Toddlers are amazing little beings. The world around them is fresh and new and exciting and theirs to explore!
However they do all seem to follow certain ‘rules’ that they use to keep us parents on our toes. It can feel as though they’re all reading from the same Toddlerhood manual.
Here are our top 20 ways they rock at Toddlerhood, or what we believe must be their very own ‘Toddlerhood manual’.
A sleeping adult must always be woken
Really. It’s very rude for grown-ups to nod off when there’s so much playing to be done. If you spot one sleeping at any hour day or night, wake them up immediately.
Try bouncing on their heads with your nappy clad bottom or prising open their eyelids with your fingers if you have to.
Failing that just stand by the bed and stare at them until they stir and wake with a scream.
Pants are entirely optional
If undecided wear them on your head.
Or try shoving them on the dog’s head.
Flat out refuse to wear them if your mum looks like she’s in a rush to leave the house.
Perfect the ‘plank’ position
Make your body into a stiff unbendable plank.
Adopt the plank position whenever your grown up tries to get you into a pram or car seat. Do not bend at the waist.
Put special effort into it if you think they are running late and have to be somewhere.
Do not get into a pram without a biscuit
If your grown up hasn’t given you a biscuit, do not allow yourself to get strapped into the pram.
Continue to adopt the plank position (see above) until they provide said biscuit.
Nap just before teatime
Point blank refuse to snooze when you really need to after lunch. Feel free to whinge and whine and cry anyway from tiredness but don’t sleep.
Then fall flat out asleep during supper. That way you can wake up before bath time just in time for plenty of running around.
You won’t need to sleep early so you’ll get to enjoy a late evening with your grown ups.
If you find a pen, use it
Get creative. It’s fun to make big scribbles on the living room wall or to colour on your face.
Failing that try decorating the kitchen cabinets. They needed a bit of character anyway.
If you ever see a puddle jump in it
It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing canvas shoes. Or if it’s a freezing cold day and you’re miles away from home to get warm and dry. Just go for it.
Then make a fuss because you’re cold and wet and need to change. Don’t stop crying until you get home.
Never let grown-ups have a conversation
Top tactics include throwing ourselves at their legs, asking for things loudly and shouting.
‘Mummy, mummy, mummy’ or ‘Daddy, daddy, daddy’ at the highest volume you can achieve.
When they stop talking to ask you what you need then you’ll have to think of something. A good idea is to say ‘um’ and look around for inspiration.
Never let a grown up chat on the phone
The very moment your adult picks up the phone and starts to speak it’s important to increase the volume levels and shout to gain their attention.
If this doesn’t work try causing as much mischief as possible until you get them to hang up.
Pinching your baby sibling works best.
The minute you learn to talk do NOT stop
Keep up a constant stream of chat from the moment you wake up to the moment your head hits the pillow.
Don’t be put off by people not understanding what you say. It’s not your fault they can’t keep up.
Make ‘No’ your favourite word
It’s a great word. Make it your very favourite. Shout it as often as you can.
Remember the rules of possession
If I like it it’s mine
If it’s in my hand it’s mine
If I can grab it from you it’s mine
If I saw it first it’s mine
If someone else has it and I want it it’s mine
If another toddler is playing with it and momentarily puts it down it’s mine
If it’s broken it’s yours
If you hear a sweary word say it perfectly, often and loudly…
… preferably in front of Grandma.
Remember to always speak the truth
Especially when it comes to Nana Pam’s chin hairs or Uncle Bob’s man boobs.
Ask lots of questions about them in a very loud voice and point if necessary.
When all the adults pretend they can’t hear you, keep asking louder and louder until you get answers, especially if you’re in public.
Never make leaving somewhere fun easy
Don’t listen when your grown up gives you a 5 minute warning. There’s always more fun to be had. Just carry on as long as possible until they start shouting.
If necessary run away to the furthest away corner of the play park.
If your parent still insists then throw yourself on the floor and wail as loudly as you can.
Don’t stop until they offer you another biscuit or preferably an ice cream.
Eat everything you can find except food at mealtimes
Eat Play-Doh, soil, soap and anything else that looks appealing.
Just don’t eat your meals. For more details about appropriate toddler mealtime behaviour you can find the full Unwritten rules of Toddler Mealtimes here.
If you visit a very clean house make your mark
You might visit a new house that looks clean and tidy and white and notice your grown up is a little more stressed than usual.
If this is the case ask for a drink of Ribena and drop it – ideally all over the white rug.
Oh – and pick up any fragile looking ornaments too and use them for some of your fun games.
Wait until you’re in the bath to announce that you need a poo
It’s just really funny to watch your grown up sigh and mutter under their breath when they have to fish you out, dry you and plonk you on the loo.
It’s even funnier to then not need to poo, wait a few minutes and ask to get back in the bath.
Never do anything the first time you are asked
Hold fire a little. Keep mum and dad on their toes.
Sure you MIGHT do it eventually but see how far they will go to bribe you first.
Give Mum or Dad a big squeezy hug…
… just because. We love them more than anything.
Toddler parents, you’ve been warned
So now you are fully aware of all the rules of toddlerhood, there is just one more to keep in mind.
Toddlers are utterly amazing and you’ll love them to bits!