food because they won’t eat it (despite eating this exact meal three days ago/asking for it 20 minutes ago). Parents’ hands are really tied on this one. Sometimes the issue is compounded by the making of further food that does not get eaten in a futile attempt to get the children to eat something. Again, I really must reiterate in our defence that feeding your children is considered to be the done thing, and not an optional element of parenting.

 
9. Noise pollution

No, sorry, we can’t make it stop. Yes, it is annoying. Yes, and loud. No, we don’t know why they’re making that noise. We think they like it. Yes, we know you don’t like it.

 
10. Excessive battery consumption

This is really VTech’s fault.

Are The Toddlers (*Gasp*) Brexit Supporters?

europe-253311_1280As a firm EU ‘Remain’ supporter, I am becoming increasingly concerned that The Toddlers may, in fact, be Brexit sympathisers. There are clear signs to support this theory.

 
1. The Toddlers are always very upset when other toddlers, toddlers who are not them, come over here and take their toys. Even if they didn’t want the toy and were playing with something else. Even if the toy was not, in fact, theirs.

 
2. The Toddlers are not happy about Mummy taking away their sovereignty. They feel that Mummy is constantly telling them what they can and can’t do. They believe that they should be in charge of their own decision making. Toddler rule for toddler people!

The Toddlers feel this way despite all the benefits and assistance they receive from Mummy.

The Toddlers also feel this way despite the lack of any realistic plan for how they would manage on their own.

 
3. The Toddlers object to anyone who wishes to impose regulations, however sensible, upon them. They are sick of all these directives about wearing two shoes, not playing in the traffic, not chewing on the cat… It’s just endless, ridiculous restrictions and red tape.

 
4. The Toddlers have a slight tendency to make up ‘facts’. The entirely fabricated nature of what they are saying in no way undermines the passion with which they are saying it.

 
5. The Toddlers are opposed to being told that they can not discriminate against people on unreasonable grounds. The Toddlers enjoy discriminating against people for no good reason. The Toddlers consider it their prerogative to refuse to speak to people, and indeed to ban them from the premises, on grounds including, but not limited to: having a beard, not having a beard, not liking their shoes, not liking their buttons, not liking their elbow, disapproving of their orientation (i.e. they’re standing in the wrong place), race issues (i.e. they outran the toddlers), smelliness, and just simply ‘NO’.

 
6. Despite The Toddlers’ desire to restrict the movement of other people into their territory (because they are not willing to share their toys), The Toddlers themselves intend to continue to move freely into others’ territories. The Toddlers do not see anything wrong with this policy. (Upon arrival in someone else’s territory, The Toddlers like to speak loudly to the ‘natives’, demand to be provided with their favourite foods, and recreate an environment that looks exactly like the one they just left.)

 
7. The Toddlers rarely care if no one agrees with them, and the actual evidence is not exactly in their favour: they are still right, and they are going to stamp their feet.

 
8. The Toddlers sometimes feel very suspicious of random people. They are not sure why, but they are very sure those people are suspicious and should be made to leave. The Toddlers will change who they are suspicious of on a whim.

 
9. The Toddlers have a vague sense that the world should be revolving around them because they are very important. They are not entirely able to justify this opinion, but are prepared to shout very loudly about it.

 
10. Frankly, The Toddlers won’t stand for anyone wanting to mess with their bananas. Even though no one is actually trying to mess with their bananas, the toddlers remain wary and indignant.

 
 
Or perhaps these are simply signs that Boris Johnson is behaving like a toddler? That could be it.

Random Things I’ve Seen: The M&S Heist

crumpets-1385193_1920In part two of my new Random Things I’ve Seen feature (it is now officially a feature: I’ve done it twice), I’m presenting something I saw some time ago, but was recently reminded of.

This story takes place in M&S. A surprisingly high number of my stories in recent years appear to take place in M&S. I never went to M&S before I had children. I’m not entirely sure why I spend so much time there now. I still rarely actually buy things from M&S. Perhaps I subconsciously feel M&S is a place one should be when one is a mother.

Anyway, I was in M&S. Again. In the food court, this time. I was loitering, for reasons that now escape me, near the tills. I saw a lady sidle along the packing end of the tills and, unnoticed by the customer or the cashier, take a packet of crumpets that had just been scanned and put them in her own basket.

Now, had she subsequently left the store, this behaviour would have been a little strange, yes, but essentially it would have been shoplifting. Odd shoplifting, but shoplifting, nonetheless. She did not leave the store. Oh no. She took her basket of pilfered crumpets and returned to the food court aisles. Presumably to obtain more shopping. One can only assume that she went on to pay for the already scanned, and thus paid for by someone else, ‘stolen’ crumpets.

Did she believe the conveyor belts were some kind of weird moving shelving? Had she already ascertained that there were no crumpets left on the shelves and, gripped by her desperate need for griddle cakes, formulated an elaborate plan (based on the off-chance that someone at the tills was actually buying crumpets) to snatch some? Had she had seen this particular customer take the last packet of crumpets and tailed her to the tills? Was it a revenge crumpet snatch?

Or is this simply what passes as a heist in M&S? ‘This is not just a heist, this is a M&S heist.’

 
 

Interested in other posts in the Random Things I’ve Seen series? Click to read the first post, Random Things I’ve Seen: The Elizabeth I Dress

The Toddler: Feminist, Artist, Tin Enthusiast

256px-Emmeline_Pankhurst_Arrested_1914The Toddler spent a couple of hours at Daddy’s work, and she has a story to tell. A gripping tale, full of twists and intrigue. It has something for everyone: DIY, confusion, mundanity, feminism.

