From November 2015

Toddler the Mummy Slayer*

(Sorry to anyone who never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer: this will make no sense, please do feel free to skip the post!)

 
 
Into every generation a mummy slayer is born: one toddler in all the world, a chosen one**. She alone will wield the really-quite-unusual-for-a-two-year-old-armed-only-with-a-plastic-broomstick strength, and tantrum throwing skill to fight the mummies, siblings, broccoli, coat that needs to go on because it is November and cold, films that are not Nanny McPhee, getting into the pushchair, getting dressed, not getting dressed, and the forces of nap time; to stop the spread of quiet time and the swell of common sense. She is the mummy slayer.

*’Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the slayer.’ (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

**Actually, there are quite a lot of them. Toddler slayers are Buffy season 7 slayers: chosen ones everywhere. Mostly quite irritating. There’s that one you quite like (yours in the case of toddlers, that one who went to school with Dawn in the case of Buffy), but you secretly kind of hope Spike will slap the others (Buffy only, of course: no one wants a vampire with a terrifying British accent to slap toddlers, we’re not sadists).

Bravo: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s Ten Funniest Things time again, and Silly Mummy gives you the only witch in the village (The Toddler):

1. On praise, bravo
The Toddler has ‘lost’ a DVD (in other words, The Toddler and The Baby have been playing with a DVD and now it’s been dropped behind the sofa). Silly Mummy fishes it out. The Toddler is quite impressed: ‘You found it! Bravo! I’m very pleased with you, Mum!’

2. On dinner, not good
Silly Mummy is making dinner. The Toddler asks what it is, and Silly Mummy tells her. The Toddler responds: ‘Yuck!’
Silly Mummy informs her: ‘That’s a bit rude!’
The Toddler twists the knife in the back of Silly Mummy’s cooking: ‘No, it’s just not good.’

3. On Auntie, AKA ‘the other one’
The Toddler is meeting her new baby cousin (‘Cousin’). Silly Mummy is holding Cousin. Cousin’s mummy (‘Auntie’) is upstairs. The Toddler stands next to Silly Mummy and Cousin: ‘Where’s baby Cousin?’
This seems an odd question, but Silly Mummy answers: ‘Just here.’
The Toddler repeats: ‘Where’s baby Cousin?’
Silly Mummy is very confused now: ‘Here!’
The Toddler shakes her head: ‘No, where’s the other one? Think she’s upstairs?’ The other one? That would be The Toddler’s loving Auntie, then. It’s nice that The Toddler likes her new cousin, but she does seem to have instantly forgotten who Auntie is to make room for him.

4. On babies, not talking down to them
As for Cousin himself, well, The Toddler does not consider his being one week old any bar to their chances of making polite chitchat: ‘How is it going, Cousin? How are you doing, Cousin?’

5. On sword fighting
Silly Mummy is trying to do Peter Pan with The Toddler. Silly Mummy waves an imaginary sword and declares: ‘I’ll fight you with one hand behind my back! Walk the plank!’ The Toddler has a zero tolerance policy towards imaginary sword fighters. She grabs Silly Mummy’s imaginary sword with her bare hands and imaginary flings it: ‘I throw it away!’ Peter Pan never had this sort of trouble: Captain Hook knew the rules.

6. On investigating
The Toddler is off to play with some toys. She is trying to make this sound a more serious and complex endeavour than it is: ‘I have to go and investigate again.’

7. On being a witch, minimum dress requirements
The Toddler has piled all the sofa cushions on and around Silly Daddy. She announces: ‘I built a house.’
Silly Mummy wonders if this makes Silly Daddy the Wicked Witch of the East. Silly Mummy asks: ‘Is Daddy the wicked witch? Did a house fall on him?’
The Toddler immediately decides that Silly Daddy is trying to steal her witchy limelight: ‘I’m a witch!’ Unfortunately, it turns out that The Toddler was not expecting a challenge to her witch title at this time, and she is not properly dressed to defend her position: ‘I’m not a witch yet…I get my hat!’

8. On returning to her seat
The Toddler has been stroking Grandad’s dog and is now returning to her seat. However, this is such a dull way of putting it. The Toddler feels that her return to her chair warrants a much more enigmatic description: ‘I must go back to the beginning.’

9. On Granny, probably not in the curtains
The Toddler is searching for Granny. In the living room. While Granny is in the kitchen. ‘Where’s Granny? She must be somewhere.’ Very philosophical. The Toddler looks behind the curtains. Very reasonable – just because Granny has never lurked behind curtains up to this point, does not mean that she isn’t there now. She isn’t, however: ‘She’s not there. I think she might be cooking. Don’t think she’s in the curtains.* Can I go and find she?’

(*The Toddler is not one to definitively conclude that someone is not in the curtains based on nothing more than the fact that they are not in the curtains. She’s very open minded that way.)

