Tagged toddlers

The Toddlers: STILL Supporting Brexit?

eu-1473958_1920Following the utter disaster, sorry, outcome of the EU Referendum, I’m sure many of you are wondering if The Toddlers are still Brexit supporters, and how they are dealing with the fallout.

Unfortunately, the signs continue to point to The Toddlers being firmly in the Brexit camp.

 
1. Having cried, shouted and stamped their feet because they wanted their toy dinosaurs, they are both now refusing to touch or do anything with said dinosaurs. God help anyone who suggests that maybe we should accept that we don’t really want the dinosaurs and just put them away, though. They wanted those dinosaurs, damn it. It is their right to have those dinosaurs. It is not relevant that the dinosaurs no longer seem like a good idea, and they aren’t quite sure what to do with them.

 
2. The toddlers look pleased with themselves. This is usually a fairly accurate sign of impending doom.

 
3. The Toddlers have made a few decisions based on dodgy information supplied by a not very trustworthy stuffed crocodile. These decisions have turned out to be a little questionable. The Toddlers are not admitting this.

 
4. The Toddlers had claimed that Mummy was giving £350 million biscuits a week to Daddy. They wanted these biscuits redirecting to their bellies. It has since transpired that The Toddlers may have miscalculated slightly. There may not have been £350 million biscuits. The Toddlers have since denied making the claim altogether. They are currently denying ever having heard of biscuits.

 
5. The Toddlers like to tell Mummy that they want to be in charge, they know what they are doing, and Mummy should go away. Upon getting their way, The Toddlers tend to ask Mummy to come back and take charge again.

 
6. The Toddlers have been very angry and indignant about perceived injustices. The Toddlers perceive many injustices: everyone is out to get them. In the cold light of day, it turns out that The Toddlers may have misunderstood the situation slightly. This may have been the result of not listening.

 
7. The Toddlers like someone to blame. They are not particularly concerned with whether they are blaming the right person. So far today Mummy has been to blame for the weather, something Peppa Pig did, and blue. As such, The Toddlers have voted to leave Mummy.

 
8. The Toddlers’ currency is raisins. The value of their currency took a steep decline this morning after they ate it on a whim.

 
9. The Big Toddler feels that, though her decision to swing a wooden crocodile through the air has smacked the Little Toddler in the face and hurt her, that isn’t really her problem. She doesn’t feel that she should be accountable. She doesn’t accept that she had any responsibility to consider the potential consequences of swinging a wooden crocodile through the air before doing it. It was her right to swing a wooden crocodile through the air, and she believes it was in her best interests to do so. She believes that the Little Toddler should stop whining about being smacked in the face by a wooden crocodile, accept that she lost, and get over it.

 
10. The Toddlers are currently denying the existence of their ELC Toy Box Musical Adventure Bus. Photographic evidence of them with the bus notwithstanding, they both claim never to have seen it.

 
 
(Once again, these may, in fact, all be signs that certain grown adults are behaving like toddlers, rather than that The Toddlers are supporting Brexit.)

 
 
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.

How Parents of Babies and Toddlers Are Bad for the Environment

smoke-258786_1920It has come to my attention that parents of babies and toddlers are perhaps just a little bit bad for the environment. Or maybe it’s just me. Either way, here are my ten reasons why.

 
1. Disposable nappies

I think this one speaks for itself. There are nappies. So many nappies. Admittedly cloth nappies are available. Environmentally responsible people use these. For the rest of us, there are just two issues with that idea: (1) see point 4; and (2) no, just no.

 
2. Everything is plastic

Everything. Everything in the whole house. The endless toys, obviously. But it’s worse than that. It’s the cups, the plates, the bowls, the cutlery, the coasters, the place mats. Things that used to exist in non-plastic varients are now non-breakable plastic. Of course, as well as non-breakable, it’s non-biodegradable.

 
3. Paper napkins

Well, who hasn’t ever entertained the children by giving them paper napkins to play with in cafes and restaurants? Children are easily entertained. Yes, the rainforests are a worry. It’s just that, well, being glared at for having badly behaved children is also a worry. There is a variation on this activity involving the provision of straws (or ‘wands’ as the children believe them to be). This is no better: see number 2.

 
4. Washing machines

The washing. The washing is endless. Particularly when you forget to dry it and have to wash it again.

 
5. Boiling the kettle

Apparently, one should avoid repeatedly boiling the kettle, as that is bad for energy consumption and the environment. Yes, sorry about that. The correct number of boils to time to cups of tea made ratio for parents of babies and toddlers is: boiled ten times in four hours, no tea made. Before you conclude parents are solely responsible for climate change, it should be noted that, on at least three of the occasions the kettle is ‘boiled’, they will have forgotten to plug it in. Every little helps.

 
6. Wipes

Baby wipes are not good for the environment. We’re so terribly sorry. But did you know how bloody amazing they are? You can use them for pretty much anything. And we do.

 
7. Drawing

Back to the rainforests here. This time all the drawing paper that received one tiny crayon mark before being declared ‘finished’. It’s not always quite as bad as it sounds: sometimes there is a tiny crayon mark on the other side too. Parents can try to mitigate the impact of this one by presenting the barely marked paper as ‘fresh’ paper at the next drawing session. Sadly, toddlers are experts at detecting tiny crayon marks on a piece of paper: ‘It’s dirty!’
‘Turn it over then.’
‘This side’s dirty too!’ Bugger.