The Toddler is off to a good start, beginning in classic narrative fashion.

‘I’m going to tell you the story about what I did at Daddy’s work.’

We’re all sitting comfortably. The Toddler will begin.

‘I drawed and drawed and drawed and drawed, and then I got Daddy’s screwdriver.’

No explanation relating to the screwdriver is forthcoming. It will remain a mystery – left to the audience’s imagination. Meanwhile, the story continues with further exploration of the drawing part of the excursion.

‘I drawed a curtain and some tins.’

A curtain? And some tins? Is this the most mundane toddler artist ever?

‘Yes, they were in the tin and there was another tin, but Daddy said that was just a stormtrooper.’

Ah, this is starting to make more sense. Well, if you remove stormtrooper references, that is. The drawing pencils were in a tin? The Toddler didn’t draw tins?

‘Yes. They were in a tin.’

So, what did The Toddler draw?

‘I drew a panker.’

Erm…a panker?

‘Yes, panker. Sister suffragette. From Kensington to Billingsgate…’

The Toddler breaks into a very good rendition of Sister Suffragette from Mary Poppins. Not the most mundane toddler artist ever, after all. A genius. And a feminist. Emmeline Pankhurst? The Toddler drew Mrs Pankhurst?

‘Yes, panker! Sister suffragette. Shoulder to shoulder into the fray…’

Daddy interjects: ‘Didn’t you draw Daddy?’

‘Oh, yes, it was Daddy, actually.’

So near and yet so far. The patriarchy crushes feminism once again. Emmeline Pankhurst and the rest of the suffragettes fought tirelessly for equal rights with daddies to appear in toddlers’ drawings. Yet, here we are, in 2016…

Say Hello to My Little Friend: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

gift-1306852_1280It’s time for the Ten Funniest Things feature, where The Toddler is Al Pacino, The Baby is Kevin Costner, and everyone else is ‘Grandad’.

Presenting The Toddler:

1. On ‘say hello to my little friend’

The Toddler is waving her cutlery around and talking to it: ‘They can be friends. Hello, friends.’
Silly Mummy giggles, and starts quoting The Inbetweeners to Silly Daddy: ‘Ooh, friends, cutlery friends!’
The Toddler, meanwhile, has her own quote, suddenly yelling: ‘Say hello to my little…’
Silly Mummy and Silly Daddy stare at each other. She surely can’t be about to entirely inadvertently quote Scarface?
‘…Dominoes!’
Silly Mummy and Silly Daddy collapse in hysterics. So near, and yet so…dominoes.

2. On the purple one

The Toddler has a question: ‘Can you tell me about the purple one?’
Silly Mummy is not entirely sure what The Toddler is talking about, and asks for some simple clarification: ‘What’s the purple one? What does it look like?’
The Toddler has got this: ‘It’s green. And it looks a bit like red.’ Oh. That purple one.

3. On mixed emotions

The Toddler is feeling a bit conflicted: ‘I really like this, but I really don’t like it so much.’

4. On presents

The Toddler is counting tea cups from her tea set with Silly Daddy. She is deliberately doing it wrongly. Silly Daddy informs her that she can have a present if she does it properly. The Toddler counts the cups properly. She awaits her present. Silly Daddy presents her with…the tea cups. The Toddler sighs and rolls her eyes: ‘You tricked me!’ She approaches Silly Daddy, holding out the tea cups. Presumably, she is returning the trick gift? Apparently not: ‘Can you wrap them?’

5. On The Baby, Kevin Costner

The Toddler likes to keep The Baby gainfully employed. Today, The Baby is apparently The Toddler’s bodyguard: ‘You have to stay with me, The Baby. It’s very dangerous out there, so you’ll have to keep an eye on me.’

6. On playing with Silly Daddy

Silly Daddy is tidying away toys. The Toddler and The Baby are ‘helping’. The Toddler comes to report to Silly Mummy in the kitchen: ‘Mummy, we are playing something with Daddy!’
‘Really? What are you playing?’
The Toddler considers: ‘Well…we’ve got no toys…’ When you put it like that, this sounds like the worst game ever.

7. On eating dinner

Silly Daddy is trying to get The Toddler to finish her dinner: ‘You have to eat your vegetables.’
The Toddler has a better idea: ‘Okay, you can eat the rest of it and I’ll watch.’

8. On the Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe

Silly Mummy is reading the Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe nursery rhyme to The Toddler. The Toddler is scandalised at the old lady’s actions: ‘Sent them to bed?! Outrageous!’

9. On noise

The Toddler is yelling at Silly Mummy: ‘THIS IS NOT ACTUAL NOISY! THIS IS PRETENDING NOISY!’ We need to work on the definition of ‘pretend’. And ‘noise’.

10. On playing nicely

The Toddler and The Baby are busy. The Toddler informs Silly Mummy: ‘I’m playing a game with The Baby, Mummy.’
‘Well, that’s nice. What game are you playing?’
‘Throwing things at her.’
Well, that’s not nice.