 
10. On her favourite scary movie
The Toddler is rooting through the DVDs again, largely because she knows she is not meant to touch them. Mostly, she turns up with Nanny McPhee. This time she is waving Let the Right One In: ‘Can I watch this?’
Silly Mummy takes it away: ‘No, sweetheart, that one’s scary. You wouldn’t want to watch that. It’s for grown ups.’
The Toddler wants more information: ‘What is it?’
‘It’s about vampires. It’s scary.’
The Toddler nods wisely, and starts framing Silly Daddy for crimes he did not commit: ‘Oh yes, it is wampires. I did watch that last time with Daddy. Daddy did put it on. It was scary. I didn’t like it.’ Well, quite. Wampires are not to be taken lightly: they’re even worse than vampires.

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 12: Undone, Everyone
Week 19: Clock
Week 20: You’re a Good Winner
Week 24: My Goodness

Where’s The Baby’s Duck?

The Baby now has several words*, and excellent parroting (in the traditional sense of the word, not her previous attempt at ‘parroting‘, which was rather literal). She still favours ‘duck’, though. She is not giving up on ‘duck‘.

The Baby has gathered from The Toddler that it is extremely important to insistently say ‘mummy’ repeatedly before making any other statement, in order to ensure that Silly Mummy is very clear that she is being spoken to. The Baby will therefore present (hit) Silly Mummy with a book thusly: ‘Mummy, Mummy, book!’ The Baby also likes to comment on the time of day. At about 4:30pm, she will point at the window and declare: ‘Mummy, Mummy, dark!’ Of course, impressive though The Baby’s vocabulary may be, she often finds that following ‘Mummy, Mummy’ she does not know the word she intended to say. This is obviously embarrassing for The Baby, and may be behind her habit of plonking herself on the naughty step for no apparent reason.

Speaking of the naughty step, during one naughty step episode for The Toddler, The Baby took up a position standing right in front of her and just silently pointed at her. Probably she wanted to know what was going on, possibly she thought she had located The Toddler in hide and seek, amusingly it looked as though she had appointed herself to the role of Chief Naughty Step Shamer.

The Baby is a prolific nodder and head shaker. She will answer any question this way, as well as indicating her position on matters being discussed (not being discussed with her, of course, just discussions she feels like she should get involved in). Her answers to questions are usually quite accurate, actually. Though she does, on occasion, get a little bit over confident. ‘Love you, The Baby. Can you say “love you”?’ The Baby nods emphatically: ‘Bah boo!’ Nearly.

The Baby can identify body parts, but does not generally say them. She decided to make an exception for her belly button because it’s so funny: ‘Belly beeyupta! Belly beeyupta!’ Fits of giggles ensue. The Baby amuses herself.

The Baby also sings. She sits in her high chair repeating ‘boo bu boo bu, boo bu boo bu’ in a high pitched voice. Following initial concerns that she is broken, Silly Mummy realises she is singing Bibidi Babadi Bu (following The Toddler’s viewing of Cinderella that morning).

The Baby has quickly picked up key phrases: ‘Bic snack!’ (She can also say The Toddler’s name, which is important when she needs to identify the culprit in the inevitable theft of her requested biscuit snack.) The Baby is additionally able to request her ‘slunch’. Why she decided this was a significant word to learn early on remains a mystery, as slunch is rarely eaten. In fact, it is usually fed to the imaginary ducks, as The Baby launches it over the edge of the high chair, screaming, ‘Duck!’

Other important skills and words The Baby has learnt (from The Toddler) include making television demands. Impressively, she has picked up both the appropriate tone and the fact that you should always ask for exactly the same thing (Sarah and Duck in her case). She points at the television and says: ‘Muuum, duck!’ She has recently become very excited about Peppa Pig. This does not appear to be based on any particular love of the programme, but on the fact that she has just realised she can say ‘pig’. She will now watch entire episodes jabbing towards the screen and yelling (and signing), ‘Pig!’ Should she see Grandpa Dog, she will yell, ‘Dog!’ To be honest, when any of the other animals appear, she looks a bit confused and waits until she can yell ‘pig’ or ‘dog’ again. (A ‘dog’ is not to be confused with a ‘dog??’, which is a rocking horse.)

The Baby can say ‘where’. She can also sign it. However, she seems to feel that, no matter what she is looking for, the phrase is: ‘Where’s duck?’ The Toddler is hiding (hiding = standing in the middle of the room pretending she is inconspicuous). The Baby is looking for her, though this would not be obvious from her commentary: ‘Where’s duck?’ Silly Mummy asks The Baby where the apple is, The Baby nods and obediently totters off in search of the apple: ‘Where’s duck?’ Silly Daddy has left the room and The Baby is looking for him: ‘Daddy! Daddy!’
Silly Mummy says, ‘Where’s Daddy?’
The Baby yells, ‘Daddy! Where’s duck?’ In all fairness to The Baby, it is possible she is simply from the Midlands (or Sheffield), where referring to everything as ‘duck’ is acceptable.

