From Toddler Lessons

Toddler Rules of Grammar (Toddler Lessons: Part Eight)

51551bc6f8ec618e2d4a16f583e4019fIt is Toddler Lessons: Part Eight, and we are learning the toddler rules of grammar.

 
1. Interjections

Interjections are good. Toddlers use them as much as possible. In order to add that element of intrigue and suspense, toddlers like to use certain interjections – ‘oh dear’ and ‘oops’, mostly – with no further clarification, leaving nearby adults desperately trying to work out what the toddler has done/broken.

 
2. Pronouns

Pronouns are an all or nothing deal in toddler grammar. Initially, they should not be used at all. However, once introduced into the vocabulary, it is entirely acceptable to construct entire sentences out of just pronouns: ‘Hello, Mummy. The Baby thought you were you, but you’re not you, you’re you.’ Anyone who tells you this is a risky and confusing strategy should be ignored.

 
3. Superlative Adjectives

In toddler grammar, all adjectives are superlative. Preferably, the superlative adjectives used should be words that are not entirely correct, at least in formal English, like ‘bestest’ and ‘favouritest’. In order to make the superlative even more superlative, it is good practice to also add ‘most’. It is a matter of personal choice, of course, but this is the most bestest way to do it.

 
4. Double Negatives

There is nothing wrong with a double negative. Indeed, if possible, negatives should be triple or even quadruple: ‘I don’t never want to not never take it back.’

 
5. Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is seldom reached in toddler grammar. In fact, as with all areas of toddler life, there is a fair amount of disagreement between subjects and verbs. The subject and the verb are probably having a fight about who was playing with the adjective first.

 
6. Dependent Clauses

Dependent clauses can absolutely stand alone in toddler grammar: ‘Because of marmalade.’ There is really no need to bother with the part of the sentence that the clause was dependent on: people will work it out.

 
7. Conjunctions

It is, of course, a myth that a sentence cannot start with a conjunction. However, the toddler assertion that a sentence can end with a conjunction is more controversial: ‘Mummy, I was going to play with my bus, but.’ It is also perfectly permissible in toddler grammar to use conjunctions to join other conjunctions: ‘Mummy, when but but and and then so!’

 
8. Relative Clauses

In toddler grammar, defining relative clauses are avoided, as it just does not do to go around giving people essential information that they need in order to understand what is going on. Non-defining relative clauses, on the other hand, those providing information we just did not actually need, can go on for three years.

 
 

(Please Note: I apologise for any grammatical errors that may have appeared in this post about grammar. It was written by a toddler.)

 
 
You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here

 
 

The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

Toddler Photography (Toddler Lessons: Part Seven)

fotagrafin-263381_1280Welcome to Part Seven of the Toddler Lessons series, where we will be looking at toddler photographic techniques.

 
1. Subject Matter

When you find a subject that works, such as a knee, stick with it. Take three million identical photos of the knee. Do not mess with a winning formula. The aim should be to create a series of photographs that would work as a flick book. A really dull one. A flick book of a day in the life of a knee.

Controversy sells, and it therefore pays to be as inappropriate as possible with your subject matter. Extreme close ups of family members’ breasts and crotches are ideal.

 
2. Composition

It is important to have an interesting and unusual viewpoint, as these add intrigue to a photograph. Photographs taken whilst face down on the carpet are perfect examples of this.

Correct placement of the main subject of the photograph is important. Achieving the right balance between different elements can be tricky. The simplest method, as advocated by toddler photographers, is to miss the subject of the photograph out altogether, thus negating the need for balance.

Plain and unobtrusive backgrounds are very important in photography, in order to avoid detracting from the main subject matter. So important are such backgrounds that, should a nice plain piece of wall be located, it should probably be photographed alone. Avoid detracting from the plain and unobtrusive background with any subject matter.

 
3. Motion

Capturing motion in photographs is a difficult skill. Toddler photographers recommend approaching it with the utmost zeal and commitment to the idea of motion: ensure that the subject, photographer and camera are all moving as much as possible.

 
4. Flash

The use of flash should be as startling as possible, particularly to the photographer.

 
5. Focus

This should be either entirely lacking or completely bizarre. Think out of focus family with crystal clear raisin box on coffee table.

