From December 2015

The Toddler’s New Year Resolutions

In honour of New Year’s Eve, Silly Mummy has explained resolutions to a very inattentive The Toddler. None the wiser about resolutions, The Toddler is nevertheless willing to discuss what she would like to do next year.

 
Apparently, these are The Toddler’s plans for next year.

 
‘I’d like to play with the sandcastles.’

Anything else, The Toddler?

‘Yes, I like to play sandcastles.’

Right, anything that is not sandcastles?

‘I’d like to do so much..and more sandcastles.’

Okay, anything entirely unconnected to sandcastles?

‘No more stinkers.’

Ambitious, but a year without stinkers is certainly a worthy resolution.

 
 
Now then, The Toddler, what would The Baby like to do next year?

‘She’d like to do castles!’

Would she? There’s a surprise. And What else?

The Toddler considers carefully: ‘What would I like to do…’

No, The Toddler, what would The Baby like to do?

‘No, me. What would I like to do.’

 
 
There you have it: next year, The Baby will mostly be doing whatever The Toddler wants to do. And that will mostly involve sandcastles. (Of course, next year, The Baby will be turning two, so The Toddler may be getting some surprises about how amenable The Baby is going to be.)

‘Twas the (Real) Night Before Christmas

santa-31665_1280 Now, I should say that I love Christmas, and I like a bit of magic. But, just to be contrary, I have decided to de-magic* the classic poem The Night Before Christmas.

 
 
The (Real) Night Before Christmas

 
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
The children were shrieking, like they’d seen a mouse.
The stockings weren’t hung by the beds anymore;
The children thought they looked better thrown on the floor.

The children should have been nestled all snug in their beds.
Instead they were manic, as every parent dreads.
And Daddy and I, in utter despair,
Were trying to calm them (we hadn’t a prayer).

Out on the road there arose such a clatter,
The drunks passing by with their yells and loud chatter.
If they’d woken the children, finally sleeping,
They’d have received quite a browbeating.

The drunks finally passed on, into the night;
I noticed there wasn’t a snowfall in sight.
Though ‘magic’ oats by the children had been sprinkled liberally about,
There were no reindeer in view (but there was a fox with a glittery snout).

Now I had to enter the bedroom, stealthy and quick;
Filling up stockings, playing St Nick.
I crept into the room and the children sat up, asking, ‘Who’s there?’
As I ran from the room, I began to quietly swear,

‘Now bugger, now feck, now piss it and shit!
Oh bollocks, oh arses, oh crap and dammit!
To the bathroom to hide: oh what a close call!
Dash away, dash away, dash away all!’

So I was stuck in the bathroom, until all was clear;
While the children were up and now drawing near.
Rather suspicious, they called through the door;
While I pretended to be bathing, splashing and all.

How clever it would be if this were all a diversion,
Drawing the children away with this little excursion.
If the real St Nicholas had merrily climbed down the chimney,
And delivered his presents while the children were yelling at me.

Alas, it was not to be:
The presents had to be delivered by me.
So, until the children slept, there must I remain.
How long could this bathing pretense I maintain?

Perhaps Daddy could rescue me from this quagmire,
Leading the children to bed with stories so dire.
Of how they must go to sleep for St Nick to arrive;
For he could not be seen for the magic to thrive.

The children were back in their room, but not yet asleep.
I was free from the bathroom, downstairs I could creep;
Though it may yet be some time until I could return
To deliver the presents, and to my own bed adjourn.

(Perhaps I was not cut out to be St Nick: it’s true my beard is not white.
Indeed, with appropriate tweezing, it’s not even in sight.
And, whilst certainly not washboard flat, my belly
Has yet to shake when I laugh like a bowlful of jelly.)

The children remained wide awake in bed,
While an idea began to enter my head.
Telling the children St Nick could not visit while they observed,
I would take the stockings outside for the big man to fill undisturbed.

As the children listened for the sound of St Nick in the night sky so still,
Downstairs in the living room stockings and sacks I could fill.
Then I rang a bell for the children, sleigh bells just out of sight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

 

(*My appalling rhymes alone are capable of stripping most of the magic, it has to be said.)

Excuse Me, Sir: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s time (well, not time – it’s late, because last week’s was late and it has spiraled) for the Ten Funniest Things feature.

So, late for a very important date, here is The Toddler:

1. On how to wake sleeping princesses
It appears The Toddler has some funny ideas about how exactly the princes traditionally wake sleeping princesses in fairytales. She is watching Snow White. The prince is about to save Snow White: ‘She’s going to wake up. Now he’s here. He’s going to take his outfit off.’ (Silly Mummy, who does largely try to avoid actually watching Disney films, has a quick look to make sure The Toddler is not watching some kind of adult version. She is not. The prince is not taking his outfit off.)