(*Some examples of The Baby’s favourite words, as you (didn’t) ask. She says ‘Mummy’, ‘Daddy’ and ‘The Toddler’. Not actually ‘The Toddler’, of course: that would be weird. She says The Toddler’s name. She says ‘bath’ and ‘splash’ (usually together). ‘Ball’, and sometimes ‘throw’ and ‘catch’ (usually just before some kind of small missile hits Silly Mummy in the head). ‘Cat’, ‘dog’, ‘pig’, ‘duck’, ‘quack’, and ‘moo’. ‘Grapes’, ‘cheese’, ‘bic’, ‘snack’, and ‘lunch’ (well, ‘slunch’). ‘Ba boo’ (‘peekaboo’). ‘Dark’. ‘Book’. ‘Belly’.)

Only the Weak Are Cruel *

peace-dove-588081_1280 Possibly the only political/non-parenting post I will do.

This is not going to relate to any specific events, but to something that I have noticed before and noticed again over the past week. That is the insinuation made by many that to be on the ‘left’ is to be weak, cowardly, ineffective, even a threat to security.

I say the ‘left’, and certainly those who make these claims tend to make them saying they are referring to the (‘loony’) left. Nonetheless, it is not really my intention to be too rigid or bogged down in the terminology and classifications of political allegiances here. It would be true to say that the views referred to as evidence of this ‘weakness’ and ‘danger’ tend to be more associated with left wing politics. However, it is, of course, the views themselves that are really under attack, regardless of whether those who hold them would class themselves as politically left wing.

The views being vilified as evidence of weakness, cowardice and threat to security are those supporting pacifism and use of non-violent methods where possible, equality and inclusion, multiculturalism, and greater social justice. Those who classify these traits as weak and dangerous tend to be those who themselves express views leaning, to a greater or lesser extent, towards nationalism, militarism, border controls, homogenous societies, and either ‘each for himself’ or ‘protect your own’ views on welfare and social justice.

This is what I find interesting. To me, a coward would be someone whose response to fear is to want to hide, protect themselves, and abandon others who are more afraid and in more danger because they are ‘not my problem’. To me, weakness is when someone feels so threatened by anyone different to them, so unable to understand experiences unlike their own, that they want to be surrounded only by people just like them. Weakness is when hatred and fear lead a person to consider it justifiable to spread ignorance and lies just to support their own prejudices. Resorting to violence and promoting division is not to me an effective policy, or one that is in the interests of security. Scapegoating of innocent people, and reliance on the spread of misinformation through propaganda, do not make safer societies.

By contrast, what of those who will fight for greater equality and justice; stand up for the vulnerable; and show compassion, tolerance and calm, rational consideration in the face of hatred, discrimination and hysteria? Well, I would call them strong people. I would say it takes less courage to face your opponents with bigger weapons than they have and gun them down, than to be willing to try to face them with reason and understanding and attempt to talk them down. Of course, this is not always possible, and few would argue it is. However, maintaining that diplomacy should always be the first aim, that violence and force should not go beyond that which is absolutely necessary, and that justice through the law should be preferred to summary execution when practical, is not cowardice. It is having the strength not to succumb to panic, and the conviction that our societies and our civilisation are worth fighting for, which means protecting the importance of core tenets like the Rule of Law. It is not allowing anger to make you become no better than those you would oppose and condemn.

I would like to briefly mention the specific case of Jeremy Corbyn. A man who has principles he will stand up for, no matter how unpopular. A man who will respond with what he feels is right from a rational, fair and evidence based perspective, even though many want instead an hysterical, disproportionate response. A man who is personally attacked and ridiculed for the stance he takes by many in the public, the media and his political opponents, but does not lower himself to making similar personal attacks in response. Now, I don’t really consider it relevant whether you happen to agree with his policies and beliefs or not, but I think you have to be extremely misguided to think that he is a weak character. Even more so to think that he is the weak person in comparison to someone like David Cameron. Corbyn may be quiet, he may be peaceful, his views may seem unusual in this political day and age, but he is not weak, he is not cowardly, he is not a threat.

Finally, it is worth considering some of those who have been known for their fights for equality, for their commitment (where possible) to non-violence, for their promotion of religious and racial tolerance, or for their efforts to create fairer societies: Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi, Malala Yousafzai, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Can any of these people be called weak, cowardly, ineffective, a threat? How about some well known proponents of nationalism, elitism, persecution, militarism, religious and racial prejudice, or closed borders? Hitler, Nick Griffin, Donald Trump, Oswald Mosley, Enoch Powell? What would we call them? More importantly, when the evidence is considered, can we say that those who have pursued peace, equality and tolerance are the ones who have failed to make a difference, to do good for the safety and stability of the world? No? Well, then those who expound those ideologies probably aren’t a threat to security, are they? They may even be sensible, rational and – shock – right.