 
6. Filters

Filters placed in front of the camera lens to modify and subtly alter the image are frequently used by toddler photographers. The most popular toddler photographic filter is known as ‘the finger’. ‘The finger’ subtly modifies images so that they display a subtle hint of finger.

 
7. Special Effects

These should be applied completely randomly, with no thought for aesthetics. A sepia toned radiator gives a vintage look to modern central heating. A bin with artfully blurred edges is always a winning composition.

 
8. Exhibitions

Every good photographer needs an exhibit. ‘Study in Patch of Beige Carpet’ should do it.

 
9. Panoramic Photography

Panoramic photography is so last year. Toddler photographers in the know now practice twirloramic photography. Twirloramic photography is a technique involving the spinning of a camera in a circle in order to capture a 360 degree image. The effect is widely admired as ‘dizzying’, ‘vomit-inducing’ and ‘blurry’.

 
10. Water Drop Photography

Some absurdly clueless adult photographers believe this is taking photographs of drops of water. Toddler photographers smugly mock this ignorance, whilst following the correct technique of dropping the camera in water.

 
 

(Please Note: As always, neither I nor toddlers know much about this subject. Please do not drop a camera in water.)

 
 
You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here

 
 
Nominations for the
Mumsnet Blogging Awards 2016 are open until 31st July. If you find me at all amusing, I would love nominations in the Best Comic Writer category. Nominating is very simple by following the link above. Thank you for reading my shameless begging.

Freudian Psychology (Toddler Lessons: Part Six)

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

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

 
1. Psychoanalysis

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

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

 
2. Repression

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

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

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

 
3. Hysteria

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

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

 
4. Free Association

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

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

 
5. Your Mother

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

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

 
6. The Human Psyche

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

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

 
7. Dreams

Freud believed dreams were about wish fulfilment.

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

 
8. Transference

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

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

 
 

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

 
 
You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here

 
 

My Random Musings

Toddler Literature (Toddler Lessons: Part Five)

stack-of-books-1001655_1920In Part Five of the Toddler Lessons series, we are studying English Literature.

 
Toddlers are typically accomplished storytellers, and enthusiastic poets. Here are toddler takes on six literary mediums, styles and devices.

(As an added bonus with this lesson, I think we can all agree no one need actually read Romeo and Juliet ever again. You are welcome.)

 
1. Poetry

Early toddler poetry is characterised by the seminal work ‘Duck’:

‘Duck!
Duck!
Duck!
Quack!
Duck!
Mummy: duck!
DUUUUUCK!’

Bizarrely, this piece of poetry, word for word, is attributable to every young toddler ever.

As toddlers progress, their poetry moves on – often to the style of the epic poem. The epic poem ‘Mummy I Have A Complaint About Everything That Has Happened Today’ is approximately two years long. (Of course, that’s just ‘Part One: The Toddler Years’. ‘Part Two: The Teenage Years’ resumes at the age of thirteen, and is roughly five years long.) Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Homer. Twenty-four books for the Odyssey? Is that the best you could manage?

 
2. Plays

If anyone is ever in need of a quick summary of Romeo and Juliet, they could do worse than watch toddlers interacting for a few minutes. In ‘Todleo and Todliet’, two toddlers meet at a playgroup. Despite not knowing each other at all, they instantly love each other. If one of them had previously been in love with another toddler (let’s call her Rosaline, that way, if anyone actually is foolish enough to attempt to use this as a Romeo and Juliet study guide, they will at least get one mark), this is immediately forgotten. Rosaline now smells. Somehow, with no real explanation as to exactly why everyone has decided to so epically overreact, war breaks out among all of the toddlers in the room, resulting in great bloodshed on all sides. Todliet decides to play dead, though no one can quite work out why she thinks this is helpful. Todleo runs away, before deciding that he also wants to play dead because Todliet is. The entire relationship lasts about five minutes, and ends in chaos, panic and disorder for everyone in the room.

 
3. Literary Quotes

Toddlers are fans of a good literary quote, and have found each of these popular examples to be frequently applicable to their own lives.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Anyone who is foolhardy enough to give a toddler a free flow cup will be aware that toddlers are Coleridge fans:
‘Water, water everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.’
(‘Yoghurt, yoghurt everywhere, and not so much as a bloody spoonful in a mouth’ is also a popular toddler variation on the quote.)

