From January 2016

Toddler Laws of Physics (Toddler Lessons: Part One)

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They may live by their own rules most of the time, but even toddlers can’t escape the laws of physics.

Here are ten laws of physics as demonstrated by toddlers. (Well, eight laws of physics/laws connected to physics, and two random principles favoured by scientists, technically.)

 
1. Archimede’s Principle

(The buoyant force exerted on a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces. The volume of an object can be calculated by the volume of water it displaces.)

 
Measuring the displacement of water by a toddler in a bath allows accurate calculation of the volume of work involved in cleaning the bathroom following said bath.

 
2. Boyle’s law

(When temperature is constant, volume of a gas is inversely proportional to the pressure.)

 
The volume of sleep a toddler has is inversely proportionate to the pressure of the temper tantrum in which the toddler will engage.

 
3. Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

(The force with which bodies are attracted to each other is directly proportional to the product of their masses, and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.)

 
The attraction of two toddlers to one another is directly proportional to the likelihood of them hitting one other, and inversely proportional to the likelihood of there being two of the toy they will both want to play with.

 
4. Pascal’s Law

(Pressure exerted at any point in a confined fluid is transmitted equally at every other point in the container.)

 
Tantrums exerted by a toddler in any shop during an outing will be transmitted equally throughout all shops on the outing (until the parent surrenders and returns home, or supplies chocolate).

 
5. Newton’s Laws of Motion

(First Law: An object at rest will remain at rest, and an object in motion will continue to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force. Second Law: The sum of the external forces on an object is equal to the mass of that object multiplied by the acceleration of the object. Third Law: When one body exerts a force on another body, the other body exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.)

 
Toddler’s First Law of Motion: A moving toddler will continue moving at a constant velocity (known as ‘hyperactive cheetah’) until acted upon by the external force of a wall that came out of nowhere and smacked them in the nose. A toddler who does not wish to sit in the buggy will enter and remain in a state of extreme rest (known as ‘the plank’) until acted upon by the external force of bribery with raisins and wrestled into the buggy.

Toddler’s Second Law of Motion: High speed toddlers brandishing heavy objects with the intent of whacking you on the head are very dangerous.

Toddler’s Third Law of Motion: Two toddlers running will always run with equal zeal in opposite directions, exerting equal force upon each other at the point of inevitable collision. They will both cry.

 
6. The Theory of Special Relativity

(What is relative and what is absolute about space, time and motion…Oh, yes, I am not even attempting to give a proper summary of the Theory of Special Relativity!)

 
Bedtime is relative: where parents see bedtime, toddlers do not. Broccoli is relative: parents see food, toddlers do not. Everything a parent says is actually relative. It may have been an order from the parents’ point of view. The toddler, however, heard a gentle suggestion that they have decided not to follow.

Furthermore, according to the Theory of Special Relativity, moving clocks run more slowly than stationary clocks. Grumpy toddlers are also able to influence the speed with which clocks run. This is why an hour in the doctors’ surgery waiting room lasts for approximately eleven years.

 
7. Uncertainty Principle

(In quantum mechanics, two complementary parameters (eg, energy and time) cannot both be understood to infinite accuracy: the more you know about one, the less you know about the other.)

 
Toddlers are their own Uncertainty Principle: the more a parent believes they know about what their toddler wants, the less they actually know. This is why your toddler is crying because they asked for a jam sandwich and you gave them a jam sandwich.

 
8. Causality Principle

(Cause must always precede effect.)

 
Causality does apply to toddlers, but not as we know it. Every effect has an alleged cause, but it is not necessarily relevant in any way and it might not have happened yet.
‘Why is the baby in a toy storage box?’
‘Because I’m going to wear my wellies tomorrow, aren’t I?’

 
9. Occam’s Razor*

(The hypothesis with the fewest assumptions, providing the simplest answer, should be selected.)

 
Now, toddlers disapprove of Occam’s Razor. They prefer the most ludicrous explanation imaginable for any given situation. However, toddlers are walking manifestations of the principle. They are the simplest explanation. Jam on the baby? Toddler did it. Shoes in the bread bin? Toddler did it. Crayon on the tv? ‘Peppa wanted to be blue’ = Toddler did it.

According to Occam’s Razor, if it looks like a toddler did it, the toddler did it. Do not be fooled by spurious accusations about the cat’s involvement.

 
10. Murphy’s Law

(If anything can go wrong, it will.)

 
Self explanatory: in parenting toddlers, if anything can go wrong (and it can), it will.

 
 

(Please Note: Absolutely no level of scientific accuracy should be assumed in the contents of this post. If you are studying the Theory of Relativity, step away: nothing here is going to help you. Though, interestingly, if a great enough mass of toddlers are concentrated in any area, they DO create a black hole from which no toy that enters will ever emerge. But I digress…into nonsense, I may add, not General Relativity. Step away.)

 
 

You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here.

Slogans for World War Terrible Twos

Do you ever feel like you’re engaged in toddler warfare? World War Terrible Twos? Help is at hand.

In a war, you need slogans. For public safety and morale, and all that jazz. Now, of course, in this war, no one has time to be coming up with slogans, because…caring for/restraining toddlers here. Fortunately, there is no need to create our own. Many years ago there was a little toddler tyrant who failed to grow out of the terrible twos, leading to Churchill’s government kindly generating a slew of war slogans that can be conveniently amended to address the toddler threat.

Keep_Calm_And_Carry_On_-_Original_poster_-_Barter_Books_-_17-Oct-2011From http://earthstation1.simplenet.com

 
 
Parents of Britain, here are World War Two propaganda slogans tweaked a little to get you through World War Terrible Twos.

 
1. Careless talk costs lives (You never know who’s listening)

Repetitive talk* costs time. So much time. (Absolutely no one’s listening.)

(*’Where’s Daddy gone? Where’s Daddy gone? Where’s Daddy gone? Where’s cat gone?’)

 
2. Dig for Victory

Dig for your keys/phone/other vitally important items. In the sandpit/garden/Lego/poo (if you really lucked out).

 
3. Put that light OUT

Put that cat DOWN!

 
4. Coughs and sneezes spread diseases

Coughs and sneezes and toddlers spread diseases

 
5. Up housewives and at ’em

Up parents and at ’em…it’s 4am!