But, of course, those who make these allegations about the ‘lefties’ and the ‘bleeding hearts’ and the pacifists know all of this, don’t they? They know that far from being weak, these people are stronger than they are. They are simply trying to undermine those who pose a threat to their fragile world view, their pursuit of their prejudices.

It is well to remember that, for all the popularity Hitler’s views once held with many, in the cold light of day, we recognise and admire the tolerance, compassion and pacifism of people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

(*’Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.’ – Leo Buscaglia)

My Goodness: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

In this week’s edition of the Ten Funniest Things feature, we will be unimpressed by firework show offs, unconvinced by the shopping basket’s attempts to be a baseball kit, and wondering what on earth The Baby thinks is happening.

Over to The Toddler:

1. On shopping baskets, not good baseball kits
The Toddler is holding her toy shopping basket when suddenly she announces, ‘I don’t think it’s a baseball kit. Think it might be shopping basket.’ Silly Mummy thinks she may have a point, but was unaware the shopping basket had been suspected of being a baseball kit. A couple of minutes later The Toddler declares, ‘I’m not very well.’
Silly Mummy asks, ‘What’s the matter?’
The Toddler holds up her shopping basket: ‘This baseball kit’s not very good.’

2. On drawing, strange requests
The Toddler is doing some colouring. She requires Silly Mummy’s help: ‘Can you draw my trumps?’ A quick investigation reveals that there is a trumpet on The Toddler’s picture that she would like Silly Mummy to colour in. This is a relief, as Silly Mummy was not feeling equal to the task of trying to draw The Toddler’s trumps.

3. On bruises, wash off
Silly Mummy is inspecting a bruise that has been found on The Toddler’s foot. The Toddler is unconcerned: ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll give it a wash.’

4. On long days
The Toddler leads a busy life, and sometimes she feels it: ‘It’s been a long day, hasn’t it? Long day after walk.’

5. On stickers
The Toddler is doing her sticker book, an activity that seems to be a source of a surprising level of wonder today: ‘My goodness! Look at those!’

6. On being a witch
The Toddler has put her (cylindrical) Lego storage container on her head. It falls right down over her face. Her little voice emanates from within, providing very matter of fact clarification of the situation: ‘So…I’m a witch.’

7. On Rapunzel
The Toddler is watching Tangled. Rapunzel is in a pickle, and The Toddler is wondering how she will ever get out of it. She very thoughtfully says, ‘What is she to do?’

8. On being a Bond villain
The Toddler is asking Silly Mummy for something, but Silly Mummy can’t hear her from the other room. Silly Mummy comes into the living room: ‘What were you asking for?’
Apparently, The Toddler has forgotten. She replies, ‘I don’t know. Let me see.’ Whilst stroking her face in her best Bond villain impersonation.

9. On fireworks, showing off
The Sillies are attending a firework display. The Toddler remains unsure how she feels about fireworks. In an effort to convince her, Silly Daddy points at one of the squiggly ones: ‘Isn’t that pretty?’
The Toddler feels that the fireworks are frankly showing off: ‘A bit much.’

10. On running without purpose*
The Toddler is repeatedly running from one end of the room to the other, for no apparent reason. The Baby is waddling about in her wake, trying to keep up. Silly Mummy asks, ‘Why are you running, The Toddler?’
The Toddler pants, ‘I don’t know!’ Well, of course not. Why would she?
Raising some questions about what exactly she thinks is going on, The Baby yells, ‘Where’s duck?’

(*Incidentally, this is The Toddler’s Native American name.)

 

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 5: Don’t Do It
Week 18: A Spinny Armpits
Week 20: You’re a Good Winner
Week 23: I Resent to You

Children’s TV: I Have Some Questions

children-403582_1920 So, I now see rather a lot of children’s television, and I have some questions. 21 to be exact.

 
Peppa Pig
1. Why would Mummy Pig climb a blackberry bush? Who climbs blackberry bushes?

2. Will children be more upset when they discover Father Christmas is not real, or when they discover what would really have happened to Pedro Pony when he broke his leg?

3. Why are everyone’s eyes on the same side of their heads? More importantly, what is on the other side?

CBeebies
4. Why do the CBeebies presenters have a baby?

5. Where did the CBeebies presenters get a baby from?

6. Do the authorities know the CBeebies presenters have a baby?

7. Where do the CBeebies presenters keep the baby?

8. Does the CBeebies baby like it in her drawer?

Topsy and Tim
9. Why didn’t Topsy and Tim retain its original title, Village of the Damned 2: The Midwich Cuckoos Bred?