2. On The Baby, Grandfathering
The Toddler and The Baby are playing. Silly Mummy is not sure what they are playing, but The Toddler appears to have cast The Baby in a somewhat unexpected role. She is following The Baby around the room calling: ‘Come here, Grandfather. Be careful, Grandfather. Grandfather!’ Silly Mummy is fairly sure The Baby has no idea how or why she came to be ‘Grandfather’, but she seems to be willing to accept being addressed as such. As long, that is, as The Toddler accepts that ‘Grandfather’ will be going about her business as previously scheduled, because The Baby is unsure what being a grandfather actually entails.

3. On veins, needy
The Toddler has an attention seeking circulatory system. It’s the only explanation for following Silly Mummy around demanding, ‘Mummy, look at my veins! Look at my veins!’

4. On Silly Mummy, not currently required
The Toddler has decided that Silly Mummy is currently dismissed. The Toddler will inform Silly Mummy when her presence is required again. She marches over: ‘You go back to bed. I’ll come back to you.’

5. On looking for her umbrella
The Toddler has pulled out one of the boxes from the storage unit, and now has her head in the hole: ‘I’m just looking for something. Just looking for my umbrella.’ She doesn’t have an umbrella. ‘Nope not here. It’s not even here.’ It would have been a little surprising if it was.

6. On being lost
The Toddler is lost. In the living room. In her house. ‘I don’t know where I are. I need to go home. I’ll be back in a minute. I do it on tiptoes.’ Those are excellent navigational tips, ladies and gentlemen. If ever you get lost at home, simply go home. On tiptoes.

7. On tables, missing
Silly Mummy is making something crafty. The Toddler decides she will make something too: ‘I get scissors!’ She runs off and returns with imaginary scissors. ‘Paper!’ She runs out again, appearing seconds later with her imaginary paper. She’s off again: ‘And glue!’ She returns, but is beginning to realise just how big an undertaking this imaginary crafting is: ‘Oh dear, I haven’t got a table either!’ Always annoying when you collect your imaginary supplies together only to realise you have no imaginary table to put them on. Amusingly, she was standing right next to a real table.

8. On hitting rhinos
The Toddler is energetically beating a stuffed rhino with her broomstick. Silly Mummy is confused. Is there a reasonable explanation?
‘Um, The Toddler…’
The Toddler has an explanation. It’s reasonableness remains questionable. ‘I’m just hitting rhino cos he been naughty.’
The Toddler continues with her punishment of the rhino: ‘Get away! Get away!’
Silly Mummy believes the rhino would love to get away. If the toddler would just stop hitting him with a broomstick for a second. Rhinos are endangered, you know, The Toddler. Oh, and also: we don’t hit because of alleged naughtiness. This should be added, as The Baby is starting to look nervous.

9. On Disney films, all blending into one
The Toddler wants to watch either Sleeping Beauty or Beauty and the Beast, but it is not very clear which one: ‘Can we watch Sleeping in the Beast? I want to watch Sleeping in the Beast!’ She subsequently decides this is not quite right and amends it slightly: ‘I like to watch Sleepy and the Beast!’ Ah, yes, a touching story of love against the odds between a tired dwarf and a cursed prince.

10. On Mummy Sir
The Toddler is on the other side of a child safety gate to Silly Mummy. She would like to be on the same side as Silly Mummy. Apparently, she is also Oliver Twist: ‘Excuse me, Sir, can I get in?’ Silly Mummy has no idea where this came from, but could get used to it. Yes, Sir, Mummy Sir.

 

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 23: I Resent to You
Week 27: In My Opinion

How (Not) to Make Christmas (or Other Occasion) Cards With a Toddler and a Baby*

child-1016955_1280This simple tutorial (*this is not a tutorial*) contains all the instructions you need to create beautiful (*ahem*) handmade Christmas (or any other occasion) cards (*there will be no cards*) with very young children. Unlike most guides, I have included detailed instructions showing exactly what the children should be doing at each stage. This will ensure that there is no confusion as to when the crayons should be chewed, or the pictures torn up, thus allowing you to achieve a perfect result every time.

 
 
What you need:

White cardboard for pictures
Additional white cardboard for mistakes
Coloured cardboard for cards
Crayons in appropriate colours for pictures
Pencil
Pens for writing messages
Scissors
Double sided tape (of course)
Shoes
Coats
Pushchair

 
Note: This project does not require any sanity, so please do not worry if you don’t have any in the house.