 
6. V for Victory

‘V for…bus!’
‘Yes, it looks a bit like a bus, doesn’t it? But it’s a van. It’s like a big car. Van. V for…’
‘Bus!’

 
7. Mothers, send them out of London

Mothers, send them out of this restaurant. Janet Street Porter is trying to eat, and she doesn’t want to see your children.

 
8. Fighting Fit

Fighting bedtime, mealtimes, siblings, parents, coats, the cat.

 
9. Furtive Fritz is always listening: be careful what you say

Furtive toddler is always listening: be careful what you say. That word will be repeated. In the library. Or to the Health Visitor.

 
10. Women of Britain: come into the factories

Parents of Britain: come into the soft play.

 
11. Your country needs YOU

Your toddler needs you to give them biscuits. NOW.

 
12. We beat ’em before, we’ll do it again

We put jam on the cat before, we’ll do it again.

 
13. Look out in the blackout

‘Look out The Baby is right in front of you! No, right there! Right th…Yes, she’s crying. You stood on her.’

 
14. Keep calm and carry on

Keep calm and carry raisins.

 
15. Make do and mend

Make tea and cry.

 
 
Finally, Parents of Britain, remember: always be alert…your toddler is in the sudocrem.

 
 
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.

A ‘Pretty Poor Indictment’ of a Headteacher?

A letter from the headteacher sent to parents of students at St Michael’s Academy, and posted on their website, has been doing the rounds online this week. This is the section of the letter that has been causing a stir:

‘A very big thank you to all of you who send your children in to school looking clean and tidy and ready for their school week. These are very important life habits to get into which will serve them well in adult life. Unfortunately I have noticed an increasing number of children who are coming to school in a pretty shocking state. They are dirty, unkempt and not in appropriate school uniform, if in any uniform at all. Today, being that it is a Monday, quite a few have returned to school in dirty clothes and obviously haven’t had a shower in readiness for Monday morning.
There are also an increasing number who are not making any attempt to wear black school shoes, in line with school policy. There are also a lot of children who are getting themselves up in the morning and in to school as their parents are still in bed. In a country where there is plentiful running water and washing machines, and shops like Tesco offering entire school uniforms for £10, it is a pretty poor indictment of the parenting skills of some of our families.
I totally appreciate that life is hard for some of you but please make sure that your children are clean and ready for school and that includes the correct clothes. Starting next week I intend phoning home to contact parents of children not in uniform including black shoes, and you will be asked to take them home.’

 
 
Well, yes, I agree that this is ‘pretty shocking’. No, not the uniform standards set by the parents and students, but the standards set by this headteacher, as a professional and representative of the education system.

There would appear to be two main possibilities in respect of the allegedly unacceptable appearance of these students.

The first is that there are no substantial difficulties facing these families that prevent their children from being well dressed, clean and prepared. In that case, one would probably have to question exactly how poor the standards being seen really are. It seems fairly unlikely that ‘shocking state’, ‘dirty’ and ‘unkempt’ would be anything other than over dramatic. Less a case of serious issues of hygiene and neglect, more a fuss about superficial matters – or a petty reaction to non-compliance – that really does not justify this reaction.

The second possibility, of course, is that there are students at the school facing significant challenges, whose home circumstances really do lead them to arrive at school with hygiene issues and clothing deemed unsuitable. Now, this may well be a situation that cannot, and should not, simply be ignored. It is likely to indicate a need for support for the students and their families. However, this letter does not offer support. It offers judgement, condescension and humiliation. There is no real compassion (I do not count the shallow and dismissive pretence at the start of the final paragraph as any form of genuine concern) for problems at home, no practical assistance or help for struggling families and students. There is nothing but an (extremely rude) admonishment to sort out the problem.

If standards of dress and hygiene are really below an acceptable healthy living level, one would have to assume that, at least in most circumstances, neither the students nor their parents want it to be that way. Presumably, if they could change it, they would. And if they can’t change it, a nasty, sanctimonious letter, lacking in empathy, is not going to suddenly solve the problem, is it?

What exactly are this headteacher’s priorities as an educator? Uniform and appearance standards apparently justify a scathing letter, but I do not imagine that she has sent letters out criticising parents for not having enough books at home, or not being interested enough in current affairs to talk to their children about news and politics. I am not suggesting for a second that she should do so, but these factors would have much more relevance to children’s behaviour and performance in school than whether they are wearing black shoes. If students in her school have such difficulties at home that they are unable to come to school clean and well dressed, perhaps she should appreciate what is important, which is surely that they are coming to school. In fact, even if her students and/or the parents are simply disinterested in what she considers to be appropriate dress standards for school, she should still appreciate that, if she is seeing them in their ‘shocking state’, they are at school. If students are going to be disinterested in something, better their uniform than their attendance, no? Are appearance standards really worth the risk of making students and parents feel alienated and attacked by the school, particularly those already facing struggles in their lives?

There is someone here who should feel ashamed. The educational professional who believes that it is acceptable to insult, belittle and humiliate students and parents. Who places so much emphasis on appearance and compliance, that she apparently did not think better of sending out a disproportionately rude letter, lacking in a proper sense of perspective. A woman who cares more about appearances than the education or the welfare of her students, or who at least has so little awareness that she is unable to see when she is giving that impression.

 
To paraphrase the lady herself: I appreciate that life is hard for many in the teaching profession at the moment, but this is pretty poor indictment of the skills of some of our educators. (Oh, and basic human compassion, politeness and a sense of perspective ‘are very important life habits to get into which will serve [you] well in adult life’, Madam Headteacher.)

The Toddler Visits Nursery School

The Toddler has been to visit the local infant school’s nursery, where we hope to enrol her from September.

Probably no one will be surprised to hear that The Toddler was very taken with nursery school. Or her new Kingdom, as she likes to think of it. Very thoughtfully, the teacher had laid out numerous toys and activities for The Toddler. There were some other, bigger, children, who seemed to feel that the activities may, in fact, have been for them. The Toddler was not phased by this. She took the ‘childrens’ under her wing.

The Toddler played with the oats that were in one of the sandpits (the children had been reading The Magic Porridge Pot, and were therefore playing with oats and also making porridge as one of the other activities). She did some puzzles. She introduced The Baby to everybody, but apparently decided her own name would be a closely guarded secret. She got to work in the Three Little Pigs construction area. She inspected the toilets and washed her hands. She made a valiant, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to persuade one of the nursery assistants that painting should become an activity for the day. She positioned herself right in front of the microwave while the porridge was being made, watching intently (this was mostly because she believed it was a TV). She thankfully did not notice the bowl of fruit, and therefore there remained a bowl of fruit, and not a bowl of apple and pear cores, when we left.