 
8. Food waste

They just don’t eat it. But it really isn’t considered acceptable to stop serving your children food because they won’t eat it (despite eating this exact meal three days ago/asking for it 20 minutes ago). Parents’ hands are really tied on this one. Sometimes the issue is compounded by the making of further food that does not get eaten in a futile attempt to get the children to eat something. Again, I really must reiterate in our defence that feeding your children is considered to be the done thing, and not an optional element of parenting.

 
9. Noise pollution

No, sorry, we can’t make it stop. Yes, it is annoying. Yes, and loud. No, we don’t know why they’re making that noise. We think they like it. Yes, we know you don’t like it.

 
10. Excessive battery consumption

This is really VTech’s fault.

Are The Toddlers (*Gasp*) Brexit Supporters?

europe-253311_1280As a firm EU ‘Remain’ supporter, I am becoming increasingly concerned that The Toddlers may, in fact, be Brexit sympathisers. There are clear signs to support this theory.

 
1. The Toddlers are always very upset when other toddlers, toddlers who are not them, come over here and take their toys. Even if they didn’t want the toy and were playing with something else. Even if the toy was not, in fact, theirs.

 
2. The Toddlers are not happy about Mummy taking away their sovereignty. They feel that Mummy is constantly telling them what they can and can’t do. They believe that they should be in charge of their own decision making. Toddler rule for toddler people!

The Toddlers feel this way despite all the benefits and assistance they receive from Mummy.

The Toddlers also feel this way despite the lack of any realistic plan for how they would manage on their own.

 
3. The Toddlers object to anyone who wishes to impose regulations, however sensible, upon them. They are sick of all these directives about wearing two shoes, not playing in the traffic, not chewing on the cat… It’s just endless, ridiculous restrictions and red tape.

 
4. The Toddlers have a slight tendency to make up ‘facts’. The entirely fabricated nature of what they are saying in no way undermines the passion with which they are saying it.

 
5. The Toddlers are opposed to being told that they can not discriminate against people on unreasonable grounds. The Toddlers enjoy discriminating against people for no good reason. The Toddlers consider it their prerogative to refuse to speak to people, and indeed to ban them from the premises, on grounds including, but not limited to: having a beard, not having a beard, not liking their shoes, not liking their buttons, not liking their elbow, disapproving of their orientation (i.e. they’re standing in the wrong place), race issues (i.e. they outran the toddlers), smelliness, and just simply ‘NO’.

 
6. Despite The Toddlers’ desire to restrict the movement of other people into their territory (because they are not willing to share their toys), The Toddlers themselves intend to continue to move freely into others’ territories. The Toddlers do not see anything wrong with this policy. (Upon arrival in someone else’s territory, The Toddlers like to speak loudly to the ‘natives’, demand to be provided with their favourite foods, and recreate an environment that looks exactly like the one they just left.)

 
7. The Toddlers rarely care if no one agrees with them, and the actual evidence is not exactly in their favour: they are still right, and they are going to stamp their feet.

 
8. The Toddlers sometimes feel very suspicious of random people. They are not sure why, but they are very sure those people are suspicious and should be made to leave. The Toddlers will change who they are suspicious of on a whim.

 
9. The Toddlers have a vague sense that the world should be revolving around them because they are very important. They are not entirely able to justify this opinion, but are prepared to shout very loudly about it.

 
10. Frankly, The Toddlers won’t stand for anyone wanting to mess with their bananas. Even though no one is actually trying to mess with their bananas, the toddlers remain wary and indignant.

 
 
Or perhaps these are simply signs that Boris Johnson is behaving like a toddler? That could be it.

 
 
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.

 
 

Cuddle Fairy

Parenting Never Have I Ever

tea-1105113_1920Who knows the drinking game Never Have I Ever? Each person states something they have never ever done, and anyone playing who has done that takes a drink.

Who wants to play parenting Never Have I Ever? Below are twenty never have I ever statements. For each one you have done as a parent, you should take a drink. This is the parenting version, remember, so that drink should be a sip of cold tea. Everyone ready?

 
1. Never have I ever… Sniffed a bum in public.

2. Never have I ever… Sucked snot from a nose.

3. Never have I ever… Pretended to be a cabbage in Costa coffee because my toddler was putting ‘magic spells’ on me (with a straw).

4. Never have I ever… Cleaned sick off an entire outfit with a baby wipe instead of changing it.

5. Never have I ever… Done the above with my own outfit.

6. Never have I ever… Read every other page of a book on the tenth reading of it that day in order to finish it faster, since they’re not listening anyway (despite demanding it must be read).

7. Never have I ever… Said, ‘You are to come here by the time I count to three. One…two…two and a half…three…Right, I’m going to count to three again. If you don’t come here by THIS count of three, you’ll be going on the naughty step. One…two…two and one sixteenth…two and two sixteenths…’

8. Never have I ever… Called a top and leggings a dress and ‘special tights’ to get a dress-obsessed toddler to wear it.

9. Never have I ever… Pretended to have lost all copies of Cinderella and Peppa Pig, and to have never heard of Topsy and Tim at all.

10. Never have I ever… Hidden the Lego.

11. Never have I ever… Been sent to the naughty step by my toddler.

12. Never have I ever… Answered queries about getting the play doh out with, ‘Que? No hablo ingles.’

13. Never have I ever… Upgraded the status of raisins from ‘dried grapes’ to ‘magical bribes’.

14. Never have I ever… Answered the phone with, ‘Hello? Yes…(No, it’s not Grandad – shh!)…Sorry, could you repeat that…(Shh!)…Sorry, what…(NO YOU CAN’T SPEAK TO GRANDAD! IT’S NOT GRANDAD – IT’S THE OPTICIAN!)’