 
 
What to do:

1. Draw some Christmas (or other occasion) pictures (such as, Christmas trees, Father Christmas, snowmen, or reindeer) on to pieces of white card. The children will colour these, and you will then cut them out and attach them to your cards to make Christmas scenes, decorated by the children, for your loved ones to treasure.

2. Give the children the pictures with appropriately coloured crayons. At this point, The Toddler should have a tantrum because she wants the crayons she has not been given. Specifically, she wants to colour Father Christmas purple.

3. The Toddler will quickly stop her tantrum upon realising that she can still colour everything inappropriate colours using the crayon choices she has been given. She will set about colouring her tree with the yellow crayon that was intended for the star on top. She doesn’t need it for the star. The star is brown. Because the tree trunk is pink.

4. The Baby should at this point start eating a crayon.

5. By now, The Toddler will have produced a beautiful piece of colouring. On the wrong side of the card. On the side that has the actual picture, there will be approximately two lines of colour.

6. The Baby should be colouring the table cloth red, having thrown her picture on the floor.

7. Resort to holding The Baby’s hand and ‘helping’ her crayon.

8. Take the above step to its logical conclusion by putting The Baby down with some toys away from the art, before returning to ‘helping’ her crayon on your own.

9. Reach a new low as you scribble some blue on to Father Christmas’ jacket and nose, having realised the one year old who has (not) coloured this picture probably wouldn’t neatly colour Father Christmas’ outfit in red.

10. The Toddler will have spent ten minutes carefully colouring her whole picture on white card using a white crayon. She will notice this has not been overly effective, and declare that the crayon is not working.

11. Attempt to hold The Toddler’s hand and ‘help’ her crayon. The Toddler should at this juncture have a meltdown, throw the crayons, and tear up the picture.

12. Draw a new picture on a fresh piece of card.

13. Agree that The Toddler can colour only the wrong side. In white crayon.

14. Relent and allow The Baby to resume participation in the colouring.

15. The Baby should be very excited by her return, and demonstrate this by scrunching up her picture.

16. Return The Baby to the toys.

17. You should by now have one partially coloured yellow and pink Christmas tree; one reindeer coloured entirely in white; one snowman not coloured at all, but with a Jackson Pollock-esque masterpiece on the reverse; and one quite well coloured Father Christmas, scrunched into a little ball. It has gone very well.

18. Fold your pieces of coloured card in half to make your cards.

19. You will now need to cut out your pictures to start making the Christmas scenes.

20. The Toddler should refuse to relinquish the pictures. She has not finished. She is just colouring all of the pictures, top to bottom, in black crayon.

21. At this point, you will all need to put on shoes and coats. Put the children into their pushchair, and walk to your nearest card shop. Buy Christmas cards.

 

(*Well, a two and a half year old toddler, and a one and a third year old toddler, to be more accurate)

A Wayne in a Manger and Other Christmas Weirdness

christmas-crib-figures-1060026_1280Christmas, as we all know, is the time of year when we suspend disbelief, believing in the impossible and the incredulous, in order to keep the magic alive.

In this spirit, I present my top ten festive peculiarities and anomalies.

1. The Snowman
In The Snowman, they fly over penguins on their way to the North Pole. That’s certainly taking the scenic route, isn’t it?

2. Father Christmas’ entrance
Why didn’t he always use a magic key? When most houses stopped having chimneys and Father Christmas started to use the magic key to come in the door, I can only assume he fired the person (Bob) who had suggested chimneys. ‘A magic key, Bob! We could have been using a magic key and a doorway all this time, Bob! Do you know how high my dry cleaning bills are, Bob? Dammit, Bob!’

3. It’s a Wonderful Life
It’s a Wonderful Life is the quintessential Christmas film. The perennial favourite. The Christmas classic. We all know this, right? We’ve never actually, well, seen it though, have we? No one has seen this film. Have you seen this film? Do you know anyone who has seen this film? No. No one has seen it. The film might not even exist. Does anyone conclusively know it exists? Maybe they just did a title, a poster and a vague description of ‘something about an angel’, and never actually made the film.

4. Tinsel
Tinsel is apparently dangerous to cats and young children. They should not play with it. SO WHY IS IT SHINY?

5. Nazis
The Sound of Music and The Great Escape are shown every Christmas without fail. When, and how, did it get decided that it just wouldn’t be Christmas without the Nazis, and various highly improbable escapes from them? Nothing says Christmas spirit like the SS, right?

6. We Three Kings
What are the real lyrics to We Three Kings? Does anyone know them? Is it just a myth that there were real lyrics? Was it always about a scooter?