Baby Jake
10. Why don’t Baby Jake’s family have some kind of child safe window guards or latches, given that they live in a windmill (and seem to spend an inordinate amount of time encouraging a multitude of children to lean out of the windows)? What kind of a safety message is this sending out to all the other ten children families living in windmills?

11. Why do Baby Jake’s family live in a windmill?

Mr Bloom
12. How is Mr Bloom ‘all about and everywhere’? Is Mr Bloom a god?* Father Christmas?

(*Please note, this is rhetorical. I do not want to hear personal views on the whether Mr Bloom is a god, as I find it upsetting.)

 
Woolly and Tig
13. Does anyone ever wash Woolly? Apparently, the average cuddly toy, engaging in average cuddly toy activities, is filthy and full of bacteria. I can only assume Woolly is probably carrying bubonic plague by now.

Waybuloos
14. Why? That is all.

In the Night Garden
15. Why do the Tombliboos trousers matches their arses?

16. Why do the Tombliboos bother to wear trousers?

17. Why don’t the Tombliboos lend their pointless trousers too Upsy Daisy, who can’t keep her dress down?

18. Why do the Ninky Nonk and the Pinky Ponk randomly change size? I was going to say it’s like being in a dream. That may be why. Scratch this one.

19. Who thought Makka Pakka was a good idea for a name in a programme aimed at children who are just learning to talk and prone to mispronunciation?

20. I know people have asked before, but is Iggle Piggle dead?

Mr Tumble
21. Why did nobody question whether having Mr Tumble ask children to look for his ‘three special things’ was the best way to phrase it?

 
 

(Please note: there are, of course, so many questions about Sarah and Duck, but I have covered these before. In some detail. I have therefore decided not to fall down that particular rabbit hole again. Too stressful…Wandering about with a duck, I ask you…No. Must stop.)

I Resent to You: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s Ten Funniest Things time once again. This week, we will be doing formal presentations, in keeping with The Toddler’s self appointed position in high society.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Lady The Toddler:

1. On thoughts, not knowing them
The Toddler is having trouble remembering the song she wants Silly Mummy to sing: ‘Can you sing…can you sing…can you sing…I don’t know thoughts!’ It is so annoying when you don’t know any thoughts, isn’t it? You know, when all the thoughts have just momentarily slipped your mind.

2. On resenting The Baby
The Toddler currently enjoys being presented to society. She requires Silly Mummy to announce: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…’ She will accept being presented in a number of ways: ‘the Lady The Toddler’, ‘the Right Honourable Pickle’, ‘Dame The Toddler’, ‘the Evil Queen’. In response to each, The Toddler giggles and gives an elaborate bow. She does not like to be introduced as ‘the naughty crocodile’. The Toddler also enjoys making announcements to present others (The Baby, mostly) to society. She often misses the ‘p’ off ‘present’, amusingly resulting in a lot of rather formal begrudging coming from The Toddler: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I resent to you The Baby!’

3. On her apple, missing it
The Toddler did not finish all of her apple at breakfast. She asked for it to be put in the fridge. A few hours later, she asks, ‘Where’s my apple gone?’
Silly Mummy replies, ‘It’s in the fridge.’
The Toddler responds with sophistication beyond her two years: ‘Oh, sorry. I was missing it. But it’s in the fridge. Sorry.’

4. On her doctor’s kit, not to go in nappy
Adding to the ongoing questions about the quality of The Toddler’s medical training, she waves her stethoscope at Silly Mummy and announces, ‘I mustn’t put my doctor’s in my nappy. It’s going to get dirty.’ True. But possibly not the only reason not to put a doctor’s kit in your nappy.

5. On the cat, touching things
In what some are calling a fairly innocuous act, the cat walks near to some of The Toddler’s things. The Toddler is not one for a measured and proportionate response. She is not a ten times Oscar nominee in the category of ‘Best Toddler in a Complete Overreaction’ for nothing. She screams, ‘Oh no! The cat touched my things! Yuck!’

6. On being an explorer
The Toddler has her explorer kit. She puts her binoculars around her neck, picks up her magnifying glass, and announces to the room that she is an explorer. Kind of: ‘I’m ex!’

7. On buttering toast, very carefully
Silly Mummy is buttering The Toddler’s toast. A delicate and vitally important procedure, judging by The Toddler’s insistent shouts: ‘Be careful with it! Don’t be naughty with it! You have to be very, very careful with it!’

8. On Silly Mummy, not saying ‘dun dun dun’
The Toddler is yelling: ‘Dun dun dun!’
Silly Mummy is not entirely sure why we’re building suspense, but gamely joins in: ‘Dun dun dun!’
Silly Mummy is not allowed to say ‘dun dun dun’, as The Toddler makes clear: ‘No! You don’t say dun dun dun! I say dun dun dun! Roar!’