 
The Baby’s Corner

The Silly Family are visiting Grandma. So are Auntie and Baby Cousin. The Baby sometimes doesn’t know people’s names, but she has a ‘fit all’ name that she knows will always get her out of trouble. Auntie is leaving the room. The Baby watches her go: ‘Where’s Grandad gone?’ Yep, social etiquette 101: if you forget someone’s name, you can’t go wrong with ‘Grandad’.

 
 

If you’d like to see further posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature, they can be found here.

 
 

ethannevelyn

Random Things I’ve Seen: The Elizabeth I Dress

queen-62969_1280Welcome to the first instalment of a new occasional series (possibly*): Random Things I’ve Seen.

(*Depending on whether I see any more random things. And whether I remember my series.)

 
 
This first offering comes from the front window of a charity shop. I’m sure we’re all familiar with these window displays: the second hand wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, prom dresses, Elizabeth I’s Darnley Portrait dress…hang on. What? Yes, just an Elizabeth I dress. There in the window. Aren’t charity shops great? You know, for when you need to be a Tudor monarch, but you’re a bit short on money.

 
Well, I’ve given it a bit of thought, and I think I know what happened here. You know how it is: it’s your favourite dress. You love it. You wear it everywhere. You fill a palace (and several centuries of children’s history lessons) with portraits of you in the dress. It reminds you of good times. Defeating the Spanish Armada, and all that jazz.

Time goes on. You start to get a bit bored of the dress. It begins to remind you of bad times. Beheading Mary Queen of Scots. That sort of thing.

Then William Shakespeare writes you a few plays, and obviously you need new outfits to attend the performances. The dress gets pushed to the back of the wardrobe.

Finally, Sir Francis Drake introduces you to potatoes, and you’re never fitting into the dress again anyway.

Time to have one of your servants drop it down Age Concern for you.

 
I expect that’s what happened. Now, is anyone looking for a Queen Elizabeth I dress for their Summer wardrobe…?

Parenting Never Have I Ever

tea-1105113_1920Who knows the drinking game Never Have I Ever? Each person states something they have never ever done, and anyone playing who has done that takes a drink.

Who wants to play parenting Never Have I Ever? Below are twenty never have I ever statements. For each one you have done as a parent, you should take a drink. This is the parenting version, remember, so that drink should be a sip of cold tea. Everyone ready?

 
1. Never have I ever… Sniffed a bum in public.

2. Never have I ever… Sucked snot from a nose.

3. Never have I ever… Pretended to be a cabbage in Costa coffee because my toddler was putting ‘magic spells’ on me (with a straw).

4. Never have I ever… Cleaned sick off an entire outfit with a baby wipe instead of changing it.

5. Never have I ever… Done the above with my own outfit.

6. Never have I ever… Read every other page of a book on the tenth reading of it that day in order to finish it faster, since they’re not listening anyway (despite demanding it must be read).

7. Never have I ever… Said, ‘You are to come here by the time I count to three. One…two…two and a half…three…Right, I’m going to count to three again. If you don’t come here by THIS count of three, you’ll be going on the naughty step. One…two…two and one sixteenth…two and two sixteenths…’

8. Never have I ever… Called a top and leggings a dress and ‘special tights’ to get a dress-obsessed toddler to wear it.

9. Never have I ever… Pretended to have lost all copies of Cinderella and Peppa Pig, and to have never heard of Topsy and Tim at all.

10. Never have I ever… Hidden the Lego.

11. Never have I ever… Been sent to the naughty step by my toddler.

12. Never have I ever… Answered queries about getting the play doh out with, ‘Que? No hablo ingles.’

13. Never have I ever… Upgraded the status of raisins from ‘dried grapes’ to ‘magical bribes’.

14. Never have I ever… Answered the phone with, ‘Hello? Yes…(No, it’s not Grandad – shh!)…Sorry, could you repeat that…(Shh!)…Sorry, what…(NO YOU CAN’T SPEAK TO GRANDAD! IT’S NOT GRANDAD – IT’S THE OPTICIAN!)’

15. Never have I ever… Sung any song from Mary Poppins in a public place. Whilst marching.

16. Never have I ever… Informed my toddler that he can’t cuddle a pigeon.

17. Never have I ever… Informed a pigeon that it can’t cuddle my toddler.

18. Never have I ever… Occupied my child by giving her a baby wipe/receipt/empty wrapper to play with.

19. Never have I ever… Wondered why I ever bothered to buy any toys, when my child loves her baby wipe/receipt/empty wrapper the most.

20. Never have I ever… Presented my children with a clearly possessed, evil-looking doll that moves during the night, and told them, ‘It’s a fun family Christmas game: please stop screaming.’

 
Right, everyone managed to drink an entire cup of cold tea? You’re welcome.

 
 

(If anyone is wondering, I have done some of these, not all. I’ll let you guess which ones.)

The Dear God of Why Won’t You *#?!!**#! Go to Sleep: Mythological Toddlers

256px-Mårten_Eskil_Winge_-_Tor's_Fight_with_the_Giants_-_Google_Art_ProjectWe all know the stories of some of the most famous figures in mythology, but have you ever wondered what they were like in their early years? Of course you haven’t. You’re a sane person with a busy life. You haven’t wondered. You didn’t ask. Nevertheless, I present a probably (*ahem*) accurate account of the toddler years of some mythological greats.

 
 
1. Narcissus

Narcissus was ultimately lured to a pool by Nemesis, where he fell in love with his own reflection. Unable to tear himself away, he stared at his beauty in the water until he died.