7. Home Alone
Some parents admit that they have left their eight year old home alone in Chicago while they are in Paris. Not only do Social Services have no issues at all with this situation, but the police have to be persuaded to go and check on the small child fending for himself. They eventually rock up, knock on the door, and get no answer. So they leave. They don’t break down the door or search for the child, oh no. They report that there was no answer and everything is fine. Did they believe they were supposed to be checking that the eight year old home alone wasn’t going around doing anything dangerous like opening doors?

8. The Elf on the Shelf
That elf. The original one. It is clear that the only rational reaction to seeing that thing is to cut off its head, burn it and quarantine the area, just to be safe. But, no, people are taking it into their houses, and encouraging their kids to interact with it. How is it doing this? Clearly it has evil powers. Mind control? More importantly, what does it want with us? If you see one of these, DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT IT. (Please note: as a precautionary measure, it is advised that you do not look directly at Instagram for the remainder of the festive period.)

9. A Wayne in a Manger
I’m not religious, so I’ve probably got confused, but who is this Wayne in a manger we sing about, and what has he got to do with the Nativity?

10. Baby gifts
Did the Three Wise Men not read any new baby gift guides on Mumsnet before they set out? You know the ones: ‘don’t get lots of clothes in newborn size; booties do not stay on feet; newborn babies do not enjoy gold, frankincense or myrrh…’

 
 
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a slightly bewildered night.

In My Opinion: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

A bit late this week (due to Silly Mummy – The Toddler didn’t shockingly decide she was having a quiet week), it is time for the Ten Funniest Things feature. We have accidental bottom inspections, a bit of Christmas, and The Toddler is offering her opinion.

Without further ado, The Toddler:

1. On the contents of her nose
Silly Mummy goes to get The Toddler out of the car. The Toddler has something in her hand. She holds it out: ‘Can you take this?’ Silly Mummy trustingly puts out her own hand, and The Toddler places something sticky in it: ‘I think it’s from my nose.’

2. On Father Christmas’ biscuits, eating them
Silly Mummy is explaining to The Toddler that, on Christmas Eve, she should put out milk and biscuits for Father Christmas. Part of this gets The Toddler’s attention: ‘Ooh biccies! I’d like to eat them.’
Silly Mummy perseveres: ‘You can’t eat them – they’re for Father Christmas.’
The Toddler also perseveres: ‘I think I’ll just have a little bit, then.’
Silly Mummy stands firm: ‘They’re not for you. They’re for Father Christmas.’
The Toddler compromises: ‘Okay, I think I’ll just have Mummy’s choccies.’
Hmm…you’d like to eat Father Christmas’ biscuits, you say?

3. On Dave
We have seen the return of randomly calling people ‘Dave‘ this week, during a visit by a BT engineer. Said engineer goes upstairs to check some cable. The Toddler is concerned about this sudden departure: ‘Where’s Dave gone?’ As far as Silly Mummy is aware, he isn’t called Dave. At least, he wasn’t when he entered the house.

4. On Christmas, not being ready
The Toddler comes downstairs in the morning to discover Silly Mummy has put up the Christmas decorations: ‘What have you make? It’s christmas! What have you make? You made Christmas! I’m not ready!’ She does not clarify in what way she feels unready. Perhaps she hoped to meet the decorations dressed as a reindeer.

5. On being impressed
The Toddler has come over all Masterchef this week. Silly Mummy hands her a snack: ‘I like this one. I’m very impressed.’

6. On her church building work
The Toddler is travelling in the car. She points out of the window and announces: ‘Look at that big mountain!’
Silly Mummy looks: ‘That’s a church. It’s not a mountain. It’s a big building. It’s very tall, isn’t it?’
Always one to take credit where it isn’t due, The Toddler agrees: ‘Yes, I think I made it taller.’

7. On people being wrong about her
Silly Mummy is mildly chastising The Toddler for a bit of naughty behaviour. The Toddler is not standing for it: ‘You’re wrong about me!’

8. On being shy
The Toddler is meeting Father Christmas soon. The Toddler likes to meet people. The Baby does not. The Toddler considers that this might be an issue: ‘I think The Baby might be a bit shy.’
Silly Mummy agrees: ‘I think she might. Can you say hello to Father Christmas for her? Can you tell him her name?’
The Toddler has sudden concerns about this course of action: ‘I think I might be a bit shy.’
Silly Mummy snorts: ‘I don’t think you’re a bit shy!’
The Toddler disagrees: ‘I think I are a bit shy.’