15. Never have I ever… Sung any song from Mary Poppins in a public place. Whilst marching.

16. Never have I ever… Informed my toddler that he can’t cuddle a pigeon.

17. Never have I ever… Informed a pigeon that it can’t cuddle my toddler.

18. Never have I ever… Occupied my child by giving her a baby wipe/receipt/empty wrapper to play with.

19. Never have I ever… Wondered why I ever bothered to buy any toys, when my child loves her baby wipe/receipt/empty wrapper the most.

20. Never have I ever… Presented my children with a clearly possessed, evil-looking doll that moves during the night, and told them, ‘It’s a fun family Christmas game: please stop screaming.’

 
Right, everyone managed to drink an entire cup of cold tea? You’re welcome.

 
 

(If anyone is wondering, I have done some of these, not all. I’ll let you guess which ones.)

The Dear God of Why Won’t You *#?!!**#! Go to Sleep: Mythological Toddlers

256px-Mårten_Eskil_Winge_-_Tor's_Fight_with_the_Giants_-_Google_Art_ProjectWe all know the stories of some of the most famous figures in mythology, but have you ever wondered what they were like in their early years? Of course you haven’t. You’re a sane person with a busy life. You haven’t wondered. You didn’t ask. Nevertheless, I present a probably (*ahem*) accurate account of the toddler years of some mythological greats.

 
 
1. Narcissus

Narcissus was ultimately lured to a pool by Nemesis, where he fell in love with his own reflection. Unable to tear himself away, he stared at his beauty in the water until he died.

As a toddler, Narcissus could be found in TK Maxx, kissing his reflection in all the mirrors. Attempts to extract him were unsuccessful until bribery with biscuits was mentioned.

 
2. Odysseus

Odysseus was best known for his ten year journey to return to Ithaca following the Trojan War.

However, Odysseus was already no stranger to epic journeys. As a toddler, it would often take him two days to journey from the sofa to the front door, in order to comply with his mother’s wishes that he put his bloody shoes on so that they could leave the bloody house.

 
3. Pandora

Pandora, the first mortal woman, opened a jar out of curiosity and released all the evils of mankind upon the world.

The young Pandora trained for her eventual fate by opening a jar of sudocrem, releasing the evils of irremovable white gunk upon the carpet, sofas, baby and cat.

 
4. Orpheus

When Orpheus’ wife, Eurydices, died, he travelled to the Underworld to retrieve her. Hades and Persephone agreed to allow Eurydices to return, on condition that Orpheus walk in front of her and not look back until they both reached the upper world. Upon reaching the upper world himself, Orpheus forgot that he must not look back and looked at Eurydices, causing her to vanish back to the Underworld forever.

Orpheus had, in fact, struggled with the concept of not looking since early childhood. As a toddler, he was rubbish at hide and seek, telling Mummy where to hide and then looking before she even had a chance to reach her pre-agreed hiding place. Fortunately, Mummy never vanished into the Underworld, though she did on occasion hide in the bathroom to avoid further games of hide and seek.

 
5. Minos

As an adult, Minos made sacrifices to a Minotaur he had contained within a labyrinth.

As a toddler, early trials were conducted, consisting of attempts to contain the cat with Lego, before sending a baby sibling to investigate.

 
6. Sisyphus

Destined as an adult to spend eternity repeatedly rolling a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down again, toddler Sisyphus could be found pursuing the futile task of trying to pick up ten balls at once, repeatedly dropping a ball already in his arms in each attempt to pick up another ball.

 
7. Demeter

Searching relentlessly for her abducted daughter Persephone, Demeter plunged the world into an eternal winter, in which all living things began to die, and the threat of the extinction of all life on Earth loomed.

The incident had its roots in the famous ‘Where’s Peppa, I Want Peppa NOW Tantrum’ of Demeter’s toddlerhood. Following the misplacement of her favourite Peppa Pig figurine, toddler Demeter plunged the living room into an eternal tantrum, in which Mummy’s patience began to die, and the threat of Baby Sister receiving a smack round the head with a toy stethoscope loomed.

 
8. Thor

Thor was a hammer-wielding god, associated with thunder, lightening and the protection of mankind.

In his early years, he was a hammer-wielding toddler, associated with tantrums, banging and the destruction of the living room.

 
9. Midas

As an adult, everything Midas touched turned to gold.

Midas possessed a version of this power even as a toddler, when everything he touched turned to broken pieces (or became inexplicably sticky).

 
10. Hypnos

Hypnos was, of course, the God of Sleep.

However, this was a position he obtained later in life. In his toddler years, Hypnos was actually the Dear God of Why Won’t You *#?!!**#! Go to Sleep?!

 
 

Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

‘I Want to Know What That Is’, by Toddler (A Foreigner Parody)

people-315908_1280Sorry, I am afraid I am writing parodies again. This time of I want to Know What Love Is, by Foreigner. (You can hear the original here.)