As a toddler, Narcissus could be found in TK Maxx, kissing his reflection in all the mirrors. Attempts to extract him were unsuccessful until bribery with biscuits was mentioned.

 
2. Odysseus

Odysseus was best known for his ten year journey to return to Ithaca following the Trojan War.

However, Odysseus was already no stranger to epic journeys. As a toddler, it would often take him two days to journey from the sofa to the front door, in order to comply with his mother’s wishes that he put his bloody shoes on so that they could leave the bloody house.

 
3. Pandora

Pandora, the first mortal woman, opened a jar out of curiosity and released all the evils of mankind upon the world.

The young Pandora trained for her eventual fate by opening a jar of sudocrem, releasing the evils of irremovable white gunk upon the carpet, sofas, baby and cat.

 
4. Orpheus

When Orpheus’ wife, Eurydices, died, he travelled to the Underworld to retrieve her. Hades and Persephone agreed to allow Eurydices to return, on condition that Orpheus walk in front of her and not look back until they both reached the upper world. Upon reaching the upper world himself, Orpheus forgot that he must not look back and looked at Eurydices, causing her to vanish back to the Underworld forever.

Orpheus had, in fact, struggled with the concept of not looking since early childhood. As a toddler, he was rubbish at hide and seek, telling Mummy where to hide and then looking before she even had a chance to reach her pre-agreed hiding place. Fortunately, Mummy never vanished into the Underworld, though she did on occasion hide in the bathroom to avoid further games of hide and seek.

 
5. Minos

As an adult, Minos made sacrifices to a Minotaur he had contained within a labyrinth.

As a toddler, early trials were conducted, consisting of attempts to contain the cat with Lego, before sending a baby sibling to investigate.

 
6. Sisyphus

Destined as an adult to spend eternity repeatedly rolling a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down again, toddler Sisyphus could be found pursuing the futile task of trying to pick up ten balls at once, repeatedly dropping a ball already in his arms in each attempt to pick up another ball.

 
7. Demeter

Searching relentlessly for her abducted daughter Persephone, Demeter plunged the world into an eternal winter, in which all living things began to die, and the threat of the extinction of all life on Earth loomed.

The incident had its roots in the famous ‘Where’s Peppa, I Want Peppa NOW Tantrum’ of Demeter’s toddlerhood. Following the misplacement of her favourite Peppa Pig figurine, toddler Demeter plunged the living room into an eternal tantrum, in which Mummy’s patience began to die, and the threat of Baby Sister receiving a smack round the head with a toy stethoscope loomed.

 
8. Thor

Thor was a hammer-wielding god, associated with thunder, lightening and the protection of mankind.

In his early years, he was a hammer-wielding toddler, associated with tantrums, banging and the destruction of the living room.

 
9. Midas

As an adult, everything Midas touched turned to gold.

Midas possessed a version of this power even as a toddler, when everything he touched turned to broken pieces (or became inexplicably sticky).

 
10. Hypnos

Hypnos was, of course, the God of Sleep.

However, this was a position he obtained later in life. In his toddler years, Hypnos was actually the Dear God of Why Won’t You *#?!!**#! Go to Sleep?!

 
 

Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

Freudian Psychology (Toddler Lessons: Part Six)

sigmund-freud-1153858_1280Welcome to Part Six of the Toddler Lessons series. Today we are studying Freudian Psychology.

 
Even if we ignore the Freudian slips (head in hands anyone whose toddler doesn’t say ‘clock’ when they mean to – that ‘l’ is awol every time), toddlers really nail the basics of Freudian psychology.

 
1. Psychoanalysis

(A therapy technique founded by Freud, involving the patient talking freely to describe exactly what is in his mind.)

 
Toddlers are fans of psychoanalysis. Mothers and fathers are forced daily into the role of psychotherapist by toddlers intent on telling the unfortunate parents absolutely every thought they have, as it happens.

 
2. Repression

(The process by which, according to Freud, unpleasant and traumatic events were often locked away in the unconscious mind.)

 
Repression is a common theme of toddler households. Parents of toddlers have typically repressed quite a lot. Every meal time. The current state of the living room. The time they received a bogey as a ‘gift’. What happened in M&S last Wednesday.

Toddlers, meanwhile, have repressed every instruction or request ever spoken by their parents. Being told ‘no’ is very traumatic, it must be relegated immediately to the unconscious mind.

 
3. Hysteria

(A condition used to describe patients displaying physical symptoms without physical cause.)

 
Toddlers are frequently found to be exhibiting symptoms of hysteria. Like, for example, throwing themselves on the floor, kicking and screaming, for no apparent reason.

 
4. Free Association

(A therapeutic technique encouraging patients to relate whatever comes into their minds, without too much concentration or any idea of where the conversation may go.)

 
Toddlers are excellent at free association. It enables them to get from ‘where’s my wand’ to ‘Grandma likes custard’ in no moves.

 
5. Your Mother

In Freudian psychology everything is, of course, famously about your mother.

For toddlers? Well: ‘Mummy…Mummy…Mummy…Mum…Mummy…Mummy…Mum…Mummy…MUUUUMMMMY!’
Moving on.

 
6. The Human Psyche

According to Freudian psychology, the human psyche is divided into the id (basic impulses, unconscious, pleasure driven), the super-ego (moral compass), and the ego (the balance between the id and the super-ego, the rational element). In a conflict between the id and the super-ego, the ego serves as the referee.