9. On buttons, not to be confused with bottoms
The Toddler is in a dark corridor with ultraviolet lights at the aquarium. She is excited by everyone’s white items of clothing glowing. Grandma attempts to show her how the buttons on the front of Auntie’s coat are glowing: ‘Look at Auntie’s buttons, The Toddler.’
The Toddler inexplicably disappears around the back of Auntie, where she closely inspects Auntie’s backside: ‘Oh yes, there’s her bottom. It is her bottom.’ You may have misheard, The Toddler.

10. On muffins, in her opinion
Silly Mummy is eating a muffin. The Toddler asks to try a piece. She looks at the muffin and says, ‘I think it’s a cake.’ Silly Mummy agrees that muffins are like cakes. The Toddler eats a bit and revises her original comment: ‘Well, in my opinion, it’s not a cake.’ This may well be the greatest thing she has ever said (in my opinion).

 

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 13: I’m Not a Hufflepuff
Week 15: We Are Not a Stinker
Week 23: I Resent to You
Week 26: Be Quiet

Look What I Made: a Handmade Christmas With Nipper and Tyke

Some of you may know Alice at Nipper and Tyke: funny blogger, owner of a sleep helmet wearing genius, and talented artist and maker of tapestry (tapestress is almost certainly not the word). Alice also offers tapestry classes and makes do it yourself tapestry kits, so that we can all pretend to be talented tapestresses (definitely not the word).

For Christmas, Alice has made kits to make your own gorgeous tapestry Christmas tree decorations, and she has kindly given me a kit to try. The decorations come in a variety of designs and colour schemes, and each kit makes three decorations, in different sizes and shapes. They are all so pretty, but I chose the red and white design as I love the heart and snowflake motifs.

The kit comes in a little bag and contains everything you need. You get the tapestry needle, six plastic canvases (two for each decoration), all the threads, the hanging wire, instructions, and the pattern for your chosen design.

The designs are stitched in a half cross stitch. You sew each design twice, to make the two sides of the decoration, and then stitch the sides together and attach the wire for hanging. The instructions are very clear, and the patterns are really easy to follow (as in, I was able to follow them). There are simple methods for neatly securing loose ends at the start and finish. This may seem an odd thing to mention, but I know it will appeal to any other people like me who may be out there. That would be people who enjoy sewing, are actually reasonably good at embroidery, but inexplicably have never mastered using any kind of sensible, tidy method for dealing with the loose threads at the start and end. You would not need to have any pre-existing abilities or knowledge when it comes to sewing, embroidery or tapestry in order to follow these instructions. I would say your level of experience would really only affect the speed with which you can complete the decorations.

It’s really very relaxing to do the sewing, and it is satisfying seeing the pattern coming together. As you progress, and can see the designs appearing, it becomes pretty intuitive to see where the next stitch goes without needing to closely count out the pattern (though, of course, you can still do so, if living on the edge is not your thing). The best part is that, as Alice has done all the hard work of designing the patterns, providing instructions, and collecting up the necessary materials, it really doesn’t take all that long to make a lovely handmade decoration. You then get to look awfully clever and creative, whilst secretly knowing that it wasn’t actually that hard (because really Alice is the awfully clever and creative one).

I have taken pictures showing the materials, the stages and a completed decoration. Mostly because I have always wanted to be a little bit Blue Peter, and push my just started piece out of the way to plonk down my ‘one I made earlier’. In fact, if I have one criticism here, it would have to be the disappointing lack of double sided tape and washing up liquid bottles involved in the making of these decorations. Of course, for all those who have less romanticised recollections, and remember the reality of Blue Peter creations, this could only be seen as a positive for Alice’s creations.

N&T 1N&T 2
N&T 3N&T 4

You can purchase these kits on Nipper and Tyke’s Etsy store. I would definitely recommend them to add a bit of homemade charm to your decorations, or as lovely handmade Christmas gifts for friends and family, not to mention an enjoyable craft activity.

I give The Toddler and The Baby a Christmas decoration every year, and this year will be giving them each one of the Nipper and Tyke decorations I have made myself, so that will be extra special. I may neglect to mention that the credit is really all Alice’s (sorry, Alice): ‘Look what Mummy made you! Isn’t Mummy clever?’

N&T 5

 
 
(You can see more examples of Alice’s work on Nipper and Tyke’s Facebook page, as well as in her Etsy store.)

 
 

Disclosure: I was sent these items by Nipper and Tyke to review. All opinions are my own.