 
 
I Want to Know What That Is

(By Toddler)

 
I gotta take a little time
A little time to colour the books here
I better scribble on every line
In case anyone wants to read the Shakespeare

Now this bookcase I must climb
Feels like Mummy wants me not to
This happens all the time
All the fun things I cannot do

In my life there have been tantrums and tears
All your warnings fall on deaf ears
Can’t stop now, I’m running away
To knock down that display

I want to know what that is
I want you to show me
I want to touch what that is
I demand that you let me

I’m gonna take a little time
A little time to vanish in the shop
I’ve got nowhere left to hide
It looks like I’ll have to throw a strop

In my life there’s been tantrums and tears
All your warnings fall on deaf ears
Can’t stop now, I’m running away
To knock down that display

I want to know what that is
I want you to show me
I want to touch what that is
I demand that you let me

I want to know what that is
I want you to show me
I want to touch, I want to touch what that is
Right now, I demand that you let me

Let’s talk about that
I want to know what that is, before I throw a fit
I want to you to show me, because I’m feeling quite grabby
I want to touch what that is, no, you just cannot hide it
I know you can show me

I want to know what that is, let’s talk about that
I demand that you show me, I want to have it now
I want to touch what that is, I want to touch it now
And I know, and I know, I know you WILL show me
Show me cos it’s mine
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THAT IS

Game Show Skills Acquired by Parents of Toddlers

Richard-OBrien-Crystal-MazeParents 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.

 
4. Knightmare

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.

 
5. Mastermind

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?’
‘Ahem……(*mumbles*)’
‘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.

 
7. Gladiators

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.

Toddler Proverbs

cat-20688_1920Not many people know, but toddlers love a good proverb. Obviously, I am aware that many of you turn to R is for Hoppit for our aspirational lifestyle guidance. As such, I felt it was my duty to compile this list of ten pieces of proverbial wisdom toddlers in the know swear by.

 
1. Two wrongs…are just the start.

 
2. Cleanliness is next to impossible.

 
3. Fortune favours the downright cheeky

 
4. Never look an angry cat in the mouth.

 
5. A watched mummy will eventually provide biscuits. Really stare.

 
6. If it ain’t broke, try harder.

 
7. Too many toddlers spoil the sofa.

 
8. Good things come to those who demand them. NOW.

 
9. If you play with fire, you’ll get burned. Like the last time. And the time before that.

 
10. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (i.e. slap each other).

The Toddler West

Gird_block_tombstoneIf toddler settlers have arrived at your house, you are probably experiencing frontier expansion. Like the frontiersmen of the Wild West, Toddler settlers believe in Manifest Destiny. Everything is theirs, just waiting for them to stake their claim. As such, toddler frontiersmen push forward, seizing rooms and property from the native parents of the house. Welcome to the Toddler West.

 
1. Cat Drives

In a similar, though not entirely identical, endeavour to that of the settlers of the Wild West, toddler frontiersmen frequently engage in cat driving (no, that isn’t written wrongly). Toddler cowboys (catboys), riding broomsticks, make valiant attempts to herd the cat into the frontier lands. Cat herding, however, is a difficult job. The cats, taking refuge behind the sofa, often have to be left behind as the quest for new settlements continues.

Some extremely foolish toddler settlers set themselves up as cat rustlers. Attempts to rustle cats who have already been subjected to toddler herding are not advisable.

 
2. The Gold Rush

The gold rush is as popular with toddler settlers as it was with the settlers of the West. Transient communities of toddlers spring up around shiny items. These communities are greed driven and prone to violence. Once the shiny items reserves have been depleted (eaten/lost under the sofa), the settlements are deserted. The toddlers move on to the next room, leaving a ghost town – littered with the remnants of toddler life (Lego, mostly) – in the living room.

 
3. Tending the Land

In the early days of the West, frontiersmen tended to farm their land poorly, abandoning settlements once the land was ruined. Toddler settlers employ similar methods, destroying rooms and moving on.

 
4. Law and Order

Toddler frontier settlements, like those of the Wild West, are often lawless. Parental sheriffs frequently lack authority in the face of toddlers armed with an abundance of weapons (Lego, mostly).

All toddlers settlers are, of course, outlaws. Toddlers have never heard a rule they can’t ignore. Seriously, they never heard a rule. They were shouting at the time.

The frequency of duelling and brawling in the Wild West is often suggested to have been exaggerated. The frequency of duelling and brawling in toddler frontier settlements has not been exaggerated.

Toddler highwaymen are a constant threat to baby siblings carrying treasure (Lego, mostly).

The bandits of the Wild West frequently robbed banks and trains. Toddler bandits take train robbery very literally, making off with the whole train (bonus points if a sibling was playing with it at the time).

 
5. Disease

Much like the settlers of the American West, toddler frontiersmen have an unfortunate habit of transmitting disease to the native occupants (parents) of their settled lands.

 
6. Squatters

As in the Wild West, Squatters are rife on the toddler frontier. Toddler squatters are commonly found in parents’ bedrooms, on the living room floor at bedtime, and in bathrooms other people are trying to use.

 
7. Gunslinging

The gunslingers of the Wild West have their parallels in the dangerous raisinslingers of the Toddler West. Raisinslingers stalk the toddler streets, brandishing boxes of raisins. With their quick draw and keen aim, raisinslingers are able riddle entire rooms with their small, squishy bullets.

 
8. Wand Fight at the O.K. Corral

The settlement of Toddlerstone is, of course, known for the notorious Wand Fight at the O.K. Corral. The famed toddler stand off left multiple toddlers pretending to have been turned into frogs.