The Baby was involved in an oat related altercation with an older boy, but enjoyed drawing with her fingers on the big interactive screen. She did not enjoy being removed from the big interactive screen when it was time to go.

The children at the nursery were, to be completely honest, much more excited about the presence of The Baby in their class, than they were about The Toddler. They were all very eager to talk about how they had baby sisters. Their baby sisters all appeared to be called Bella. Perhaps it was the same baby sister. Maybe they were all siblings: a nursery class consisting of Baby Jake’s family.

All in all, the visit was a great success. The Toddler entered and declared that she would be painting now. The Baby declared that the picture of Snow White on the wall was The Toddler (she does have a Snow White costume). All of the bigger children, showing remarkable intuition about her character, declared that The Toddler was not to eat the play oats.

That’s Moron, Isn’t It: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s time for the Ten Funniest Things feature. This week Silly Mummy is to learn the difference between ducks and swans, not eat her plate until later, and say sorry to the TV. Must do better, Silly Mummy. The Toddler, on the other hand is on top form.

Here she is:

1. On apologies, to inanimate objects
Silly Mummy is engaged in an argument with the TV, which is behaving badly and disobeying the remote control. Silly Mummy admits defeat, but not graciously: ‘Stupid thing!’
The Toddler is scandalised: ‘You mustn’t say stupid! Say sorry to the TV!’

2. On swans, not ducks
The Toddler and The Baby are watching Stick Man. Silly Mummy is not, but out of the corner of her eye sees something that looks like ducklings, and says, ‘Ooh, look, The Baby: ducks!’
The Toddler, in her best condescending tone, declares, ‘Mummy, that’s a swan.’ She’s right, it is.

3. On rain on her car
The Silly Family are heading out in the car. A few minutes after leaving the house, The Toddler looks out of the window and identifies a problem: ‘I’ve got to go home. It’s a bit raining on my car!’

4. On walking the plank
The Toddler is dressed in her pirate costume. She is waving her cutlass at The Baby. Silly Mummy makes a suggestion: ‘Tell The Baby to walk the plank, The Toddler.’
The Toddler turns to The Baby: ‘Do the plank walk, The Baby!’ That sounds more like some kind of group dance, doesn’t it?

5. On Silly Daddy, when he was a little girl
The Toddler is reflecting on her recollections of Silly Daddy’s younger days: ‘When Daddy was a little girl, he was very big.’

6. On drawing, contraptions for
The Toddler is doodling on her etch a sketch. She informs Silly Mummy: ‘I’m just doing some drawing. On my contraption.’ Contraption?? Where on earth did she learn that word?

7. On calling Grandma
The Toddler is conducting an imaginary phone call, and needs Silly Mummy to be quiet: ‘You shh. I’m talking on the phone to Grandma. She’s not here yet.’ The Toddler has instructions for ‘Grandma’: ‘You talk to The Baby.’ The Toddler holds out, well, nothing masquerading as a phone to The Baby. Who looks at the nothing in confusion, and doesn’t say anything. The Toddler takes back her ‘phone’: ‘I think The Baby is a bit shy, Grandma. What have you been doing, Grandma?’

8. On guided tours, of badness
The Baby (sometimes with The Toddler’s help) has taken up the helpful hobby of pulling all the DVDs off the DVD tower. The Toddler appears at the kitchen door while Silly Mummy is making dinner to report that The Baby is engaging in her hobby again. Silly Mummy comes to the living room to survey the carnage. The Toddler jumps in front of her: ‘Wait! I’m going to show you round!’ Silly Mummy joins The Toddler’s impromptu tour. Upon reaching the scene of the destruction, Tour Guide The Toddler points at the DVD pile on the floor, and prepares Silly Mummy for the worst: ‘This is bad.’

9. On saving your appetite
The Toddler is preparing plastic tea and toast. She hands Silly Mummy an empty plate while she goes off to make the plastic toast: ‘You can have your plate.’ She also has some instructions regarding the plate: ‘Don’t eat your plate now.’ Always good advice. She continues: ‘Eat your plate later.’ Ah, she’s just concerned that Silly Mummy will spoil her appetite if she starts eating plates now.

10. On Merida
The Toddler has been watching Brave. She quite likes it, but struggles with Merida’s name. Silly Mummy says, ‘There’s Merida – she’s playing hide and seek, isn’t she?’
The Toddler replies, ‘Yes, that’s…Moron, isn’t it?’

 

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

The Toddler Has Menu, Is Reading

The Toddler and The Baby are in a coffee shop with Silly Mummy and Silly Daddy. The Toddler has picked up a menu, and she is ‘reading’ it: ‘It says “tea cup”.’ There’s a picture of a tea cup.
The Toddler reads on: ‘It says “Dear The Toddler”.’ Of course. Everything The Toddler reads says ‘Dear The Toddler’..
The Toddler has not finished: ‘Yes, it says “Dear The Toddler, here are some teacups”.’ Very logical.
‘Once upon time there was a magical fairy.’ Less logical.

(A bit of background here: The Toddler has seen balloons in the coffee shop. They are not hers.)
The Toddler breaks off from her reading to ask: ‘Can I have a balloon?’
Silly Mummy and Silly Daddy answer unanimously: ‘No!’
The Toddler gracefully accepts this answer, and returns to reading the menu: ‘Says “Dear The Toddler, here’s a balloon from Mummy and Daddy”.’ Cunning.
Of course, The Toddler does not know when to stop and proceeds to lay it on a little too thick: ‘Says “Dear The Toddler, hope you have a nice time, love Mummy and Daddy”.’

Doctor Toddler Has Been Suspended…So Has Hairdresser Toddler

The Toddler’s main professions continue to be medicine and hairdressing. Thankfully, she has mostly (well, sometimes) stopped trying to combine the two. (Still, Jeremy Hunt is unlikely to be happy when he finds out the toddler doctors have the spare time to be moonlighting as hairdressers. Who on earth is going to be available to deal with Michael Gove’s minor injuries?!)