9. On The Baby, not poo
Silly Mummy, The Toddler and The Baby are waiting for Silly Daddy. The Baby is pulling faces at Silly Mummy. Silly Mummy says, ‘Hi, Poo.’
The Toddler will not stand for her sister being addressed in such a disrespectful manner. She indignantly proclaims: ‘The Baby is not poo! She’s a good girl!’
Through giggles, Silly Mummy agrees: ‘Quite right, The Toddler.’
The Toddler is gracious in her victory: ‘Thank you, Mummy.’

10. On speaking French
Silly Mummy and The Toddler are watching a ferry sailing in. Silly Mummy is explaining that the boat has come from France. The Toddler has been a fan of announcing her name of late, so Silly Mummy tells her: ‘In France, instead of “I’m The Toddler” you say “je m’appelle The Toddler”. Can you say “je m’appelle The Toddler”?’
The Toddler nods: ‘Yes, tinkerbell The Toddler.’ So close.

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 7: Calm Down
Week 13: I’m Not a Hufflepuff
Week 15: We Are Not a Stinker
Week 22: You Know The Rules

Toddler of all Trades

The Toddler has many jobs. She is a Jack of all trades. It would be mean to say a master of none, but she wears her stethoscope around her waist – you can draw your own conclusions.

Some of The Toddler’s numerous professions have been documented before. She has been a Planning Officer. (All constructions erected without The Toddler’s express prior approval are issued with an immediate cease and desist (‘you mustn’t do that, you naughty crocodile’) order, before being summarily demolished. With a plastic knife.) Then there was The Toddler’s secretive, unspecified work with computers/Toot Toot safari tracks. Doctor Toddler has, of course, made a number of appearances (once as a hairdresser). When the ‘childrens’ need her, Toddler Poppins makes an appearance as a nanny (with broomstick/umbrella and doctor’s kit/carpet bag). And we cannot forget The Toddler’s brief stint as a despot.

However, The Toddler has further feathers to her bow. Here are just a few.

Mr Maker/Tony Hart/Blue Peter
The Toddler is playing with play doh. Silly Mummy has been showing her how to make snails. The Toddler has one snail Silly Mummy made and one snail she made. It is time for a rather odd tutorial. Very authoritatively, The Toddler announces: ‘Now, what we’re going to do is squish them. Like this.’ Of course we are. The Toddler now has two play doh snails joined together in the middle. Basically, she has conjoined play doh snail twins. To Silly Mummy’s disappointment, she does not proceed to take out conjoined play doh snail twins she made earlier and attach them to a fairy liquid bottle with double sided tape. She does, however, offer her encouragement to her Silly audience (who have not actually participated in the activity, due to not having any play doh snails because The Toddler has them all). Nonetheless, The Toddler wants Silly Mummy to believe in her ability to not make conjoined play doh snail twins. She enthusiastically informs Silly Mummy: ‘You did very well.’

Suffragette
The Toddler is an enthusiastic member of the Suffragette movement, thanks to Mary Poppins. Sister Suffragette is her current favourite song. The Toddler marches purposefully; laments that men, as a group, are rather stupid; and takes heart that Mrs Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again. The Toddler likes to sing her Suffragette song as her bedtime lullaby. She likes to affirm that she is not a meek and mild subservient, and will be fighting for her rights militantly from the comfort of her bed. Silly Mummy does not like to tell The Toddler that women gained suffrage some time ago. Still, perhaps The Toddler is fighting for votes for toddlers, who are, after all, a woefully neglected political resource.

Engineer
The Toddler has a musical book of Row Your Boat. The music button is starting to play up and often does not work. It is broken again. The Toddler grabs her broomstick: ‘I’m using broomstick to fix book!’ Just as Silly Mummy starts to explain that this will not work, The Toddler whacks the button with the handle of her broomstick and the book obediently starts playing its song. Silly Mummy stands corrected. Isambard Toddler Brunel knows exactly what she is doing.

Warlord
The Toddler is watching Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang. When the boys go to the War Office, The Toddler asks, ‘Where are they?’ Upon Silly Mummy explaining about the War Office, The Toddler nods wisely: ‘I want to do a war. I can do a war.’

Doctor (again)
After briefly changing career to be a hairdresser, Doctor Toddler has decided to give medicine another go. She seems to have had extra training, and has honed her diagnostic skills. She approaches Silly Mummy with her stethoscope: ‘Take a deep breath.’ The Toddler listens to Silly Mummy’s chest. Sometimes Toddler Doctors have to deliver upsetting news. The Toddler does not like to sugar coat it: ‘Hmm, think it’s a bit boring.’ Fortunately, there is a cure. The Toddler brings her syringe: ‘Make it better.’ Having removed the boring infection with a syringe, The Toddler decides she had better check it has not spread: ‘Can I check your ear?’ Inevitably, Doctor Toddler is now waving a reflex hammer. She takes hold of Silly Mummy’s leg, and asks, ‘Where’s your leg? I can’t see it!’ Silly Mummy decides she is going to have to ask to see The Toddler’s medical qualifications. Having located the elusive leg, The Toddler notices Silly Mummy has a bruise: ‘Oh no, bit bang.’ The Toddler whacks the bruise with the hammer: ‘Is that ok? Now, where’s temperature?’ Silly Mummy is really going to have to insist on seeing those qualifications. It should be noted that Doctor Toddler, in compliance with best practice, wears her stethoscope around her waist at all times.