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ pretty much sums up the toddler age. It is usually a fairly accurate description of the elation, heartbreak, giggling and sobbing that formed the emotional rollercoaster that was the preceding five minutes in a toddler’s life.

The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by…’
…And that is why I got lost. And covered in mud. And Mummy shouted.

King Lear, William Shakespeare

When they have been told off, toddlers often like to adopt King Lear’s self-pitying stance: ‘I am a [toddler] more sinned against than sinning.’ This is illustrated by anguished sobbing about how awful Mummy was to suggest that a banana was not to be inserted into the DVD player, no matter how convinced one may be that said banana is the blu-ray edition of Tangled.

 
4. Symbolism, Suggestion, Themes and Motifs

Toddler words are laden with symbolism and deeper meaning. In the famous soliloquy ‘I want raisins NOW’, for example, the evaporation of the water from the grape to make the raisin symbolises the evaporation of the toddler’s dreams of getting chocolate instead of raisins. Of course, there are those who believe the soliloquy is not symbolic of anything, and simply demonstrates that toddlers like raisins. Such disagreements, however, merely serve to confirm that toddlers are worthy of their places in the world of literature, which is rife with this type of debate. Hamlet: a tragic hero whose struggles and actions represent the mystery of death, the state of the nation, incestuous desire, and the nature of revenge…or just a bit of an arse? (If you are due to sit an exam on Hamlet any time soon, I would say that the former option is the one traditionally preferred by the exam boards. You can believe the latter on your own time, like the rest of us.)

 
5. Structure

Toddler storytellers laugh in the face of the traditional idea that a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Middles, in the opinion of toddlers, take rather a lot of effort – all that formulating of plots – and waste everyone’s time. This is why the complete and unabridged version of many famous toddler works is: ‘Once upon a time…The End!’ Furthermore, many toddlers view the middles certain authors insist on putting into their books with disdain, and will refuse to allow anyone to see any pages other than the first or last. These two pages contain all the information a toddler needs, and they will not have well meaning parents assaulting their ears with an actual story.

 
6. Literary/Narrative Devices

Toddlers employ a number of important narrative devices to great effect in both their storytelling and their lives.

MacGuffin

(A plot device formed of a goal, object, etc that the protagonist pursues, with little or no explanation provided as to why it is considered to be important.)

 
Toddlers actually devote much of their lives to MacGuffins, dedicating themselves to the pursuit of some goal (getting their feet into two small plastic cups) or object (anything belonging to Mummy and unsuitable for a toddler) for reasons that are entirely inexplicable even to themselves.

Hyperbole

This is the main style of toddler storytelling. Toddlers don’t like understatement, it’s just so boring. Extensive use of hyperbole as a narrative style is how, after an uneventful day featuring a simple trip to the shops, Daddy, upon his return to from work, will come to believe the day was spent meeting Grandma. And Peppa Pig. In Austria. To go swimming. At the circus. Where we got milk (we did get milk – there has to be a little bit of truth). Whilst dressed as Snow White (everyone, including imaginary Grandma).

Plot Twist

Toddlers are unrivaled among storytellers for their ability to create a plot twist no one could see coming. Indeed, many toddler stories take such a twist that they actually become an entirely different story, bearing little (no) relation to the original: ‘We went to the shops, and I wore my shoes, and I had some raisins, and then…can you show me tiger? Cos my bedroom is an apple.’

Backstory

Toddlers like a backstory. Particularly if it is rambling, apparently interminable, and utterly irrelevant to what they are actually talking about.

Cliffhanger

The use of cliffhangers is a popular feature in toddler storytelling, usually occurring when the toddler in question gets distracted by something shiny and wanders off, leaving their audience forever mystified as to the ending of the tale.

Stream of Consciousness

Like James Joyce, toddlers are fans of the stream of consciousness, narrating exactly what is in their heads, with little editing, censorship or logic. Many critics have suggested the toddler stream of consciousness to be infinitely more entertaining and mildly more coherent than Ulysses, though this makes hardcore Joyce fans very angry.