The Toddler is doing a spot of hairdressing on Silly Daddy’s Cousin. The Toddler does appear to have moved on from requiring her clients to do her hair, but may still be slightly missing who the focus of the hairdressing experience is supposed to be.

Cousin is trying to teach The Toddler some hairdressing conventions, telling her: ‘You say, “Are you going anywhere nice on holiday?”‘
The Toddler nods: ‘Yes, I am.’ The Toddler is very pleased to see her clients showing an interest in her holidays and weekends.

The Toddler has finished Cousin’s hair cut. Cousin is happy with the results: ‘Thank you – I love it!’
The Toddler, of course, politely expresses that she is pleased her client is satisfied with her work. No, she doesn’t. She announces: ‘I’m going on my holiday!’ She marches off.

In doctoring news, it is the living room and Doctor Toddler is needed. The Toddler has some concerns about Silly Mummy, who was minding her own business.
‘I’m over here looking at your belly. It’s not very well. I’m going to have to be doctor. Maybe I can fix it.’
Silly Mummy hadn’t even noticed this belly problem, but is relieved that a toddler doctor is on hand to try to fix it (even if she does sound a bit grudging about having to be a doctor).

The Toddler just needs to transform herself into Doctor Toddler first. She picks up her doctor’s coat. She puts the coat down again, and starts taking off her top: ‘Need to take this off first.’ Despite Silly Mummy’s protests that doctor’s coats are traditionally worn over clothes, The Toddler is now removing her trousers: ‘Just need to take these off.’ The Toddler is now naked. She puts on her doctor’s coat, and gets distracted by how pretty she looks as a doctor, forgetting all about Silly Mummy’s recently discovered ailment: ‘Can I spin around in it?’ However, The Toddler quickly notices a problem with her new ‘dress’, which seems to be hanging a bit loosely, almost as though there should be clothes under it: ‘Think I’m a bit small for this dress.’

Doctor Toddler moves on from her sartorial concerns to deal with the medical issue at hand: ‘Right then, I need to cut your hair.’ No, The Toddler: wrong job! The Toddler is not listening: ‘Have to be careful with scissors. Very sharp.’ Very sensible, The Toddler, but Silly Mummy’s belly does not want a haircut!

‘Let me do something with medicine.’ The Toddler appears to be back on track as a doctor. She picks up some tweezers: ‘What is this?’ Silly Mummy informs her they are tweezers.
‘What me do with them?’ Silly Mummy explains that they can be used for removing splinters. The Toddler has other ideas. Careening immediately back off track, she takes a section of her own hair, grips it with the tweezers, and yells: ‘And snap!’

At this point, Doctor Hairdresser Toddler completely loses the plot. Addressing Silly Daddy, who is not even in the house, she declares: ‘Daddy, I’m just doing Mummy’s doctors. I’m just zapping The Baby’s hair. Where did I put Jesus?’

Presumably, she means tweezers, but who can be sure? Silly Mummy hides her belly. The Baby hides her hair. The services of all doctors, hairdressers and toddlers, whether brandishing tweezers or Jesus, are suspended pending a thorough investigation into what on earth is going on.

My Random Musings

I heard About That: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

In this week’s Ten Funniest Things post, Pirate Ship The Toddler can be found boogying with a bogeyman, never wearing trousers, and keeping up with all the latest gossip.

Here she is:

1. On giving The Baby a kiss, without causing alarm
The Toddler doesn’t wish to alarm The Baby, but she is going to be showing her some affection. She approaches carefully, arms out: ‘It’s okay, The Baby, but I’m just going to give you a kiss.’

2. On Fungus the Bogeyman
The Toddler has been enjoying Fungus the Bogeyman lately. Possibly because she expects him to break into a spot of disco dancing at any moment: ‘Can I watch boogie boogie man?’

3. On her important work, The Baby sitting on
According to The Toddler, The Baby is doing her ‘busy work’. (Please note: this is playing with Silly Mummy’s top.) The Toddler feels that The Baby needs to know when it is time to step aside and let someone else take over: ‘It’s my turn to do important work!’ (Please note: this means play with Silly Mummy’s top herself.) The Toddler prepares herself to begin her work, but quickly spots a problem: ‘The Baby is sitting on my work!’ (Please note: the ‘work’ The Baby is sitting on is Silly Mummy.)

4. On being a pirate ship
The Toddler believes the word ‘pirate’ should always be followed by the word ‘ship’. She got a pirate costume for Christmas. She can now be heard asking: ‘Can I wear my pirate ship on, please? I’m Pirate Ship The Toddler.’

5. On Silly Daddy, recognising his achievements
Silly Daddy has finished his dinner, a task The Toddler feels he does not often get sufficient recognition for. She decides to rectify the situation with a little praise: ‘Well done, Daddy. You did that all on your own!’

6. On naughtiness
The Toddler’s sharp analytic mind has got right to the root causes of naughty behaviour: ‘I’m just being naughty because I’m not very good.’

7. On needing car keys, because of the wind
Grandma is preparing to leave. The Toddler, as usual, is asking questions:
‘Do you need your car keys?’
Grandma confirms that she does indeed need her car keys.
The Toddler nods wisely: ‘Yes, you do need your car keys. Because it’s windy.’ Well, quite. Grandma is normally willing to walk the 120 miles home. But not in this wind. That would be silly.

8. On her trousers, never wearing them again
The Toddler has removed her trousers. Silly Mummy has asked The Toddler to put them back on. The Toddler makes a bold claim: ‘I’ll never put my trousers back on. Never.’

9. On being The Little Old Lady Toddler
The Toddler is chatting with Silly Mummy, who happens to mention something The Toddler might like to do. The Little Old Lady Toddler replies: ‘Yes, that would be nice, wouldn’t it, dear?’

10. On hearing things
The Baby is having a nappy change. The Toddler is ‘assisting’ (running around with baby wipes), and having a bit of a gossip. The Toddler has not entirely grasped the concept of gossiping. She chatters away: ‘Did The Baby do a poo?’
‘Yes, The Toddler.’
‘Yes, I heard about that.’ The Toddler hears things. She moves and shakes. She’s on top of all the latest water cooler gossip. (It also just happened and she was right here.)

