After some serious blog posts recently I thought I’d lighten things up with my advice to a toddler:
1. Learn to say ‘please’.
Or, even better, some cute mispronunciation. It may seem like pointing and making a whinging noise will get you everything you want but you’re much more likely to get something by putting on a sweet smile and saying ‘pleeeease’ in your most angelic voice (after all, it’s called the ‘magic word’ for a reason). Tyger used to pronounce it ‘pwez’ and Bear – who isn’t as big on speaking as Tyger – just says ‘eeeeeeeeee’ with a cheesy grin and it has worked more often than I care to admit…especially when paired with pleading eyes (Tyger even used to add little supplicant hand gestures for good measure). Demanding and pointing can just get my hacks up but a super polite and adorable request is very difficult to say no to!
2. Play with the least interesting toy first.
This is advice for any situation involving other children: toddler groups, playing at a friend’s house, being around siblings, nursery, having friends over etc. As soon as you gravitate towards a toy, other children will also be drawn to it. It’s a rule of toddlerdom. Other toddlers will be happy to play with a couple of trucks until they see you at the wooden kitchen with the toy toaster and then that toaster will become the most exciting thing in the entire Goram room. So, play it smart. Don’t go straight to the toaster. Make your way to the building blocks instead and play with those building blocks like they’re the cat’s bollocks. (Wait…that came out wrong. I do not advocate toddlers playing with cats’ bollocks.) Hopefully, the other little sods will be lured over. Now, this is the important part: do not give up those building blocks without a fight. If the other kid(s) don’t believe you really want those fracking blocks they’ll just follow you to the next toy. So, grumble, get annoyed, make those annoying and persistent whining noises toddlers are so good at that make adults want to tear their ears off and once your enemy peer is really engrossed in building little towers smeg off to the toaster and toast plastic bread to your heart’s content (or, more likely, post small objects into the toaster until it stops working).
3. Try to smile when the camera’s out and fall asleep in cute positions.
You may not be thinking ahead further than your next tantrum meal at this age but Future You needs Present You to minimise the number of embarrassing photos your relatives possess to show girlfriends/boyfriends. You’re unlucky in that regard because living in the digital age means your parents can snap away all day every day in the knowledge they can delete all blurry pictures (or just store them all in some folder with the intention of going through and deleting all blurry photos as soon as they have the chance, which will never happen because the longer it’s left the more photos there are to go through and the longer the whole thing would take). There will be photos of you wearing a potty as a hat, crying and screaming because your breadstick snapped in half, dancing around naked, wearing a variety of questionable style of clothes etc. This is inevitable. However, you can mitigate the damage by making sure the overwhelming number of photos of you at this age are of your beaming face or endearing sleepy pics of you snuggled into a soft toy, cuddling someone, sleeping in your car seat with that fracking adorable little pouty mouth and squishy face look babies have.
|Fewer photos of you slurping water off your highchair tray.|
|More photos of you asleep in your buggy whilst cuddling your favourite toy.|
4. Enjoy all the sleep.
Whilst we’re on the subject of sleep, this is important. You are allowed – nay, encouraged – to spend as much time as possible sleeping. I know, I know: you hate sleep. Toddlers like going to bed about as much as I liked Lost in Translation (is there a more overrated film on the planet?) or Wuthering Heights (is there a more overrated book on the planet?) but one day you will miss sleep so much. If you have children of your own you will almost certainly lament all those times you fought sleep, all those opportunities to drift in and out of consciousness and just relax and…I’m going to start crying at the thought of all those lost chances so we need to move on to the next point.
5. In fact, make the most of it all!
Seriously. This is the only time in your life when it’s totally socially acceptable to stick your fingers in someone else’s mouth (unless you become a dentist, I guess, but even then you’re only supposed to do it in a specific set of circumstances and can’t just say ‘ahhhh’ to the nearest person then shove your entire hand in there). This is your chance to demand spaghetti for breakfast and possibly be indulged. You can spin round and round in the middle of a waiting room without people giving you strange looks (except the miserable types who give all children disapproving looks unless the child is sat silently looking at his or her feet). You still get carried around when you’re tired and all of life’s problems can be solved by carrying round a plastic spoon (or is that just Baby Bear?). Seriously, kid, it’s all downhill from here so pick your nose in public and put gravel in your mouth whilst it’s still socially acceptable.
|Not that I really understand the attraction of gravel…unlike picking your nose…|
What advice would you give a toddler?
Thanks to Aspie Sister for helping me come up with five items for the list. Youngest Sister was not impressed by her boring name in last week’s blog post so – after discussion – she will henceforth be known as Colour Blind Sister. I will also probably blog about her colour blindness at some future point because…it’s green – how can she see it as red??