For toddlers, in a conflict between the id and the super-ego, the id beats the super-ego repeatedly with a stick, whilst the ego takes a nap. The result is the toddler’s decision to continue doing whatever he wants, regardless of consequences or social niceties. (This makes sense, of course, The id is, after all, the childlike element of the psyche. Toddlers are inexplicably childlike.)

 
7. Dreams

Freud believed dreams were about wish fulfilment.

Toddlers do not agree that dreams are about wish fulfilment. Toddlers have parents for that. Mummy will fulfill the wish of more biscuits if Mummy doesn’t want toddler shrieking to haunt her dreams.

 
8. Transference

(Unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another.)

 
Toddlers display transference quite a lot, though it usually relates to requests more than feelings, and it’s entirely conscious. Typically, a request that has been denied by Mummy in transferred to Daddy. If denied by Daddy, the request may be transferred to grandparents, baby siblings, or random strangers on the street.

 
 

(Please Note: You may have analysed me carefully throughout this post and concluded I do not know much about Freudian psychology. You would be right. I blame my mother.)

 
 
You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here

 
 

My Random Musings

A Quick Guide to the Blog

blog-headerDespite knowing it was The Toddler’s birthday (and receiving due thanks), I managed to miss my birthday. Well, not my birthday, but the blog’s birthday. It was last month. Just before The Toddler’s, in fact. As discussed, I knew it was The Toddler’s birthday, so probably should have been able to remember the blog’s birthday. But I didn’t. Too late now. Let it Go, as we DO NOT sing in this house.

Having entirely failed to write a first birthday post for the blog, I have decided to write an introductory/guide post for the blog instead. This is it, by the way. It’s an inauspicious start to such a post, admittedly. It may get better. It may not. There’s only one way to find out.

The blog started when The Toddler was about to turn two, and The Baby was eight months old, It began its life as a series of humorous posts about things The Toddler said and did. Occasionally The Baby was involved. The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week series was quickly born, and is fairly self explanatory. Recently, the series has gained a ‘Baby’s Corner’ section for the now chatty Baby.

Of course, over the year, the blog has evolved somewhat. The Baby is now also a toddler. A change of names for them is therefore long overdue, and was even planned (there was a vote and everything), but it turns out I’m quite attached to the original names. The central tenets of humour and toddlers remain. The Ten Funniest Things feature continues, as do some posts documenting The Toddler’s exploits. They frequently seem to involve her slightly concerning adventures as a doctor-hairdresser (she does think that’s a thing). Her efforts trick or treating at Halloween were a particular highlight for me.

However, you will now also find my attempts at witty observations on life with toddlers, lessons from physics to art via mathematics as brought to you by toddlers, tips on crafts and baking with toddlers for those failing at Pinterest (and motherhood), and the occasional parody (these may not be my strong point). Oh, and Christmas. So excited was the blog about Christmas, it really should have its own category (the parodies may have gone into overdrive). There is even the very occasional serious post tucked in there.

You can select categories of posts from the drop down menus along the top of the blog. These are separated into funny and serious posts, and then further subcategories (lists, The Toddler, The Baby, Randoms…). The Toddler Lessons and Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said series can both be found under funny posts. If you would like to follow me on social media, the links can also be found along the top.

 
 
So, that is a summary of what you can find on the blog. If you decide to stick around, I hope you enjoy the surreal ramblings and eccentric toddlers on offer.

 
 
If you want a selection of favourite/popular posts from a completely biased source (me), you could take a look at a few from the list below.

 
Toddler Lessons Series

My favourites are probably Toddler Art or Toddler Literature, the most viewed is Toddler Laws of Physics.

 
Favourite Funnies

Game Show Skills Acquired by Parents of Toddlers

The Toddler West

Toddler Proverbs

Slogans for World War Terrible Twos

Toddler Interior Design Tips

No one Expects The Toddler Inquisition: Toddler Torture Methods

How (Not) to Make an Easter Nest With Toddlers

The Toddler Riddle

The Toddler Highway Code

The Sheriff of Downing Street: Have We Regressed to the Middle Ages?

 
Favourite Serious Posts

Only the Weak Are Cruel

Why Breast v Formula Should Not Be a Debate

‘I Want to Know What That Is’, by Toddler (A Foreigner Parody)

people-315908_1280Sorry, I am afraid I am writing parodies again. This time of I want to Know What Love Is, by Foreigner. (You can hear the original here.)

 
 
I Want to Know What That Is

(By Toddler)

 
I gotta take a little time
A little time to colour the books here
I better scribble on every line
In case anyone wants to read the Shakespeare

Now this bookcase I must climb
Feels like Mummy wants me not to
This happens all the time
All the fun things I cannot do

In my life there have been tantrums and tears
All your warnings fall on deaf ears
Can’t stop now, I’m running away
To knock down that display

I want to know what that is
I want you to show me
I want to touch what that is
I demand that you let me

I’m gonna take a little time
A little time to vanish in the shop
I’ve got nowhere left to hide
It looks like I’ll have to throw a strop

In my life there’s been tantrums and tears
All your warnings fall on deaf ears
Can’t stop now, I’m running away
To knock down that display

I want to know what that is
I want you to show me
I want to touch what that is
I demand that you let me

I want to know what that is
I want you to show me
I want to touch, I want to touch what that is
Right now, I demand that you let me

Let’s talk about that
I want to know what that is, before I throw a fit
I want to you to show me, because I’m feeling quite grabby
I want to touch what that is, no, you just cannot hide it
I know you can show me

I want to know what that is, let’s talk about that
I demand that you show me, I want to have it now
I want to touch what that is, I want to touch it now
And I know, and I know, I know you WILL show me
Show me cos it’s mine
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THAT IS

Pass the Sauce Linky – Week 6

Having successfully managed not to actually break the linky last week, I am very pleased that the lovely Agent Spitback has allowed me to co-host her #PasstheSauce linky again this week.