 

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

We’re All Mad Here

alice-in-wonderland-276452_1280The Toddler and The Baby are playing house. Theirs is a rather unconventional household. Silly Mummy suspects it is located down a rabbit hole. All ways here are The Toddler’s way (though The Baby is more likely than The Toddler to try to take someone’s head off, probably with a toy bus). The Toddler is usually rushing somewhere for no particular reason. The Baby is often hiding, revealing just a cheeky grin. Care given to baby dolls has probably been learnt from the Duchess: fling it around a bit, shout, and then throw it at someone else. There is usually a tea party. It may have been going on for some days. The chances of anyone receiving any actual tea are slim. There is at least one person wearing a silly hat at any given time. Everyone will be asked obscure, unsolvable riddles. And, if there ever were any jam tarts, they have definitely been stolen and eaten by The Toddler (while The Baby runs behind yelling ‘bit’ in a hopeful voice). Certainly everyone is mad here.

Morning in the Toddler-Baby house has started in a traditional manner. The Baby has offered The Toddler a cup of tea. Well, she hasn’t exactly offered a cup of tea, so much as sat by the stairgate minding her own business. Nonetheless, The Toddler has informed her: ‘I won’t have a cup of tea, thank you, The Baby. I think I’ll have a cup of coffee instead. And a biccy.’ Despite The Baby’s complete inactivity on the coffee making front, The Toddler surprisingly receives her coffee and biscuits from the confused Baby Servant, and thanks her accordingly.

Coffee consumed, The Toddler sets about her chores for the day. These mostly seem to involve moving around her ‘demidifier’ (dehumidifier). That would be a toy hammer from her tool belt to everyone else.

Meanwhile, according to The Toddler, The Baby is now doing her work. The Baby obediently wanders off to stand by the door, where her work is apparently located. Being an International Baby of Mystery, The exact nature of The Baby’s work remains unknown. Though it does seem to involve a lot of asking, ‘Where’s cat gone?’

During a raisin break for The Baby, The Toddler engages in some shoe fitting, which does not go down too well. Frankly, The Baby does not want to try on pretend glass slippers to see if they fit while she is trying to eat raisins. She is even less impressed when The Toddler starts trying to get pretend ‘glass wellies’ to fit her. The Baby is not sure what kind of a prince sends a toddler with a glass welly around the maidens of the kingdom, but she is not marrying him.

Having dealt with the humidity, and the glass slippers/wellies, The Toddler has some writing to do. She sets about her correspondence with a toy chisel. Perhaps The Toddler and The Baby are cavemen. That might explain The Baby’s job. She’s hunting a sabre toothed tiger for their tea – ‘where’s cat gone’ was actually a reasonable description.

Unfortunately, the harmony of the Toddler-Baby household is shattered when they both attempt to sit on the same seat, and fall on the floor. The Baby declares that she will no longer not make The Toddler coffee. The Toddler threatens to ‘demidify’ The Baby.* They retire to different corners to fling themselves on the floor. Off with their heads!

(*These were not their actual words, but were implied in the glaring, shoving and howling.)

Adults Outwitted by a Toddler: 2

girl-951561_1920The great thing about children, of course, is that there is so much you can teach them.

The Toddler wants to do something: ‘Can me do that?’
The Toddler often mixes up me and I. Grandad tries to help her with her pronouns: ‘Can I do that?’
The Toddler misses Grandad’s point and answers what she believes to be his question: ‘No!’
No, Grandad, The Toddler wants to do that – you find your own activities. Grandad dealt with, The Toddler returns to her request: ‘Can me do that?’
Silly Mummy tries: ‘No, The Toddler, you say, “Can I do that?”‘
The Toddler is exasperated with people trying to muscle in on her territory: ‘No! Can me do that?’

 
The other great thing about children is how easy it is to manipulate them.

It is The Toddler’s bed time. She, however, is busy on the imaginary phone. Grandad, displaying great ingenuity, takes the ‘phone’ and listens, before saying, ‘Is there someone there who’s going to bed?’ The Toddler nods. Grandad holds out the ‘phone’: ‘I think this call is for you.’ Grandad readies himself for his phone call with The toddler about bed time.
The Toddler is not falling for this trick. She takes the ‘phone’ and (putting what she has learnt from Peppa Pig to good use) immediately and expertly changes the subject: ‘Hello? Fire Service? I’m stuck in the mud!’

 
Pronouns learnt: 0
Going to beds achieved: 0
Toddlers reasoned with: 0
Adults outwitted by a toddler: 2

Thank You for Having a Lovely Time: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

After a break, and now appearing on entirely random days of the week because, frankly, Silly Mummy is still not quite sure what day it is (normal service will probably be resumed around February), it is time once again for The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week (or, in this case, at some point in the past three weeks or so).

So, without further ado, here is The Toddler:

1. On going out, not very good at it
The Toddler is sitting at the table colouring, and apparently making plans for the rest of her day: ‘I go out. I go out in the snow.’ It’s not snowing, of course, but The Toddler has always liked to invent imaginary weather for her imaginary trips. She continues with her planning: ‘I need to put my boots on to go out in the snow.’ She appears to have this all in hand, except… ‘I don’t have a key.’ The Toddler is contrite in the face of her newly revealed going out inadequacies, and quickly steps aside for a more experienced go outer, turning to Silly Mummy: ‘Maybe you’d better go out – I’m not very good at it.’

2. On books, not today
The Toddler picks up a book and starts ‘reading’, before experiencing an abrupt change of mind: ‘No, I’m not going to read the book. Throw the book away. No books today.’ Flinging the book aside, she marches off.

3. On bidding visitors farewell
The Toddler has been attempting proper etiquette surrounding farewells to visitors, seeing Grandma off with: ‘Thank you for having a lovely time!’ She may have got a little confused. Presumably she meant ‘thank you for visiting’. Still, her version is sweet, if a little presumptuous.

4. On invitations to her house
The Toddler, it would appear, is in fact a bit confused about many aspects of this saying goodbye to visitors business. During the same farewell to Grandma following her visit to what we all thought was The Toddler’s house, The Toddler says, ‘When you come back next time, you can visit my house.’ Does The Toddler have another house she’s hiding?

5. On storytelling
The Toddler has decided to tell The Baby a story. It’s quite good. Concise. Relatable. Clear conclusion. ‘Once upon a time there was a little The Baby called The Baby. And The End.’

6. On giving affection, bossily
The Toddler is attempting the bossiest display of sisterly affection ever: ‘Do cuddle, The Baby. Come here and do cuddle. Stand here for cuddle. Come and stand just here, and give me a cuddle.’