 
 

Mumzilla

The Princess and The Toddler

grace-kelly-394485_1280The Toddler (sadly, from Silly Mummy’s point of view) is a big fan of princesses. She obtains most of her princess information from Disney films, but today is expanding her field of knowledge to include real princesses.

Of course, Silly Mummy starts with Princess Grace of Monaco, the closest any real person will ever be to a Disney princess. The Toddler likes Princess Grace. She wore pretty clothes and was beautiful. However, there seems to be some mix up with Ben and Holly, as The Toddler insists: ‘And can you show me her elf?’ Yes, The Toddler has confused real princesses with fairy princesses, and therefore believes they must have an elf. Putting aside many issues relating to The Toddler’s grasp on reality, this does also raise questions about what The Toddler believes Ben Elf’s relationship to Princess Holly is. Evidently, she believes princesses own elves. Does she consider poor old Ben to be Holly’s pet?

Attempts to show The Toddler Princess Grace’s prince are abandoned when Silly Mummy looks more closely at the picture she is waving at The Toddler and concludes it was probably from Grace Kelly’s Hollywood days, not her princess days. On account of the man appearing to be Clark Gable, not Prince Rainier of Monaco. Easy mistake to make. In fairness, The Toddler would not have challenged it.

Moving on from Princess Grace, The Toddler is shown a picture of a young Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. The Toddler, presumably thinking about her own sister, points at Princess Margaret, and says, ‘And is that the naughty sister?’ Silly Mummy snorts at the accidental accuracy of this question, and considers showing her a picture of Edward VIII just to see what would happen. But then it would be a little worrying if she did ask: ‘And is that the Nazi uncle?’

Princesses Beatrice, Eugenie and Anne do not impress The Toddler – they are not wearing suitably princess-y dresses. Princess Charlotte causes some confusion, as she appears, in The Toddler’s opinion, to be a baby.

Silly Mummy’s princess knowledge exhausted, help in locating princesses is sought from Google. Some of the European princesses are deemed to be acceptable by The Toddler, but she has one key question about each one: ‘Can she dance with a dress?’ (We’ve moved on from fairy princesses, who own elves, to Cinderella, whose purpose is to get a new dress and attend a ball.)

Silly Mummy feels that enough princesses have been looked at. The Toddler objects: she is looking at princesses. Silly Mummy points out that she is not, in fact, looking at princesses anymore. Silly Mummy is looking at princesses (not a favoured hobby of Silly Mummy’s), while The Toddler runs around the room, ignoring princesses, and screeching, ‘Can she dance with a dress?’

Silly Mummy refusing to view more princesses, The Toddler announces: ‘Then I need to see Daddy’s princesses.’ (Silly Daddy looked rather shifty, but the question of who his princesses are, and where he keeps them, has still not been answered.)

Toddler Interior Design Tips

Toddler Interior Design ImageIn the first article of our new lifestyle section*, we are telling you how you too can achieve that quintessential ‘small children live here’ home, with 15 tried and tested toddler interior design tips.

(*We don’t have a new lifestyle section.)

 
 
The Style

1. The key look is chaotic chic. No, not chic…what’s that other word? Mess.

2. Clean, uncluttered spaces are not what we are going for. In a properly designed room, occupants should stub their toes twice and trip over five times for every square metre of floor space.

 
Feng Shui

3. Feng shui is very important. The idea is that the location and arrangement of items affects the feel and energy of the room. The arrangement to aim for here is everything you can find piled on top of each other in one tiny space. The feel this should give to the room is ‘precarious’.

 
Decorating

4. Mismatched walls are very in. This should be achieved by crayoning on random areas with random colours. Mismatched sofas are not, however, in. They should therefore be crayoned too, in order to blend with the walls.

5. Inject some texture and pattern into the room by leaving greasy fingerprints and crushed raisins everywhere.

6. Stickers (preferably of Peppa pig) are a great way to rejuvenate any room. Liberal application of mostly torn stickers on every single surface will give the place a completely new look.

 
Furniture

7. Throw cushions are a vital addition to the quota of soft furnishings. These are primarily to be used to surround oneself entirely, thus forming a ‘house’ (it is important to design multiple impromptu ‘houses’ within your actual house). Alternatively, they may be placed on the floor as padding for various furniture jumping pursuits. Which leads us on to…

8. Furniture should be as dangerous as possible. However, it should not be obviously so. The key here is to find ways of making perfectly innocuous furniture highly dangerous. Be inventive.

 
Features

9. It is important to have a strong feature in a room. An artfully arranged younger sibling squished into a corner is ideal. The sibling display should be kept in place by sitting on it.

10. A water feature is a nice touch, and can be cheaply & effectively achieved by overturning a free flow cup on the edge of a coffee table.

 
Storage and Organisation

11. The ideal place to keep everything is blocking the doors.

12. A great space saving tip is that beds and bookcases do not need to be separate items. Simply pile all of your books into your bed and then sleep on them.

13. Cupboards and drawers are design features only: they are not to be used. The contents of cupboards and drawers are best placed on the floor.

 
The Little Touches

14. It is good to have Lego sprinkled about liberally. This adds colour, texture and a generous dash of pain to your environment.

15. It is important that there is a lived in feel to the home, to avoid a cold, sterile atmosphere. This is best achieved by breaking as many ornaments and pieces of furniture as possible.

The Toddler Highway Code

girl-358301_1280Toddlers, of course, spend a lot of time on the move. As such, they have needed to formulate a set of rules for navigating the busy toddler thoroughfares of the living room, bedroom, garden, park or softplay.