I regret to inform you, however, that both The Toddler and The Baby have been fired from their positions as Mini Co-co-host 1 and Mini Co-co-host 2. They were, frankly, utterly useless last week. They did not pull their weight at all. Not a single post read or commented on between them, not even a whiff of a tweet sent. Disappointing. (On the plus side, I may have finally succeeded in finding the long needed new names for The Toddler and The Baby. Mini Co-co-hosts 1 and 2 has a ring to it, right? No?)

I am very much looking forward to reading your amazing posts. Therefore, following just a few rules and some fantastic featured posts, let’s get on with the linky.

 
 
The Gospel According to the Agent informs us:

‘#PasstheSauce Linky, like all the sauces in the world, welcomes all sorts of posts, from crafts, reviews, rants, DIY, parenting, stories, poetry, humour, just about anything and everything. Remember this is all about community and spreading the #blogginglove.

So dust off those cake crumbs, please comment on the Host post, the Guest Co-Host and the post before yours, and of course any other posts you would like to read and comment. If you do not put the badge or comment, you will not be eligible in being featured. It is not about the linky, it is all about the community. You can’t blog alone!’

 
 
The Most Viewed Post Winner

Our most viewed post Winner this week is Susan Mann – Starting Nursery and How it Is Going. A lovely post on how her daughter is settling in Nursery. Susan knows how much I love those shoes!!
Congratulations, Susan, please take your badge crown!

 

R is for Hoppit

 
#PasstheSauce Picks of the Week

The Agent’s Picks:

1. Double the Monkey Business – The Bedtime Ninja. I’m sure we’ve all had our own little bedtime ninjas, wriggling into our beds! This is a creative and funny way of telling that story!

2. Handy Herbs – Miniature Peter Rabbit Garden. Sara shows us a fun way to create a miniature garden, Peter Rabbit style, including a little blue jacket and gates. Go and have a peek as my words cannot do her pictures justice.

Silly Mummy’s Picks:

1. Mummy in a Tutu – How to Get Noticed as a Blogger…Boobs & Arse. Katie, in conjunction with Catie from Diary of an Imperfect Mother, rules out flashing boobs and arse in favour of blogging for yourself and not comparing yourself to others. Wise words of reassurance for those feeling lost in a sea of blogs.

2. Life is Knutts – The Key to a Happy Marriage in 10 Easy Steps. Gemma provides her hilarious and realistic guide to maintaining a happy relationship. Check it out. And remember not to go overboard with spousal appreciation – a thumbs up will suffice.

 
 
The Rules

Please link up ONE post, old or new.

They can be on any subject, except giveaways.

Please use the linky badge on any posts you link up.

Please comment on the post before yours, and also on both host* and co-host posts.

Please comment and share the blogging love. You will only receive back what you give out, except for Cake.

The linky will run from 11am (GMT) Tuesday to 11am Thursday. We will share any posts that have been tweeted to us using the hashtag #Passthesauce and our twitter names @AgentSpitback and @sillymummy88.

If you link up, you are agreeing to be notified of future link ups.

*Important message from the Agent, regarding her linked post:

‘I am experimenting this week. FOR MY HOST POST this week, I am linking my Facebook Post as my Host Post — feel free to give a comment (or not), OR a Like (or not), OR a share (or not), OR just laugh (or not)! No pressure here, I am just up to my usual nonsense at testing the boundaries. I just want to do something different, and share posts that I normally do not publish on my blog. If you can’t see or comment on the Facebook post for whatever reason, feel free to comment on any of my other posts on my blog.’

 

R is for Hoppit

 
 

 Loading InLinkz ...

 
 
BritMumsI am very excited to have been shortlisted in the ‘Writer’ category in the BiB Awards. If you’ve heard of my blog, like my blog, don’t want to vote for someone else in my category, aren’t sick of people asking, and have a minute to spare, I would love your vote! You can vote here.

Game Show Skills Acquired by Parents of Toddlers

Richard-OBrien-Crystal-MazeParents of toddlers: without realising it, you have been receiving crack training to compete in, and win, a variety of game and panel shows.

Here are your newly acquired game show strengths. Go forth and make your fortunes/win a fridge freezer.

 
 
1. The Generation Game

You may not be aware that tidying up toddlers’ toys provides perfect training for The Generation Game‘s conveyor belt. Every night is essentially the conveyor belt, as you desperately try to recall what toys there should be in order to hunt them down and return them to their proper place: ‘Ball…Peppa Pig figures…Four tea cups…A spatula…Four spoons…A frying pan…A kettle…CUDDLY TOY…A stethoscope…A thermometer…A reflex hammer….Six dinosaurs…A bus…CUDDLY TOY…Baby doll…Lego, so much Lego…Two wands…Dominoes…Princess Holly…Nanny Plum…Gaston the ladybird…WHERE’S GASTON THE LADYBIRD??’ Your prize for remembering all the toys on the conveyor belt of mess is not getting a George Pig figure up your arse when you sit on your sofa.