Chef
Chef Toddler is playing with the remnants of her dinner. Like all good chefs, she knows that with a bit of attitude you can (over)charge diners for anything. She turns to Silly Daddy, points at her leftovers, and confidently declares, ‘That’s £5 for you.’ Of course, Silly Daddy is paying for Chef Toddler’s expertise and finesse in preparing her leftover mush: ‘I’ll just mix it round. Is that all right for you?’ The Toddler feels she has nailed being a gourmet chef. She has got the requisite temper tantrums down to a fine art, too.

You Know The Rules: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

Time once more for the Ten Funniest Things feature, this week guest starring Michael the Dinosaur.

Michael would like the present The Toddler:

1. On dinosaurs, ridiculously named
The Toddler has a placemat with dinosaurs on it. Usually she puts her bowl on the placemat, eats her meals, and no more is said. However, The Toddler feels it is about time she had a bit more interaction with her placemat. She picks it up and addresses one of the dinosaurs: ‘Want a drink, Michael?’ (Michael?! Michael the Dinosaur?!) The Toddler proceeds to answer on behalf of Michael (Michael!) the Dinosaur: ‘Yes, thank you.’ Michael would like some water. He would also like everyone to stop calling him Michael. It’s ruining his street cred.*

(*Remember the velociraptor terrorising the people in the kitchen in Jurassic Park? Imagine if he’d been called Michael. Michael the Velociraptor would have been laughed out of that kitchen. Phil, the infamous Dinosaur Supervisor, might have got to keep his job.)

 
2. On drawings of faces, showing appropriate concern for them
The Toddler has been practising drawing. And empathising. She likes to draw (with help, of course) faces with different expressions. And then empathise with them, apparently. Silly Mummy says, ‘Shall we draw a sad face?’ Silly Mummy helps The Toddler to draw a sad face. The Toddler studies it with a concerned expression: ‘Oh no, that poor boy!’

3. On birthdays, not sharing
The Toddler has been informed that it is Granny’s birthday. This makes her a little irate. She has just realised that it is, in fact, her birthday too (it is not). She is rather indignant at the cheek of Granny, who apparently expects to share The Toddler’s not birthday: ‘No, it’s my birthday! Granny go away!* That’s a bad thing to do!’ There you have it: the brass neck of some people, swanning around, having birthdays like it’s a perfectly acceptable way to behave!

(*It should be noted that Granny is not even present. The Toddler has simply been told in passing that, somewhere out there, Granny is having her birthday. The Toddler is not one to overreact.)

 
4. On salmon, he’s in the car
The Toddler is eating salmon. Silly Mummy says, ‘Salmon’s nice, isn’t it?’
The Toddler quite agrees: ‘Yes, salmon’s in the car, isn’t he?’ Um…The Toddler may have confused the fish salmon with the name Simon. As you do.

5. On herself, needing discipline
The Toddler may be naughty, but at least she is self aware. She announces: ‘Yes, I do need Nanny McPhee.’

6. On raisins, imaginary chocolate
The Toddler has finally taken imaginary play to its logical conclusion – believing her food is covered in chocolate when it is not. Silly Mummy has given The Toddler a tub with some normal raisins in it. For some reason (it’s called optimism), The Toddler is convinced the raisins are chocolate raisins. She peers into the tub: ‘It’s got choccy raisins in it. I like choccy raisins.’ Silly Mummy expects an upset when The Toddler realises there are no chocolate raisins. Instead, The Toddler points at the raisins. She has apparently managed to locate the non-existent chocolate raisins: ‘There’s choccy raisins!’ She happily eats them.

7. On songs, not learning new ones
Grandma is making the mistake of trying to teach The Toddler a new song. The Toddler does not believe in new songs. Songs are only songs if The Toddler knows them. It’s a mystery how The Toddler learnt any songs at all. She is not learning this one. She is shouting over Grandma’s stubborn singing: ‘I can’t sing that one! I don’t know that one! No, Grandma, that’s not fair!’

8. On nannying
The Toddler is holding her broomstick up over her head and carrying her doctor’s kit. She marches through the living room, declaring, ‘I’m going to see the childrens.’ Yes, she’s impersonating Mary Poppins, with a broomstick as an umbrella and a doctor’s kit in place of the carpet bag. Now, who would like to leave their ‘childrens’ in the competent and responsible hands of Toddler Poppins?