 

The Toddler Highway Code

(Applicable to all toddler roads and pathways. I.e. anywhere a toddler is choosing to toddle at any given moment.)

 
1. Right of Way

Under toddler road rules, a toddler has right of way at all times. As does everybody else. This rule has been criticised for causing chaos and numerous small child pile ups. However, the toddlers refuse to consider any amendment: they’re too busy all running at once.

2. Give Way

Under no circumstances should you ever give way. The presence of other toddler road users, cats, baby siblings or tables in no way negates this rule.

3. Lane control

Weaving is favoured. Lanes should be changed as erratically as possible. As should direction. Ploughing into oncoming traffic (i.e. baby siblings) is encouraged.

4. Checks before manoeuvring

It is very important that you do not, under any circumstances, check behind you before performing a manoeuvre. Do not check in front of you either. If you are able, perform the manoeuvre with your eyes actually closed.

5. Crossings

Crossings are neither acknowledged nor respected in the Toddler Highway Code. All persons attempting to cross the path of a toddler do so at their peril.

6. Parking

The basic toddler parking manoeuvre of sitting on your bottom should be performed suddenly and in the middle of the thoroughfare.

7. Acceleration

Acceleration towards all walls and other hard objects is encouraged.

8. Braking

Should be sudden and for no apparent reason.

9. Overtaking

The aim here is to overtake in the most dangerous, impractical manner possible. Close overtaking of wobbly baby siblings is approved. Overtaking in doorways, narrow spaces and on corners is ideal. Elbows should be used wherever possible.

10. Distractions

Proper toddler passage should be accompanied by as many distractions as possible. Phone use, wand waving, talking and having a basket on your head are all encouraged. Under no circumstances should you be looking where you are going.

 
 
It should be noted that it is usual practice to be screaming at all times during toddler transit. The toddlers would like it to be known that this is in no way a reflection upon the reasonableness or safety of the Toddler Highway Code.

The Egg Hunt

easter-nest-1162973_1920Girls, would you like to do an egg hunt? You would? Okay, Mummy will hide these eggs around the living room, and then you can come and look for them. You go out into the corridor with Daddy while Mummy hides eggs. No, don’t look at what Mummy’s doing, stay out there with Daddy. No, The Baby, Mummy’s hiding things – go back to Daddy. No, put that down, The Baby. Go back to Daddy. Good girl. No looking, either of you.

Okay, Mummy has hidden the eggs, you can come back into the living room now, and…No, wait a minute, Mummy is still talking. Come here. Here are your bags – put your eggs in here when you find them…No, wait a minute. There are five eggs each. Okay, go and look. See if you can find them.

Well done, The Toddler. Put that in your bag. The Baby, The Toddler has found an egg over here. Do you think there’s one for you too? Come and look. No, The Toddler, let The Baby look. Come on, The Baby, what’s over here? The Toddler, let The Baby look! Well done, The Baby. Put that in your bag.

Okay, let’s see if The Baby can find where some eggs are hidden. No, The Toddler, let The Baby look first this time. The Baby, where would you like to look? Perhaps you would like to look here, The Baby? No, here. Lie down here and look under there. Not you, The Toddler. Lie down, The Baby. Look under here. No, here. No, look this way. Oh, well done, The Baby. Put that in your bag. Can you see one too, The Toddler? Well done.

Okay, The Toddler’s turn to look for where the eggs are hiding. Where could they be? You already looked there, didn’t you? Shall we look somewhere you haven’t looked? No, that’s the same place. Let’s try somewhere completely different. How about here? Yes, just here. Oh, you found an egg – imagine that! Can you find an egg too, The Baby? Yes, that’s Peppa Pig. Can you see an egg? The Baby? Put down Peppa. Here, look: here’s your egg. Put it in your bag.

Where would you like to look for an egg now, The Baby? The Baby, where are you going? Come back: we’re looking for eggs! Not you, The Toddler, it’s the baby’s turn. Oh, you found one. Okay. Let’s see if The Baby can find the other one, then. No, let her look. No, let The Ba…Never mind. Put that in The Baby’s bag for her.

Okay, girls, let’s find the last pair of eggs. Where could they be? You already looked there, The Toddler. Try somewhere else. Yes, The Baby, those are eggs. But they’re in your bag – you already found those ones. Shall we look over here? Just here. Right here. Shall we look in this teapot? This teapot here. Shall we look at these eggs right here? These eggs. The ones I’m holding out. These might be the eggs. I’ll put them in your bags. Well done, you found all the eggs. Wasn’t that fun?

How (Not) to Make an Easter Nest With Toddlers

EasternestFollowing on from my Christmas tutorial on how (not) to make Christmas cards with toddlers, I present these detailed instructions for making a chocolate covered Easter mess, sorry, nest.

I guarantee that, as long as you exactly follow these directions, you will be able to achieve complete chocolate coverage of all participants – and the floor – and at least one person crying at some point. I do not guarantee that you will achieve the production of an Easter nest.