 
2. The Crystal Maze

The Crystal Maze poses no challenge to you, the parents of toddlers. Why, just this morning, you negotiated an obstacle course of Lego, walked the balance beam of the back of the sofa, and stood precariously on one foot on a shelf in order to reach a small plastic pig that was somehow on top of the DVD tower. Throughout this challenge, you were receiving massively unhelpful ‘assistance’ screamed at you by your teammates/toddlers. Essentially, this is The Crystal Maze: completing ridiculous physical challenges to obtain a pointless object, while people you hold fully responsible for your ordeal yell ‘help’ at you.

 
3. Call My Bluff

This is most of your day when dealing with toddlers: only one thing in every three you tell them is actually true, and the question is whether they can work out which it is.

 
4. Knightmare

Parents of toddlers spend much of their time receiving incomprehensible instructions from excitable children, the following of which tends to achieve very little except for a likely collision with some kind of obstacle. This is basically the format of Knightmare. Parents of toddlers: you are ready.

 
5. Mastermind

Extensive knowledge of an obscure and ridiculous topic? Yes, toddler parents, you have that covered. Not by your own free will, mind you, but covered nonetheless.
‘What is your specialist subject?’
‘Ahem……(*mumbles*)’
‘Speak up, please.’
‘Nanny Plum’s various magic spells for creating far too much jelly, custard, ice cream and other squidgy desserts.’
You will, however, be confused by ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’. The concept of finishing a sentence (or task, or cup of tea) will not be one you are able to grasp.

 
6. Give Us a Clue

Deciphering the meaning of some frantic hand gestures and a bit of foot stamping, unaccompanied by any actual words? An average Tuesday for the toddler parent, and preparation for a Give Us a Clue winning streak.

 
7. Gladiators

Nobody is better than a parent of toddlers at successfully crossing a space while avoiding missiles being pelted at their head. Furthermore, running the gauntlet is actually the accepted method for parents to successfully make it from the living room to the kitchen. Wolf and Jet would have been eating the dust of toddler parents.

 
8. Scrapheap Challenge

As a toddler parent, you complete a miniature version of this contest daily, being expected to build a working toy from the gathered scraps of toy presented by your toddler.

 
9. I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue

Essentially, this game involves performing a variety of silly tasks for the amusement of the gathered audience, while frankly not having a clue what’s going on. Toddler parents, you are so adept at this game, you can probably not have a clue in your sleep.

 
10. University Challenge

Strangely, spending time with toddlers is not unlike competing on University Challenge. You will be incessantly asked questions you don’t know the answer to, mostly put to you in a rude and mocking tone. These will be followed by additional bonus questions you also don’t know the answers to, delivered even more rudely than before. Admittedly, you have probably not been equipped to actually win University Challenge, but you would certainly be able to withstand Jeremy Paxman without crying.

Pass the Sauce Linky – Week 5

I am very excited that the amazing Agent Spitback has allowed me to co-host her lovely #PasstheSauce linky with her. Behold: my first linky post!

The Toddler is, of course, also very excited. (‘I want to try a link up! I’m thinking about doing link ups. Mummy, you can you do your link up while I’m thinking about doing my link up. I think I’ll do it next week.’ Agent Spitback? New co-host for you next week? Very enthusiastic.) Granted, The Toddler does not know what she’s excited about, but she is not one to let that get in her way, and is excited nonetheless. The Baby is also very excited, as long as The Toddler suggests it to her. Anything I suggest to The Baby tends to be met with: ‘No!’ Unless it’s biccys.

The Toddler, The Baby and I* are very much looking forward to reading all the wonderful posts we know will be linked up. Therefore, without further ado…except for a few rules (no ado, some rules)…oh, and some featured posts (no ado, a little fanfare, some rules)…let’s get on with the linky.

(*Admittedly, this may mostly be me. All attempts by The Toddler to read your posts are likely to result in an announcement that they say: ‘Dear The Toddler…’ The Baby believes all writing says ‘cake’. Agent Spitback may agree with her on that one.)

 
 
The Gospel According to the Agent informs us:

‘#PasstheSauce Linky, like all the sauces in the world, welcomes all sorts of posts, from crafts, reviews, rants, DIY, parenting, stories, poetry, humour, just about anything and everything. Remember this is all about community and spreading the #blogginglove.

So dust off those cake crumbs, please comment on the Host post, the Guest Co-Host and the post before yours, and of course any other posts you would like to read and comment. If you do not put the badge or comment, you will not be eligible in being featured. It is not about the linky, it is all about the community. You can’t blog alone!’

 
 
The Most Viewed Post Winner

Our most viewed post Winner this week is Domesticated Momster – Marriage Does Not Work on Auto-Pilot!
Congratulations, Trista, please take your badge crown!

 

R is for Hoppit

 
#PasstheSauce Picks of the Week

The Agent’s Picks :

1. Domesticated Momster – Marriage Does Not Work on Auto-Pilot – This is a first! Most Viewed & Featured Blogger For #PasstheSauce, but this post is definitely a must read. Trista writes honestly about what a marriage is really about – work, lots of work. But along with that reality, comes the realisation that there is also love. It is no surprise to me that Trista is the first to be Most Viewed and Featured Blogger – the post is well worth a read.