7. On being Silly Daddy’s fairy godmother
The Toddler has picked up a stick (magic wand) on the beach. She has also recently become obsessed with the live action version of Cinderella. This is probably connected to what she is doing with the stick: ‘I do magic wand trick. Put Daddy into a dress.’ Probably connected. Either way, Silly Daddy is now pretending to be suddenly wearing a fetching ballgown.

8. On scheduling an audience with herself
Silly Mummy, The Toddler and The Baby are at the shops. Silly Mummy is trying to speak to The Toddler, who is not currently available for Silly Mummy, informing her: ‘You be quiet. I’m just going to talk to The Baby, then I’ll talk to you.’

9. On that time she chopped off her hand
The Toddler is chattering to herself: ‘…That time I chopped off my hand…And I was very sad because I needed to see the doctor.’ Well, all Silly Mummy is saying is that this must have happened on Silly Daddy’s watch.

10. On Silly Mummy’s food, getting away
Silly Mummy has put down her (empty) bowl on the table, and is helping The Baby to finish her food. Silly Daddy comes and clears away Silly Mummy’s bowl, to much consternation from The Toddler: ‘Mummy, your food’s getting away! Get it back!’

 

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

She Witnessed a Birth (and Something About Mirrors in Bums)

(This is a post I originally wrote as a guest post for Life, Love and Dirty Dishes‘ Rookie Mistakes series.)

 
 
So, for this post, I was thinking of various parenting errors and rookie mistakes that may have been made in the Silly household. I could mention ‘I don’t need to take a spare outfit for The Baby and The Toddler, The Toddler never needs a change of clothes’. Wrong. I could mention the genius idea to clean up a poo-in-bath incident by whipping The Toddler straight out of the bath and into the shower. Leading to a poo-in-shower incident. Obviously.

I could certainly mention the time Silly Daddy left the fitting for one of those car child mirrors in the car seat, and then strapped The Toddler, back when she was a baby, into it. The (Baby) Toddler was inexplicably fussy on that journey. It was discussed.
‘What’s wrong with her?’
‘I don’t know. She keeps going to sleep for about five minutes before waking up and fussing for no apparent reason. It’s weird.’
Yes, weird. Inexplicable. The result of having a bit of plastic sticking in her bum.

I thought of all of these, but then I remembered that The Toddler witnessed a birth. The Baby’s birth. Probably not something to aim for as a parent, is it? I believe the traditional procedure is for someone to look after the older sibling during the birth. You know, away from the blood, screaming and placenta.

I have posted about The Baby’s birth before, and mentioned The Toddler’s presence. To summarise, The Baby decided to arrive in a considerable hurry, and therefore had an unscheduled home birth. As it was around 7am, The Toddler had been asleep, but was awoken by the arrival of paramedics. This left Silly Daddy with a dilemma: miss The Baby’s birth or leave The Toddler crying in her room. Or bring The Toddler to the birth. So The Toddler (then 15 months old) was brought to the birth. In case anyone is absolutely horrified, I should add that if she blinked she could literally have missed it, so that’s something.

So, yes, The Toddler was pottering around in the background. She may have been looking in the paramedics’ bags. Definitely a fail. Though a shared fail by the paramedics and the Silly parents, that one. She was certainly in the paramedics’ paperwork, which probably breached data protection.

There you have it: a fifteen month old witnessing a birth (and an after birth); a probably screaming mummy; a definitely screaming, blood-covered baby; messing around with important paperwork; and possibly rooting about in medical equipment. Not exactly a rookie parenting mistake, perhaps, but probably frowned upon. The hospital certainly wouldn’t have allowed it: birth partners have to be at least five years old.

In fairness, the options were limited. Silly Daddy had literally seconds to decide before he would have missed the birth, and Silly Mummy was distracted. Plus, The Toddler had a great time, and a paramedic gave her breakfast later. She appeared entirely unfazed by the birth, no sign of trauma.* As far as The Toddler is concerned, evidently, Silly Daddy leaving a mirror fitting up her bum was a much worse parenting fail than letting her witness a birth.

(*The same cannot be said for when she saw the Harry Potter dementors. That was a rookie mistake: ‘She loved Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets, let’s watch Azkaban.’)

Rookie Mistakes

And You Helped Fetch Some Glue

adhesive-pen-574016_1920So, in a moment of madness, Silly Mummy foolishly planned further Christmas craft activities for Christmas Eve.

Silly Mummy came up with ideas – pipe cleaner Christmas trees, foam Christmas shape collages, and a wooden star. Silly Mummy bought the necessary materials.

Come Christmas Eve, Silly Mummy prepared all of the craft supplies, while The Toddler, The Baby and Silly Daddy played. Silly Mummy cut glittery green pipe cleaners into pieces of different lengths to make the Christmas trees, and put sticky tape onto stars and baubles for decorations. Silly Mummy put more sticky tape onto the Christmas foam shapes. Silly Mummmy readied different coloured pieces of wood to make the big star. Silly Mummy set up the table, putting out all of the activities, with separate piles of supplies for each of the girls. Lastly, Silly Mummy brought over some glue. The Toddler watched all of these preparations. Thereafter, Silly Mummy helped The Baby to make her tree, while Silly Daddy helped The Toddler. Then Silly Mummy helped The Toddler to make her collage. Finally, everyone made the star.

A couple of days later, The Toddler spots the two pipe cleaner tree pictures up on the fridge. She is excited. She has clear memories of making those pictures, and the individual efforts that went into them: ‘I made that! And Daddy made that! And The Baby made it!’ The Toddler pauses. She turns to Silly Mummy to give due credit for all Silly Mummy’s hard work and participation: ‘And you helped fetch some glue.’

That Starry Mick: Ten Things The Toddler Said About Christmas

The Toddler had a few things to say on the subject of Christmas (and the subject of Mick). Here are her festive highlights.

1. The approach of Happy Christmas Day
Sitting in the bath a couple of days before Christmas, The Toddler knows exactly what is going on: ‘Only a couple more sleeps. Couple more sleeps until happy Christmas.’

2. That Starry Mick
The Toddler hears It Was on a Starry Night from Grandma. She requests a rendition of her new song from a confused Silly Mummy: ‘That Starry Mick! Sing That Starry Mick!’