 
 

(Please Note: Do NOT use this post as a study guide for Romeo and Juliet. Or anything else.)

 
 
You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here

Toddler History (Toddler Lessons: Part Four)

Queen_Victoria_18873In Part Four of the Toddler Lessons series, we are studying History.

 
Toddlers understand that there is much we can learn from studying history. Here are five historical periods that have had a great influence on toddlers.

 
1. The Roman Empire

Like the Romans, Toddlers like to take the straightest possible route, carving their roads directly through the middle of toys, furniture and other people. All Roman roads led to Rome. All toddler roads lead to trouble.

Toddlers share with Romans a talent for leaving a permanent mark on the world. Some Roman structures have impressively stood for more than 2000 years. This is approximately how long toddler handprints will remain, irremovable, on the wall of your house.

Like Caligula (allegedly), toddlers are extremely likely to appoint a horse (or the cat, Iggle Piggle, or a very important piece of Lego) as their chief adviser.

In language similarities, no one really understands how either Latin or toddler verbs are conjugated.

 
2. The Dark Ages

Much like the Dark Ages, very little is actually understood about toddlers. Most of what is believed to be known about toddlers is, in fact, wrong.

Records of the Toddler Ages are mostly limited to blurred photographs of the ever moving subject, which tell us very little, and self-taken portraits of knees. Historians have bitterly debated the significance of knees to toddlers, with no agreement yet reached. Most written records of the Toddler Ages have been eaten, shredded or dipped in porridge.

There is known to be much crying and yelling during the Toddler Ages, but the causes of this remain a mystery to scholars and parents.

 
3. Tudors and Stuarts

Toddlers typically take quite a lot of their day-to-day lives from the reign of the Tudors and Stuarts. Like fickle affections. Yesterday’s favourite person is today liable to be divorced/beheaded/prodded with a tiny but lethal finger/called a naughty wolf (delete as applicable, depending on whether you are dealing with a toddler or Henry VIII). Following the teachings of their Tudor mentors, toddler ideologies are also subject to abrupt change. Everyone will be required to follow the toddler’s firmly held beliefs (it is 9am and therefore time for lunch), or be subjected to interrogation (‘Why?’) and torture (beatings with a plastic teapot). The beliefs themselves, however, will be abandoned and replaced with different beliefs quicker than you can say ‘Reformation’. ‘No, Mummy, we hate Mr Tumble.’ But…you cried for two hours this morning because you wanted to watch him.

If you have a toddler, just like the Stuarts, they have probably brought the Great Plague home from nursery (put chamomile lotion on it).

Neither toddlers nor the people of the Stuart period can be trusted with baking. (Though, in all fairness, The Great Fire of London might have been responsible for ending the Great Plague of London (see above). Of course, toddler baking is likely to only succeed in ending the cupcake tray. And Mummy’s eyebrow.)

Punch and Judy was introduced to England during the Stuart reign. It is introduced to most toddler households on a daily basis. Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a Tuesday with a toddler unless the baby has been mishandled, someone has been yelled at, everyone has been hit repeatedly with some kind of stick-like implement, and a toy crocodile has turned up for no apparent reason. ‘That’s the way to do it!’

 
4. The Victorian Era

Toddlers have a great deal in common with the Victorians. They like to play with trains. They are very excited by telephones. They enjoy child labour. (Toddlers would willingly march off to the workhouse or scale a chimney. As long as they thought adults were doing it and they were not allowed, of course.) Any item of clothing that it is virtually impossible to walk in, and completely impossible to sit down in, is favoured as the most practical thing to wear by toddlers, just as it was for the Victorians before them. Bonus points if it trails on the floor and trips them up.

 
5. First World War

Toddlers seem to follow the model of the First World War for most of their conflicts. As such, toddler wars appear to involve pretty much anyone who is unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity. They largely revolve around vicious, but ultimately futile, battles, which don’t actually result in any kind of movement on either side. Following great blood shed, occupation of the disputed area of sofa remains unchanged. No one has the faintest idea how the war actually started or why they are fighting in it.

 
 

(Please Note: These eras are listed in correct chronological order. That is about as far as I guarantee the historical accuracy of this post.)