Fairytale of New Parents

christmas-tree-708002_1920

(To the tune of Fairytale of New York, my favourite Christmas song)

 
 
It was Christmas Eve (help)
For the parents
The children said to us,
Can we have more chocolate now?
If we do not allow
Then they’ll have a cry
Til we give in to them
And kiss discipline goodbye

We need a lucky night
The kids to go to sleep
We’ve got a feeling
It might not last for long
We’ll quickly wrap the gifts
And fill the stockings up
Hope they stay in bed
How could this go wrong?

They got Lego galore
Princess dresses in gold
But they just like the boxes
In which they were sold

When they first went to bed
On a cold Christmas Eve
We promised them
Presents were waiting for them

They were excited
They were giddy
They got a little bit lippy
When we finished their stories
They called out for more
One started bouncing
The other was singing
They must go to sleep
They can’t dance through the night

Father Christmas in his sleigh
Is travelling on his way
And the bells are ringing
Out for Christmas Day

We’ve got sprouts
We’ve got stuffing
And potatoes for roasting
Lying there on that tray
Dinner’s in disarray

We’ve got pudding
And crackers
Where are the nutcrackers?
Merry Christmas from Mummy
Dinner may not be yummy

Father Christmas in his sleigh
Is travelling on his way
And the bells are ringing
Out for Christmas Day

We could have organised
We shouldn’t be surprised
There’ll be no dreams for us
Won’t get to bed tonight
We underestimated
all we had to do
Do kids need breakfast too??
We built our plans around chocolate

Father Christmas in his sleigh
Is travelling on his way
And the bells are ringing
Out for Christmas Day

Cake: Just Like That

The Toddler likes to do magic. Very, very mundane magic. She brandishes her imaginary wand at Silly Mummy: ‘Close your eyes!’ Silly Mummy closes her eyes. Nothing happens. There is silence. Silly Mummy wonders if The Toddler is still there. Silly Mummy peeks. The Toddler is still there. She is building anticipation for her amazing feat of magic. She waves her wand again: ‘Open your eyes!’ Bit of an anti-climax. Less a feat of magic, more a feat of bossiness. Still, Silly Mummy has apparently earned a reward for her participation: ‘You can have cake now. I’ll get you cake.’

Silly Mummy is looking forward to her cake. However, it seems The Toddler may have been a little hasty in her offer: ‘I haven’t made cake yet.’ At least she has a solution: ‘I’ll make it.’

The Toddler puts down her wand, and starts piling random items from her toy tea set and toy cookery set on to the sideboard. She knocks them over by accident: ‘I’ve knocked your cake over now.’ Oh dear. The Toddler appears to feel the cake has not been harmed, however. She picks everything up and continues her imaginary cake preparation.

The Baby wanders over and knocks the same items off the sideboard as The Toddler did moments before. The Toddler spies a perfect opportunity to pass the blame for the cake delays: ‘You can’t have your cake now because of The Baby.’

The Toddler relents and decides she will serve the cake anyway. She starts rooting through her things, and reappears victorious: ‘I’ve found one knife now. I’ve just got to chop. Be careful. Here you go, Mummy.’ The Toddler holds out a plastic plate full of imaginary cake to Silly Mummy. Silly Mummy thanks her, and reaches out to take the cake.

The Toddler snatches the plate away: ‘You can’t have it yet.’ She walks off with the plate, and knocks over more of her toy cooking equipment. She decides this is the final straw: ‘Never mind, I’m not making it now. The Baby is cleaning it away.’ Silly Mummy looks at The Baby. She is certainly doing something with the imaginary cake and toy cooking equipment. Throwing it would be Silly Mummy’s description, but if The Toddler says she’s cleaning up…

The Toddler provides a final firm confirmation that Silly Mummy will not be receiving cake: ‘No, you can’t have it.’ Well, Silly Mummy is not sure this was worth opening her eyes for. Not that Silly Mummy chose to open her eyes. It was magic, of course.

Christmas Is a Wrap With Zazzle

The Toddler was 20 months old last Christmas. She has surprisingly good recollection of the whole event. Mostly based around chocolate, however, so perhaps not so surprising. She remembers the decorations. She points at the shelves that had Christmas ornaments, lights and bowls of chocolates for the Silly Parents: ‘Lights were up there…with the choccys!’ She recalls her advent calendar. She has no idea what the point of it was, but she remembers there were chocolates in it (some days). She looks a little bit vague at mention of Christmas trees, but dutifully nods: ‘Yes, Christmas…I had choccys, didn’t I?’