3. Father Christmas’ gingers
The Toddler really latches onto the biscuits for Father Christmas aspect of Christmas. This may seem a very minor element of the whole experience to most, but biscuits are very important to The Toddler. Such that any mention of The Toddler seeing Father Christmas is met with: ‘And I give him gingers!’ (When The Toddler actually did see Father Christmas, she gave him a frown. He might have preferred the biscuits.)

4. Eyes on your own biscuits, please, Father Christmas
The Toddler is also quite concerned to ensure that Father Christmas is aware that he is only to eat his own biscuit allocation. A few days before Christmas, abruptly breaking off in the middle of playing, The Toddler announces: ‘Father Christmas can’t eat Daddy’s biscuit. Daddy’s not going to be happy.’

5. Excited, possibly
Silly Mummy reminds The Toddler of plans for Christmas Eve evening: ‘We’re going to go for a walk and look for Father Christmas’ sleigh, aren’t we?’
The Toddler believes the plan meets with her approval, but doesn’t wish to get carried away until she is sure: ‘Okay. I think I might be excited.’

6. The Snowman
Watching The Snowman, The Toddler narrates: ‘Now he’s sad and he melts. He can’t get up.’ However, it appears that her understanding of quite how sad it is that The Snowman can’t get up may have been tempered by frequent watchings, which may have convinced her he just gets up again another day: ‘The Snowman’s melted now. We’ll see him another time.’

7. Goodwill to all men
In the spirit of goodwill to all men, The Toddler masters the art of sharing. Taking a present addressed to both her and The Baby, she announces: ‘This is for me.’
Silly Mummy reminds her: ‘And The Baby.’
The Toddler considers and counters with: ‘And for me.’ The Toddler apparently will share, but is counting herself twice, so she gets double plays.

8. New Year
On New Year’s Eve, Silly Mummy is explaining New Year to The Toddler: ‘And tomorrow it will be the New Year…’
The Toddler interjects, she’s got this: ‘Then I’ll see The Snowman!’ Silly Mummy and The Toddler had just read The Snowman moments before. The Toddler likes to relate all new information to something she already knows about. Particularly if it is something she knows about from two minutes previously, regardless of relevance.

9. Silent Night
The Toddler is in the back of the car singing Silent Night:
‘All is calm
All is calm
All is calm
All is calm…’
Brilliantly, she breaks off to announce that she is singing Silent Night. Yes, ‘silent night’, The Toddler: those are more words of the song. Words you could sing that aren’t ‘all is calm’. No? Sticking with ‘all is calm’? I see.

10. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
The Toddler very nearly mastered the standard ‘merry Christmas and a happy New Year’ greeting. ‘Reading’ a gift tag, she declares, ‘It says happy new Christmas and a Christmas reindeer.’ Indeed.

R is for Hoppit: Talking Nonsense Since 2015 (a Review of Our Year)

I thought for the New Year (and in no way connected to not having actually written anything, a situation in itself in no way connected to having needed to watch A Christmas Carol and The Hogfather) I would do a quick review of R is for Hoppit’s 2015.

I say a review. That may be overstating things. Lists would probably be more accurate. Three lists, to be precise:

  • my top five most viewed posts of the year (well, since April – not existing January to April significantly reduced viewing figures for the blog in those months);

  • a pick of five of my personal favourite posts (that hadn’t already been included in most viewed); and

  • a selection of twenty five of The Toddler’s best quotes of the year taken from the Ten Funniest Things feature.

 
Most Viewed

1. Why Breast v Formula Should Not Be a Debate

2. Eight Times Having a Toddler Was Like Lord of the Flies

3. I’ll Tell You What, Mummy: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

4. Toddler Towers: Are All Toddlers Basil Fawlty?

5. Five and a Half Ways The Baby Is a Big Disappointment to The Toddler

 
Some Personal Favourites

1. How to (Not) Make Christmas Cards With a Toddler and a Baby

2. Trick or Treat (or Dog)

3. Only the Weak Are Cruel

4. Doctor Toddler Is Back and This Time She’s…a Hairdresser, Actually

5. Not Little Red Riding Toddler

 
The Best of the Ten Funniest Things Feature

1. Spinny armpits
The Toddler is waving a hoover attachment at Silly Mummy and yelling, ‘A spinny armpits!’ Yes, she means ‘expelliarmus’. Silly Mummy likes The Toddler’s version better. Perhaps JK Rowling would like to rewrite the Harry Potter books with spells by The Toddler? And hoover attachments as wands. The Students can all visit Mr Dyson instead of Mr Ollivander: ‘The lint tool chooses the wizard, Mr Potter.’

2. In my opinion, it’s not a cake
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).

3. I don’t know thoughts
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.

4. Tinkerbell The Toddler
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.

5. Michael the dinosaur
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.)

 
6. Stop thief
The Toddler has snatched a handful of The Baby’s lunch from the highchair. Silly Mummy says, ‘Don’t eat The Baby’s food, please. Give it back to her.’ The Toddler returns the food. Silly Mummy turns to The Baby: ‘The Baby, if The Toddler takes your food, say, “Stop thief!”‘ The Baby smiles. Two minutes later, The Toddler sidles over to the highchair, grabs another handful of The Baby’s food, and helpfully says, ‘Stop thief!’

7. Circus flashbacks
The Toddler is eating her dinner. She suddenly stops. She stares into the distance. She announces, ‘Went circus…With Grandma…And Daddy…Went clap, clap.’ She claps her hands. The Toddler returns to her dinner. The Toddler did go to the circus. With Grandma and Daddy. It was about a month ago. The Toddler is having circus flashbacks. You weren’t there, man! You don’t know!

8. The binoculars are not a camera
The Toddler is holding the binoculars from her little explorer set.
‘The Toddler’s camera!’
‘Binoculars, darling.’
‘Cheese!’
‘Those are binoculars, darling.’ The Toddler holds up the binoculars to the cat. They fail to take a picture of the cat.
‘Oh, The Toddler’s camera is broken!’
‘That’s because it’s binoculars, darling.’

9. I’ll go and sort it out
The Toddler has a new obsession with removing pyjamas from The Baby. The Baby is wandering the living room in her nappy. Silly Mummy says, ‘The Baby might be a bit cold now you’ve undressed her, The Toddler.’
The Toddler sets off after The Baby, ‘I’ll go and sort it out.’ Despite The Toddler’s air of calm competence, Silly Mummy can’t help but notice that she ‘sorts it out’ by commandeering The Baby’s ball. The Baby is still rather naked. And she now has no ball.

