Parents of toddlers: without realising it, you have been receiving crack training to compete in, and win, a variety of game and panel shows.
Here are your newly acquired game show strengths. Go forth and make your fortunes/win a fridge freezer.
1. The Generation Game
You may not be aware that tidying up toddlers’ toys provides perfect training for The Generation Game‘s conveyor belt. Every night is essentially the conveyor belt, as you desperately try to recall what toys there should be in order to hunt them down and return them to their proper place: ‘Ball…Peppa Pig figures…Four tea cups…A spatula…Four spoons…A frying pan…A kettle…CUDDLY TOY…A stethoscope…A thermometer…A reflex hammer….Six dinosaurs…A bus…CUDDLY TOY…Baby doll…Lego, so much Lego…Two wands…Dominoes…Princess Holly…Nanny Plum…Gaston the ladybird…WHERE’S GASTON THE LADYBIRD??’ Your prize for remembering all the toys on the conveyor belt of mess is not getting a George Pig figure up your arse when you sit on your sofa.
2. The Crystal Maze
The Crystal Maze poses no challenge to you, the parents of toddlers. Why, just this morning, you negotiated an obstacle course of Lego, walked the balance beam of the back of the sofa, and stood precariously on one foot on a shelf in order to reach a small plastic pig that was somehow on top of the DVD tower. Throughout this challenge, you were receiving massively unhelpful ‘assistance’ screamed at you by your teammates/toddlers. Essentially, this is The Crystal Maze: completing ridiculous physical challenges to obtain a pointless object, while people you hold fully responsible for your ordeal yell ‘help’ at you.
3. Call My Bluff
This is most of your day when dealing with toddlers: only one thing in every three you tell them is actually true, and the question is whether they can work out which it is.
Parents of toddlers spend much of their time receiving incomprehensible instructions from excitable children, the following of which tends to achieve very little except for a likely collision with some kind of obstacle. This is basically the format of Knightmare. Parents of toddlers: you are ready.
Extensive knowledge of an obscure and ridiculous topic? Yes, toddler parents, you have that covered. Not by your own free will, mind you, but covered nonetheless.
‘What is your specialist subject?’
‘Speak up, please.’
‘Nanny Plum’s various magic spells for creating far too much jelly, custard, ice cream and other squidgy desserts.’
You will, however, be confused by ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’. The concept of finishing a sentence (or task, or cup of tea) will not be one you are able to grasp.
6. Give Us a Clue
Deciphering the meaning of some frantic hand gestures and a bit of foot stamping, unaccompanied by any actual words? An average Tuesday for the toddler parent, and preparation for a Give Us a Clue winning streak.
Nobody is better than a parent of toddlers at successfully crossing a space while avoiding missiles being pelted at their head. Furthermore, running the gauntlet is actually the accepted method for parents to successfully make it from the living room to the kitchen. Wolf and Jet would have been eating the dust of toddler parents.
8. Scrapheap Challenge
As a toddler parent, you complete a miniature version of this contest daily, being expected to build a working toy from the gathered scraps of toy presented by your toddler.
9. I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue
Essentially, this game involves performing a variety of silly tasks for the amusement of the gathered audience, while frankly not having a clue what’s going on. Toddler parents, you are so adept at this game, you can probably not have a clue in your sleep.
10. University Challenge
Strangely, spending time with toddlers is not unlike competing on University Challenge. You will be incessantly asked questions you don’t know the answer to, mostly put to you in a rude and mocking tone. These will be followed by additional bonus questions you also don’t know the answers to, delivered even more rudely than before. Admittedly, you have probably not been equipped to actually win University Challenge, but you would certainly be able to withstand Jeremy Paxman without crying.