 
 
What you need:

Two toddlers of varying ages
Rice Krispies
Cooking chocolate
Mini eggs
Small decorative Easter chicks
A bowl
A wooden spoon
A plate
A mess mat for the floor
Copious amounts of wipes
Six hands
Eyes in the back of your head
To have lost your mind

 
 
What to do:

1. Break up the chocolate. Give a strip each to the toddlers, and show them how to break it into pieces. If done correctly, the biggest toddler will make valiant attempts with two outcomes. Firstly, her hands will be covered in sticky chocolate. Secondly, you will realise that this is not an ideal activity for toddlers (chocolate squares are actually quite hard to break). The strip actually getting broken into pieces is not an outcome you will see. Meanwhile, you should be observing the littlest toddler attempting to ram the strip of chocolate into her mouth. Remove the chocolate from both toddlers.

2. Clean both toddlers’ hands.

3. Clean the littlest toddler’s mouth.

4. Give the biggest toddler a piece of the chocolate because she has just realised that the littlest toddler was eating it, not breaking it, and she feels she has missed out.

5. Break the chocolate into pieces yourself.

6. Explain that the chocolate needs to be melted by Mummy now.

7. Remember how long it takes to melt chocolate (without burning it).

8. Remember how little patience toddlers have.

9. Answer three million questions about whether the chocolate is melted yet. These should all be from the biggest toddler. You should by now have lost the littlest toddler. She is no longer interested. She wants a yoghurt.

10. Give littlest toddler a yoghurt. The biggest toddler should demand a yoghurt too. At this point, you should find that the chocolate is finally nearly melted. Explain to the biggest toddler that the Rice Krispies will need to be stirred into the chocolate as soon as it is ready, before it sets again, and therefore she needs to wait and have a yoghurt afterwards (because the chocolate is nearly ready). Answer further questions about when the chocolate will be ready (it’s nearly ready). Answer bonus questions about why the little one gets to have a yoghurt (she is no longer playing the baking game).

11. Bring out the bowl of now melted chocolate. At this point, the littlest toddler should remember that this activity is edible and decide that she is playing again.

12. Allow the biggest toddler to pour some Rice Krispies into the bowl. Realise that this was a bad idea.

13. Stop the littlest toddler from sticking the spoon from her now abandoned yoghurt into the bowl.

14. Give the biggest toddler the wooden spoon and tell her to stir in the Rice Krispies.

15. Explain to the biggest toddler that ‘stirring’ does not mean whacking the mixture, splattering Rice Krispies and melted chocolate far and wide.

16. Give the littlest toddler a turn at stirring.

17. Explain to the littlest toddler that ‘stirring’ does not mean whacking the mixture, splattering Rice Krispies and melted chocolate far and wide, even if that’s what her sister did.

18. Do some stirring yourself so that Rice Krispies actually get covered in chocolate.

19. Let the biggest toddler pour some more Rice Krispies into the mix. Realise that this is not becoming a better idea.

20. Remove the littlest toddler’s hands from the mixture.

21. Tell the littlest toddler not to touch anything, thus ensuring she touches everything in sight.

22. Tell the littlest toddler not to move, thus ensuring she runs through the splattered chocolate from earlier, covering the bottom of her tights.

23. Tell the biggest toddler to put down the Rice Krispies and wait.

24. Tell the littlest toddler not to step off the mat.

25. The littlest toddler should decide that this challenge is accepted.

26. Chase the littlest toddler across the floor. Wrestle her out of her tights and forcibly wipe her hands.

27. Tell the biggest toddler to put down the Rice Krispies and wait.

28. Clean chocolate off the floor.

29. Tell the biggest toddler that she can now pour more Rice Krispies. Regret this decision.

30. Give up all attempts to get the toddlers to stir. Stir the mixture yourself, whilst trying to prevent the biggest toddler from adding more Rice Krispies, and the littlest toddler from eating the mixture.

31. Tip the finished mixture onto a plate, explaining that it needs to be shaped into a nest.

32. Encourage the biggest toddler to help shape the mixture with the spoon. Explain that this does not mean whack the mixture with the spoon.

33. Encourage the littlest toddler not to help shape the mixture with her hands. Or her mouth.

34. Encourage the biggest toddler not to follow her little sister in trying to shape the nest/shovel the nest into her mouth with her hands.

35. Shape the nest as quickly as possible yourself, whilst yelling at two chocolate coated toddlers not to move at all, and under no circumstances to leave the mat.

36. Leave the finished nest and fetch wipes.

37. Notice both toddlers lunging for the nest.

38. Rescue nest and take it to the fridge, whilst repeating shouted instructions to the toddlers not to move at all.

39. Return to the toddlers, and attack the littlest toddler with wipes.

40. Having cleaned the littlest toddler, start on the biggest toddler.

41. Once the biggest toddler is clean, remember that the littlest toddler had earlier abandoned a half eaten pot of yoghurt. Approach the now yoghurt covered littlest toddler with more wipes.

42. Explain that the nest needs to set in the fridge for a few hours before the toddlers can fill it with mini eggs and chicks.

43. Clean everything in the vicinity, whilst answering repeated questions about whether the nest is set yet.

44. There should now follow several hours of questions about whether the nest has set yet, after which the nest will be ready for decorating. This should cause great excitement among the toddlers, who believe that ‘decorating’ is another word for ‘eating’.

45. Take the mini eggs, and give some to each toddler to put into the nest. Tell the biggest toddler to put the eggs into the nest, not her mouth. Tell the littlest toddler to put the eggs into the nest, not her mouth.

46. Once all the eggs are in the nest, give the little chicks to the toddlers to sit among the eggs.

47. Rearrange the upside down, thrown and face-planted chicks so that they are sitting among the eggs.

48. As you all survey the finished nest, resplendent with eggs and Easter chicks, realise that the toddlers are not very clear on what a nest is. Or what Easter is. Or what chicks are (though they are experts on ‘bird’, ‘duck’ and ‘penguin’).