 
 

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

 
 
Nominations for the Mumsnet Blogging Awards 2016 are open until 31st July. If you find me at all amusing, I would love nominations in the Best Comic Writer category. Nominating is very simple by following the link above. Thank you for reading my shameless begging.

Toddler Mathematics (Toddler Lessons: Part Two)

pythagoras-153530_1280 Continuing (what I have now decided to make) my series in Toddler Lessons, which began with Toddler Laws of Physics, I present Toddler Mathematics.

 
Toddlers are actually surprisingly good at mathematics. Need convincing? Here are ten maths lessons from toddlers.

 
1. Addition

Toddlers are excellent at addition: ‘Toddler, why do you have two biscuits? I gave you one biscuit. Is that your little sister’s biscuit?’

 
2. Subtraction

Subtraction is what happens to toddlers’ shoes, socks, hats and gloves during outings.

 
3. Positive and negative numbers

(The result of multiplying two negative numbers is a positive number.)

 
Toddlers have a very clear grasp of the idea that two negatives make a positive. It is why ‘NO, do NOT paint the cat’ means ‘absolutely, please do go ahead and paint the cat – what a wonderful idea’.

 
4. Percentage

(A number or ratio expressed as a fraction of 100.)

 
Toddlers use percentages largely to determine how much food their parents actually get to eat. 100% is the percentage of Mummy’s food that belongs to the toddler. 10% is the maximum percentage of Mummy’s food that the toddler is prepared to share with Mummy.

 
5. The Law of Large Numbers

(According to the Law of Large Numbers, the average of the results obtained from a high number of trials should be close to the expected value, and should become closer the more trials are performed.)

 
Not many people know this, but toddlers have worked tirelessly on proving the Law of Large Numbers. This is why they like to do a single activity over and over again, selflessly demonstrating results exactly as expected/as obtained two seconds ago. Thanks to the dedicated work of toddler researchers, it has been shown that three billion viewings of a single episode of Peppa Pig does confirm the Law of Large Numbers, producing average results close to the expected value: i.e. 100% of parents rocking in a corner.

 
6. Ratio

(A relationship showing how much of one thing there is compared to another.)

 
Ratios are quite important to toddlers. The ratio of vegetables to treats in a toddler’s daily food intake must not be above 1 : 50, or the offered food will be rejected/thrown. (The one vegetable should be a pea.)

 
7. Whole numbers and fractions

Toddlers like to use Christmas Day to demonstrate the difference between whole numbers and fractions. Their new toys start the day as whole numbers but, following some rigorous ‘banging against the radiator’ tests, are mostly fractions by lunch time. (Coincidentally, the difference between ‘smiling’ and ‘crying’ is also demonstrated on Christmas Day.)

 
8. Pi

(The ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Formulas using pi include: the circumference of a circle can be calculated by multiplying twice the radius by pi.)

 
Toddlers use this formula to calculate the circumference of the ‘Circle of Destruction’ they will be able to form by swinging any toy attached to a piece of string (radius). This enables them to maximise the damage to person, property and cat.

 
9. Pythagoras’ Theorem

(Used to calculate the length of the sides of a right angled triangle. The square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.)

 
When toddlers jump from the back of a sofa, the little geniuses employ Pythagoras’ Theorem, using the sum of the squares of the height of the sofa and the depth of the sofa to accurately calculate the length of the stay in hospital to have a plaster cast put on their arm.

 
10. Inequalities

(A relationship between two values when they are different. For example: a < b (a is less than b), a > b (a is greater than b).)

 
Inequalities are an area of toddler expertise. In all circumstances, it is vital that a > b, where a = the number of toys a toddler has in his or her possession, and b = the number of toys a toddler’s younger sibling has in his or her possession. Likewise, c < d, where c = the number of layers of clothing a toddler will deign to wear to leave the house, and d = the number of layers of clothing the temperature outside requires to avoid hypothermia.    

(Please Note: As with the science in Toddler Laws of Physics, absolutely no level of mathematical accuracy should be assumed in the contents of this post. In fact, Stephen Hawking is most displeased with both posts.)

 
 

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

Toddler Laws of Physics (Toddler Lessons: Part One)

albert-einstein-1144965_1920
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.