10. We are not a stinker
The Toddler has a new identity. As Queen Victoria. She has done a poo and Silly Mummy says, ‘I think you’re a stinker.’
The Toddler replies with the royal we: ‘We are not a stinker, are we?’ Silly Mummy believes we are a stinker, but we are certainly not amused. (See what we did there?)

11. I’m not a Hufflepuff
The Toddler appears to quite like Harry Potter, though Silly Mummy had assumed she did not take that much in. Silly Mummy assumed wrong. The Toddler is roaring and huffing, leading Silly Mummy to ask, ‘Are you the big bad wolf? Do you huff and puff?’
The Toddler gives Silly Mummy a disparaging look, ‘No, I’m not a Hufflepuff.’ There you go: taken it all in, right down to knowing which house is, frankly, a bit rubbish. Any allegation of being a Hufflepuff (or even something that sounds a little bit like it) will be firmly denied by The Toddler and her people (The Baby).

12. Are you talking about me
The Baby is babbling to herself. The Toddler goes over and sticks her face right in The Baby’s: ‘What you saying, The Baby? Are you talking about me, The Baby?’ Well, as they say, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean The Baby’s not talking about you.

13. I remember cheese
Silly Mummy asks The Toddler if she would like some cheese with her lunch. The Toddler replies, ‘Oh, cheese. I remember cheese.’ Ah, yes, my old chum cheese. I remember him well. Fought together in the war, you know. Wonder what old cheese is up to now. Jolly good.

14. It’s my yoghurt
The Toddler has just finished eating toast for lunch. She says, ‘Yoghurt, please.’ Silly Mummy fetches a yoghurt. The Toddler looks at it: ‘It’s strawberry.’ It’s banana. The Toddler thinks all yoghurts are strawberry.
Silly Mummy says, ‘It’s banana.’
‘Oh nana.’ The Toddler starts eating.
‘It’s not very nice.’ She eats another mouthful.
‘It’s not very nice.’ Another mouthful.
‘It’s not very nice.’ Another mouthful.
‘It’s not very nice.’ The Toddler is giving mixed messages.
Silly Mummy asks, ‘Can I try it, if you don’t like it?’
‘No. It’s my yoghurt.’

15. Shoo
Silly Mummy, Grandad, The Toddler and The Baby are out with the double buggy. A couple of women want to pass. The Silly Party moves over slightly to make room. All very courteous…but, wait! The Toddler wants to say something. Does she want to say ‘hello’, perhaps? ‘Nice to meet you’? ‘No, no: after you’? ‘Please do go past us, we’re a little slow’? No. The Toddler turns to the passing ladies: ‘Shoo! Shoo! Get away! Get away!’ The Toddler, ladies and gentlemen: so charming, such manners.

16. Just let me do the walking
The Baby is practising her new skill of walking, tottering across the living room unassisted, before falling down. Silly Mummy claps and praises The Baby. The Toddler appears. Clearly something is going on here. The clapping is a sure sign of something going on, and The Toddler is going to find out what it is.
‘What’s The Baby doing, Mummy?’
‘She was walking, darling.’
The Toddler considers this information, and turns to The Baby: ‘Just let me do the walking.’ That’s right, The Baby, step aside and leave it to the experts, this is not amateur hour.

17. Safety first
The Toddler and The Baby are playing. The Toddler has decided to ensure that all the appropriate regulations are being followed. She makes The Baby aware of the priorities: ‘Safety first, The Baby.’ The Baby looks at her soft, squishy ball in confusion, and flings it in a safety conscious manner at The Toddler’s head.

18. Look, Daddy, a clock
The Silly Family are going swimming. Silly Daddy is getting tickets. The Toddler has spotted something she wants Silly Daddy to see: ‘Look, Daddy, a clock!’ Except she’s not yelling ‘clock’. She never says ‘clock’. She always misses the ‘l’. Usually, the context makes her meaning clear. Usually, she can only mean ‘clock’. But this is the swimming pool, no assumptions should be made. A quick check of surroundings is warranted. Everyone is dressed. There is a clock on the wall. All is well.

19. Cut it off now
The Toddler is stroking Mummy’s hair: ‘This nice. Like it…Cut it off now?’ Well, that escalated quickly.

20. Toddler Frankenstein
The Toddler has recently been given a toy doctor’s kit. She picks it up and extracts the scissors and the tweezers. She approaches Daddy, sitting on the sofa: ‘Daddy, go to sleep.’
Daddy is understandably suspicious: ‘Why does Daddy have to go to sleep?’
The Toddler puts on a reassuring voice and slightly psychotic expression: ‘Daddy, sleep. Go to sleep, please.’ There is now a stand-off. The Toddler, still brandishing medical implements, continues to insist that Daddy just go to sleep, no questions asked. Daddy is sensibly remaining awake. There will be no experiments on Daddy today. But one day, Daddy will fall asleep and, when that day comes, Toddler Frankenstein will be waiting. With her tweezers.

21. It’s just my bottom
The Toddler asks, ‘What’s that noisy?’
Silly Mummy isn’t sure what noise she means: ‘What noise? Do you mean the tumble drier?’
The Toddler has resolved the issue for herself: ‘Oh no, Mummy, it’s just my bottom!’

22. Conversations with PA systems
Silly Mummy, The Toddler and The Baby are in the supermarket, passing the travelator. Someone gets onto the travelator, and it starts giving its automated instructions: ‘Stand still and hold onto the hand rail.’ The Toddler is not one to miss out on a conversation, whether it involves her or not: ‘Right, I’m standing still. Standing still now.’ She’s actually sitting in the pushchair. Apparently she is expecting further input from the travelator. She reaffirms: ‘I’m standing still.’ The travelator is a bit rude and fails to acknowledge The Toddler’s compliance with its instructions. However, the PA system steps up to the mark to fill the conversational void: ‘Welcome to the store.’
‘Thank you,’ says The Toddler.

23. I’m 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!’

24. I resent to you 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!’

25. It is her bottom
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.

 
 
So, that was 2015 from R is for Hoppit. Talking nonsense, mostly, but at least we had fun. Happy New Year to all.