49. Note that the toddlers are clear on what ‘made of chocolate’ is, and that their excitement is therefore not remotely diminished by the fact that they have no clue what they just made or why.

50. Take a picture of the nest to prove it existed. (Not for Pinterest, obviously: these instructions are not for people who can Pinterest. These are for people who can Buzzfeed. In the ‘Pinterest Fails’ section.)

 
 

Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

No One Expects the Toddler Inquisition: Toddler Torture Methods

historical-945928_1920I have come to the dawning realisation that I am being tortured.

It’s being done entirely inadvertently and very lovingly, of course, but these are twenty bona fide methods of torture my toddlers have actually used on me.

 
1. Chinese Water Torture

(A method by which water is slowly dripped onto a person’s forehead, allegedly driving them insane.)

 
Okay, so they don’t drip water onto Mummy’s forehead (that has not occurred to them). They surreptitiously drip it onto the sofa until the seat is entirely saturated. The end result of insanity is the same.

 
2. Starvation and Force Feeding

Impressively, the toddlers are able to carry out these methods of torture simultaneously. All food belonging to Mummy is immediately commandeered by the toddlers. Mummy is not allowed to eat. Except when attempts are being made to force feed her pieces of her own food, which may or may not have now been chewed (that may be a whole new method of torture).

 
3. Sensory Deprivation

(Deliberate reduction or removal of stimuli from one or more of the senses. For example, by using blindfolds.)

 
Mummy spends quite a lot of the day trying to free her head from various blankets, boxes and items of clothing. Peekaboo is not a voluntary activity around here: Mummy hides when the toddlers say so. Mummy is deemed to be hiding when the toddlers have covered her head.

Mummy is also unable to hear anything besides the screeching. All other sounds are but distant memories.

 
4. Kneecapping

Due to a serious misunderstanding, this is what the toddlers believe the reflex hammer in the toy doctor’s kit is for. Due to an even more serious misunderstanding, the toddlers believe any hard (preferably wooden) object is a reasonable replacement for the toy reflex hammer in an emergency. The toddlers believe that the reflex hammer being temporarily misplaced under the sofa when there is a parental leg in need of whacking is an emergency.

 
5. The Rack

Two (or more) toddlers are a rack: they’re both pulling Mummy, they’re going in opposite directions, neither is letting go. The toddler who dislocates a shoulder first wins.

 
6. Crushing

Also known as ‘sitting on Mummy’ and ‘bouncing on Mummy’.

 
7. Hamstringing

(Crippling a person by severing the hamstring tendons in the thigh.)

 
The toddlers attempt this, with gravity as their accomplice, by attaching themselves to Mummy’s thigh as she tries to walk.

 
8. Music Torture

Have you heard the Peppa Pig theme tune? No more needs to be said.

 
9. Blackmailing

The toddlers use the threat of noisy public meltdowns to great effect to extort extra raisins from Mummy.

 
10. Sound Torture

(Very loud/high pitched noise intended to interfere with rest, cognition and concentration.)

 
It really isn’t their fault: loud and high pitched is their only setting.

 
11. Sleep Deprivation

In all fairness, neither toddler currently uses this method. However, it was favoured by both for well over a year, and combined to great effect with sound torture (the high pitched sound in question being that of a child who has not agreed to this cot thing and certainly will not be remaining in it).

 
12. Stress Position

(Placement of the human body in such a way that a large amount of weight is placed on one or two muscles.)

 
The large amount of weight is one or two climbing toddlers. They firmly believe that anyone who has crouched into a squatting position will really benefit from a child standing on each thigh.

 
13. Thumbscrew

This means something slightly different to toddler torturers. Attempting to screw your thumbs into Mummy’s eyes, mostly. It is not enough to simply know what eyes are when asked, it is necessary to further demonstrate that understanding by poking them. Of course, in fairness, the toddlers don’t always target Mummy – sometimes they poke themselves in the eyes. Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes has a lot to answer for.

 
14. Tickle Torture

Daddy taught them this one, and he must pay.

 
15. Tooth Extraction

This is attempted by frequent (accidental) headbutting of Mummy’s mouth.

 
16. Flogging

Somewhat unconventionally, this usually involves yelling ‘bibidi babadi bu’ whilst whacking Mummy with whatever implement is the pretend wand of the day. Fairy Godmothers in this house very much resemble the Ghost of Christmas Present from Scrooged.

 
17. Tarring and Feathering

The toddlers’ version of this is ‘yoghurting and raisining’. It happens most lunch times. To Mummy and the toddlers.

 
18. The Iron Maiden

Improvised toddler iron maidens are composed of a sofa covered in pieces of lego.

 
19. Scalping

The toddlers call this ‘hairdressing’. Or: ‘Mummy, can I comb your hair, please?’

 
20. The Spanish Inquisition

Whether you want everyone to be Catholic or Mummy to give you a biscuit, both The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition and the toddlers know that incessant questioning (‘Why?’, ‘Is the Pope a Catholic?’, ‘What’s this?’ ‘Are you a catholic?’ ‘Where has daddy gone?’, ‘Where has your rosary gone?’) gets results/biscuits/Catholics.

 
 
(Please note: the toddlers are very lovely and affectionate inadvertent torturers, and Mummy does not actually mind the odd knee capping at their hands.)