Like all self respecting toddlers, The Toddler and The Baby enjoy the wrapping paper at least as much as they enjoy presents. The Baby enjoys shredding paper, chewing it, and the knowledge that she is bonding with the cat through their shared love of playing in the wrapping. The Toddler enjoys opening things, whether they are hers or not, and also ‘reading’ the tags and cards. All items ‘read’ by The Toddler, whether a gift tag or a takeaway menu that came through the door, tend say: ‘Dear The Toddler, Once upon a time…’ This is usually followed by random things that The Toddler has been thinking about or doing. Or the food she can see, in the case of the menus: ‘Once upon a time pizza.’

For my part, I love Christmas and decorations, and I am one of those people who likes to wrap everything in coordinated paper, with ribbons and matching tags.

The upshot of this is that we are all very happy to be reviewing Zazzle‘s wonderful range of Christmas wrapping products. Zazzle have a massive range of paper, tags, stickers, address notes, ribbons and anything else you can think of for beautiful Christmas gift wrapping. There is a style to suit everyone: traditional, pretty, cute, funny, quirky, tacos (really). As with everything at Zazzle, there are also numerous ways to personalise the products. Many wrapping papers can have your photographs added, which is a particularly lovely idea for new babies and children. Others can have personalised messages printed on them. You can select the size of the roll, and there are different types of paper to choose from, including Tyvek, a super strong, rip resistant paper (perfect for people who like to re-use wrapping paper for crafts, or those who don’t like their toddlers/cats to shred wrapping paper all over the floor). The tags and stickers can also be personalised with printed messages, as can the ribbon.

I have traditionally chosen my wrapping paper to coordinate with the colours of the tree decorations. However, we are foregoing the big tree with presents underneath during the toddler years, in favour of a small tree on the table out of reach. Mostly because it seems likely that festive spirit would be somewhat dampened by a month of ‘LET GO OF THAT’, ‘STOP EATING THAT’, ‘STOP CLIMBING THAT’, ‘STOP PULLING ON THAT’, ‘STOP TEARING THAT’, and ‘THAT IS NOT A BALL DO NOT THROW IT’ at 30 second intervals. Therefore, I have opted for cute and quirky papers that compliment each other, with tags that match, and ribbon printed with a festive message.

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As my perfectionist/anal wrapping behaviour does tend to take rather a lot of time, I am really pleased to have been able to have the tags printed with messages. I have got tags with messages pre-printed for The Toddler and The Baby, to go on their main presents. I also chose some stickers. I have had some printed with a Christmas message from all of us, which will be a quick and simple way of labelling gifts for people outside our immediate family. I also chose a sheet of stickers for each of the girls for their stocking/little presents. They both love stickers and I picked really cute designs. I had these labelled as from Father Christmas and, again, this will save a lot of time. We have stocking presents from Father Christmas, but main presents from Mummy and Daddy (and Father Christmas) in our house. Stickers will be an efficient way of labelling the numerous little gifts, with the added bonus of not getting knocked off in the stockings. All of the products are great quality and really lovely.

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Overall, our verdicts are as follows. I am very excited about how pretty all the presents will look, and the easier labelling options. The Baby thinks it all looks very tasty. The cat thinks she may agree a truce with The Baby in order to form a paper ripping alliance. The Toddler is very pleased to be receiving – in her favourite sticker format – a traditional Christmas greeting from Father Christmas: ‘Dear The Toddler, Once upon a time pizza…’

I would recommend taking a look at the range of wrapping products at Zazzle, for a beautiful under tree (or very high shelf, if you own a toddler) look. Now, the Sillies are off to decorate the house. In chocolate, as far as The Toddler is concerned.

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Disclosure: I was sent these items by Zazzle to review. All opinions are my own.

Be Quiet: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s the Ten Funniest Things feature. The Toddler would like to remind everyone to BE QUIET as other people can hear you. Here she is:

1. On being quiet
Everyone is being quiet. This includes The Toddler, who wishes it to be known that she is participating in the being quiet. Into the, well, quiet, The Toddler hollers: ‘I’M BEING QUIET!’

2. On the carpet, sorry about that
The Toddler has found a small mark on the carpet: ‘What’s that?’
Silly Mummy has a look and identifies it is one of the areas where a fleck of space putty has remained welded to the carpet following the discovery that it is ill advised to allow toddlers to play with space putty, even if they did go to the trouble of fishing it out of cupboards they are not allowed in. Silly Mummy answers The Toddler: ‘I think that’s from when we had the space putty.’
The Toddler considers this information: ‘Oh, yes…Sorry about that.’