2. We Forgot The Sperm – Give Elsa a Girlfriend – This is a brilliant post about the latest twitter trending, #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, and Laura’s take on this. She says brilliantly – “Why can’t we just leave it there? Why can’t Elsa’s story be that she doesn’t “need” romantic love?” I loved Frozen precisely because it was about sibling love.

Rhyming With Wine’s Picks :

1. 1 week to 30 – A Look Back on My 20s – A fantastic post by “Our Rach”, which tells the story of her twenties: the ups and downs, the hairstyles (*keeps a straight face*) and the lessons learned. Happy birthday! Welcome to the cool side of 30! This is where the best cake is at!

2. This Mum’s Life – I’m Better Than A Disney Parent – I laughed all the way through this one, and was particularly impressed by the expert knowledge of Julie Andrews’ characters and story lines. I must admit that I will never quite watch either of these two particular legendary films again in quite the same way. Just fantastic! Please pop by and have a read.

 
 
The Rules

Please link up ONE post, old or new.

They can be on any subject, except giveaways.

Please use the linky badge on any posts you link up.

Please comment on the post before yours, and also on both host and co-host posts.

Please comment and share the blogging love. You will only receive back what you give out, except for Cake.

The linky will run from 11am (GMT) Tuesday to 11am Thursday. We will share any posts that have been tweeted to us using the hashtag #Passthesauce and our twitter names @AgentSpitback and @sillymummy88.

If you link up, you are agreeing to be notified of future link ups.

 

R is for Hoppit

 
 

 Loading InLinkz ...

 
 
BritMumsI am very excited to have been shortlisted in the ‘Writer’ category in the BiB Awards. If you’ve heard of my blog, like my blog, don’t want to vote for someone else in my category, aren’t sick of people asking, and have a minute to spare, I would love your vote! You can vote here.

Fairy Tales – I Demand Answers

hempsted1-1I have made an error. I have started to try to apply logic to fairy tales, and now I have a few questions. Not least, why did I not think there was anything odd about these stories as a child?

Cinderella

1. What size are Cinderella’s feet that, of all the maidens in the land, the glass slipper only fits her foot? My shoes would probably fit twenty other women just on my street. (Funny story: Prince William meant to marry Sharon, who he met down the Student Union one night. Sharon sadly passed out in the toilet and got taken home by her mate Denise before Wills could get her name. However, he did find one of her Louboutins, kicked off for whatever reason drunk people feel the need to remove their shoes, and set about tracking down the fair maiden/drunk student to whom it belonged. Unfortunately, Sharon had a very common shoe size and there was a terrible misunderstanding. I digress.)

2. In any case, why didn’t the glass slipper vanish at midnight like everything else the fairy godmother magicked up?

Snow White

3. If the wicked step mother wanted proof that Snow White had been killed, why didn’t she ask for her head, not her heart? A head is a much more identifying feature. If only she’d asked for the head, she would have instantly suspected the huntsman had, in fact, killed a deer.

The Princess and the Pea

4. Why does identifying a pea under fifty mattresses prove someone is a princess? Moreover, if that ‘skill’ is indeed evidence of being a real princess, why did no one think to stick a pea under all those women claiming to be Anastasia Nikolaevna?

Rapunzel

5. Why was the prince bringing Rapunzel a small piece of silk each night with which to weave a ladder, thus ensuring her escape was so slow Dame Gothel found out? Why didn’t he bring a large piece of rope the first night and get on with it? Admittedly, he may not have expected Rapunzel to be so foolish as to tell Dame Gothel. However, it’s a fairy tale – surely he could have banked on everyone being a complete idiot, and taken precautions? (Perhaps he was hindered by being a character in a fairy tale, and thus a complete idiot.)

Hansel and Gretel

6. Hansel and Gretel overheard their parents discussing leaving them in the woods, so Hansel devised a cunning plan to allow them…to return to their parents. The ones who had worked really hard to lose them. How did they think that was going to work out?

7. Furthermore, why, when Hansel’s first plan led to the predictable outcome of them being abandoned in the woods again, did Hansel proceed to come up with the same plan, but stupider?

8. Most importantly, their father apparently loved the children and did not want to go along with the stepmother’s plan (twice, he went along with it twice). The stepmother’s plan, you may recall, was formulated due to the fact that they could not afford to feed all of the family. No one, least of all Hansel and Gretel, ever appears to have questioned why, given the key facts that he couldn’t afford to feed all of the family, he loved his children, and his wife was a callous old bat, the father didn’t dump the wife instead of the kids. That would also have reduced the mouths to feed.

Sleeping Beauty

9. Having put everyone to sleep, the good fairy summons a forest of thorns and brambles to shield the castle and prevent anyone from disturbing the princess. What? Why would she do that? Someone was meant to disturb the princess. The whole point of the counter-curse to make her sleep instead of die was so that the prince could disturb her: why are we making this difficult? Anyone?

Rumpelstiltskin

10. Apparently, following the final night of gold spinning, the girl was married to the king the next day and a year later gave birth to a baby, but had forgotten her promise to Rumpelstiltskin. Of course. A year is a long time. Who hasn’t forgotten when their idiot mother/father (depends on the version) offered them to a sadistic king to perform the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, a task which was actually achieved by a small, magical man for the bargain price of their first born child. Could easily slip your mind. Nine months of pregnancy, no little niggle in the back of her mind: ‘Something about babies…my baby…giving someone my baby? No, it’s no use – it’s gone.’ Completely plausible.