9. On knowing the rules
The Toddler is trying to hit the cat with a broomstick, and has been told off. She understands the situation and the need for swift disciplinary measures. Yes indeed: Silly Mummy is being very badly behaved and must be stopped. The Toddler acts promptly, informing Silly Mummy: ‘You know the rules!* Go on naughty step! That’s naughty from you!’

(*Apparently, there is a rule that Silly Mummy is not to tell The Toddler to stop trying to hit the cat with a broomstick. Silly Daddy must have approved that rule.)

 
10. On pandas, wearing them
The Toddler has a couple of items of clothing with pandas on them, which she loves (and is keen to ensure no one tries to steal). However, it appears that she may have become confused as to what pandas actually are. It seems she may believe they themselves are some kind of clothing. Silly Mummy is looking at pictures of the new baby pandas born in China. The Toddler wanders over and peers at the pictures: ‘Oh pandas! Can I put them on?’ No wonder pandas are endangered. Their food has little nutrition, they don’t mate, toddlers are wearing them…

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 9: That’s Not Fair
Week 18: A Spinny Armpits
Week 19: Clock
Week 21: Woof

Trick or Treat (or Dog)

pumpkin-988231_1920 The Toddler went trick or treating* this Halloween with her friend, Bat Girl (not her real name). She had a great time. Until people started setting off fireworks, anyway. The Toddler is apparently fine with witches, zombies and skeletons, but she holds no truck with the sky going bang.

The Toddler was on top form interacting with the public. She managed the odd ‘trick or treat’, nailed ‘Happy Halloween’, and was mostly on top of ‘thank you’. She also managed to get a few other sparkling conversation pieces in there.

1. That’s a dog
The Toddler was off to a roaring start at the first house. A dog could be heard (it should be noted that The Toddler did not at any time see a dog). The door opened. The Toddler did not say ‘trick or treat’. She did not even go with the customary and acceptable greeting that is ‘hello’. She announced, ‘That’s a dog!’ Having stated her case, she waited expectantly for someone to give her a treat.

2. You’re a beauty
A few houses later, and a very complimentary The Toddler informed the bemused lady handing out sweets: ‘You’re a beauty!’

3. Can I go in this one?
The Toddler appreciates an impressive effort. One house had set up a full gothic dining table with skeleton guests in their front window, and moving ghosts in their entrance way. The Toddler pressed her nose to the window: ‘Can I go in this one?’ Whilst she waited excitedly for the door to open, The Toddler repeated her request to go in, explaining: ‘This is a perfect one!’ Subsequently, the confused residents attempted to give her sweets, while she made valiant attempts to move into their house.

4. I’ve got cake
One house gave the children cupcakes. This was a popular move. At the next house, the nice lady offered The Toddler and her friend sweets. She may have been expecting a ‘trick or treat’, a ‘Happy Halloween’, maybe a ‘thank you’. No. She got The Toddler and Bat Girl waving cupcakes at her, while The Toddler shouted, ‘I’ve got cake!’

5. I don’t like it
The Toddler’s Halloween fun took a turn when people in the neighbourhood started setting off fireworks. The Toddler liked fireworks two days previously, when she demanded to stand at the front door watching the ones being set off across the road. The Toddler no longer likes fireworks. She made this fact known. She informed Silly Mummy: ‘I don’t like it. Can I go home? I didn’t like fireworks.’ Then she apprised Bat Girl of the situation: ‘I don’t like it. Yuck. I don’t like it, Bat Girl.’ Thereafter, The Toddler started announcing it to whoever answered the doors she knocked on. Confused residents opened their doors to find a toddler witch informing them that she didn’t like it, with no further elaboration as to what exactly she didn’t like. Upon Silly Mummy explaining that The Toddler was talking about the fireworks, one kind boy of about 10 or 11 agreed that they were annoying and asked her if she would like him to make them stop.

6. Awkward
Finally, special mention should go to The Toddler and Bat Girl’s services to awkward situations. At the start of their trick or treat careers, The Toddler and Bat Girl liked to knock on a door, give their greetings (‘that’s a dog’), take their treat, say thank you…and then remain in the doorway, just staring. Until things became awkward, and they were dragged away, still staring.

 

(*Obviously. Because trick or treating was not going to be done due to concerns that (a) it harasses people, and (b) the treats are probably mostly not suitable for a toddler anyway. But The Toddler wanted to do what other children were doing, and her friend was going, so she went and…it was fun. Now that people seem to follow the practice of decorating their houses and putting up trick or treat signs if they want to participate, it seems much easier to avoid concerns about annoying or intimidating people. It feels more like a community activity just for people who want to take part these days. As for the treats? Well, The Toddler enjoyed the experience and her costume. The Silly Parents know people who will enjoy the unsuitable sweets (unconfirmed reports suggest these ‘people’ may be the Silly Parents).)