3. On suspicious bedtime sickness
The Toddler is in bed waiting for Silly Daddy to read her a book. The Baby is getting ready for her bed with Silly Mummy. The Toddler’s voice pipes up from her bedroom: ‘Excuse me! I’m very sick. Excuse me! I’m very sick. Can you come and see me?’
Silly Mummy is a little bit suspicious of The Toddler, who sounds in good spirits and was perfectly well when Silly Mummy left two minutes before. Silly Mummy calls: ‘Daddy’s coming.’
The Toddler’s voice answers: ‘Can you tell him I’m very ill?’ Ten seconds later The Toddler adds an update on her condition: ‘I’m not feeling better. Can I get some medicine?’

4. On porridge, foggy
The Toddler has decided to take responsibility for providing The Baby’s imaginary meals: ‘I’m going to give The Baby her porridge, but I think it’s a bit foggy. I put it back in the porridge pan.’ (Three attempts at clarification by Silly Mummy confirm that The Toddler really is trying to say the porridge is foggy, but not what foggy porridge might be. Perhaps it is a problem only imaginary porridge has.)

5. On Silly Mummy, very tired
Silly Mummy is saying goodnight to The Toddler, who asks: ‘Do you want to come and sleep with me?’
Silly Mummy tells The Toddler that she has jobs to do and cannot stay with The Toddler. The Toddler tries a new tack: ‘You do want to sleep with me because you’re very tired.’

6. On Silly Daddy, what he says about that
The Toddler would like to hear Silly Daddy’s opinion on her latest wittering: ‘What do you say about that, Daddy?’

7. On oat bars and good work
Silly Mummy is fetching The Toddler a snack. The Toddler is excited to find out what snack she might be receiving, and is apparently not disappointed to discover she is getting an oat (‘oap’) bar. As Silly Mummy approaches, she declares: ‘I think it might be an oap. Oh good work!’

8. On other people, able to hear us
During a visit by an engineer to the house to do some work, The Toddler makes a horrifying discovery. She breaks off mid talking nonsense to exclaim: ‘Oh no, other people can hear us!’ Of course, the fact that The Toddler had not previously realised that other people can hear her when she talks explains quite a lot…

9. On diagnosis, unsolicited
Doctor Toddler, in keeping with her long standing renegade streak, no longer even waits for her patients to report symptoms or ask for treatment. She marches up to Silly Mummy: ‘I don’t think you feel well anymore. Where’s my medicine?’

10. On not telling Silly Mummy again
The Toddler is taking a strict approach to dealing with Silly Mummy’s behaviour: ‘Mother, don’t ask me to tell you again! Ever again. Ever. Ever.’ (Silly Mummy thinks she means ‘don’t make me tell you again’.)

 

Some other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 12: Undone, Everyone
Week 18: A Spinny Armpits
Week 23: I Resent to You
Week 25: Bravo

The Twelve Days of Toddler

On the first day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me a cabbage in a teapot.

On the second day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the third day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my toddler stole from me four handfuls of cereal out of my bowl, three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me five fingers stuck in the letterbox again, four handfuls of cereal out of my bowl, three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me six blankets no longer folded and residing in the drawer, five fingers stuck in the letterbox again, four handfuls of cereal out of my bowl, three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my toddler hid for me seven DVDs down the back of the sofa, six blankets no longer folded and residing in the drawer, five fingers stuck in the letterbox again, four handfuls of cereal out of my bowl, three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me eight books she required in her bed during nap time, seven DVDs down the back of the sofa, six blankets no longer folded and residing in the drawer, five fingers stuck in the letterbox again, four handfuls of cereal out of my bowl, three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me nine tantrums a wailing, eight books she required in her bed during nap time, seven DVDs down the back of the sofa, six blankets no longer folded and residing in the drawer, five fingers stuck in the letterbox again, four handfuls of cereal out of my bowl, three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me ten demands for lunch before 10am, nine tantrums a wailing, eight books she required in her bed during nap time, seven DVDs down the back of the sofa, six blankets no longer folded and residing in the drawer, five fingers stuck in the letterbox again, four handfuls of cereal out of my bowl, three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me eleven photos of the carpet taken on my phone, ten demands for lunch before 10am, nine tantrums a wailing, eight books she required in her bed during nap time, seven DVDs down the back of the sofa, six blankets no longer folded and residing in the drawer, five fingers stuck in the letterbox again, four handfuls of cereal out of my bowl, three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my toddler threw at me twelve imaginary cakes, eleven photos of the carpet taken on my phone, ten demands for lunch before 10am, nine tantrums a wailing, eight books she required in her bed during nap time, seven DVDs down the back of the sofa, six blankets no longer folded and residing in the drawer, five fingers stuck in the letterbox again, four handfuls of cereal out of my bowl, three items of clothing removed from about The Baby’s person, two part chewed raisins, and a cabbage in a teapot.