The Toddler has left the building. Actually, she hasn’t. The door is locked. But she has announced her intention to leave, said her goodbyes, packed a bag. Or, at least, picked up a toy kettle and a wooden triangle. Or put an envelope on her head as a hat. That happened.
Before The Toddler could speak, she would just amble off towards the door. When she got her first bag, she took up ambling towards the door with random items stuffed in her bag. Once she started speaking, she would cheerfully call, ‘Bye!’ She now says ‘see you later’ or ‘back soon’. Pretty much whenever she moves, in fact. Or anyone else moves. Fetching toys from half a metre away, Silly Mummy going to change The Baby’s nappy, and going to bed are all appropriate ‘back soon’/’see you later’ situations, as far as The Toddler is concerned.
If The Toddler feels one of her trips is particularly deserving of recognition, she likes to narrate it. She is setting out on an epic journey from her bedroom to halfway down the landing. Each step of this momentous trek must be charted. The Toddler heads out of the door. ‘Walking. Back soon…’ There is a pause. ‘Sorry, Bink! Geta Bink.’ The Toddler edges back into the room. She subtly grabs teddy Binker and sidles casually back out onto the landing, confident no one noticed her oversight. ‘Walking. Bye, Mummy. Back soon.’
The Toddler’s commitment to ensuring everyone is kept fully abreast of her travel plans does not stop at information about her departure and expected time of return. Oh no. The Toddler will also announce the return. It often occurs immediately after the departure: ‘Bye. Back again.’
As for the contents of The Toddler’s bag? Typical items packed for her trips include the coasters from the coffee table, a ball, a turtle, wooden shapes, a plastic cabbage. On one notable occasion, The Toddler marched to the door wearing only a nappy & carrying an entirely empty bag. The Toddler reappeared. She had forgotten something. She was not properly prepared for the trip. ‘Mummy, need shoes!’ Ah, shoes! Yes, that was what was missing.
The Toddler has become aware of late that unlocking the door is a process involved in people leaving the house. She therefore now typically asks Silly Mummy to give her the keys or unlock the door. ‘Time to go now. Bye bye, Mummy. Unlock door, please, Mummy.’ A blunt ‘no’ in response to this request was met with, ‘Oh, alright.’ But then Silly Mummy felt a bit bad. So Silly Mummy created a magic, invisible key (kept on the shelf with the imaginary jam) for such occasions.
The magic, invisible key was a great idea. Then it escalated. It could now be described as a little out of control. It is just before bedtime. The Toddler, in her pyjamas, fancies a stroll. She heads for the door. ‘Bye now. Going walk. Shoes on. Going now. Keys, please, Mummy. Want keys.’ Silly Mummy fetches and hands over the magic, invisible key (Silly Mummy is becoming an excellent mime artist).
The Toddler is still indoors (she has yet to notice the magic, invisible key is not so good with actually opening the door). It is sunny outside. However: ‘Raining. Oh dear me. Bit of rain. Bit of rain, Mummy. Need jacket. Jacket, please.’ Would you look at that: Silly Mummy happens to have a magic, invisible raincoat right here! Silly Mummy helps The Toddler into the magic, invisible coat, and zips it up (really).
The Toddler is now fully prepared for this trip. Right? Wrong. ‘Harness, please. Need harness.’ One minute later, and The Toddler is wearing a magic, invisible harness over her magic, invisible raincoat. She is holding the magic, invisible rein of her own magic, invisible harness, since no one else is going on the imaginary walk. (No, The Toddler did not consider the rein issue herself. Yes, Silly Mummy did get carried away with the mime act). The Toddler must be ready, surely?
‘Going. Need tea cup.’ Tea cup? A tea cup is needed for the walk? Apparently so. One magic, invisible tea cup coming up. The Toddler is definitely ready this time. She takes a step. ‘Need hat on. Get The Toddler’s hat, please, Mummy.’ Silly Mummy – who I think we can all agree is remarkably well stocked with completely imaginary items – supplies a magic, invisible hat, and The Toddler is off.
Nearly. ‘Doing walking. Need shoes on.’ Really? Silly Mummy is sure The Toddler said she had her shoes on at the start of this expedition. Apparently, one can never be wearing too many pairs of imaginary shoes. Inexplicably, Silly Mummy’s magic, invisible shoes are buckle-up. Must get some magic, invisible Velcro shoes: much quicker.
‘Bye, Mummy. Door, please. Going now, Mummy. Get bag, please.’ Well, in fairness, what else is she going to keep all her magic, invisible items in except a magic, invisible bag?
The Toddler finally makes it to the door. In keeping with the entirely imaginary nature of the trip and her attire, The Toddler is sticking with her imaginary weather: ‘Jacket on, bit cold. Raining.’ The Toddler decides this imaginary weather is not for her. She’s a fair weather imaginary walker. She’ll just pop off to bed instead. (Without so much as removing a magic, invisible shoe, Silly Mummy might add. The bed will be full of magic, invisible dirt.) ‘Night night, Mummy. Back soon!’ Yes, in 12 hours.