Toddlers: the things no-one ever tells you

April 17, 2014

What no-one ever tells you about toddlersChildren don’t come with an instruction manual, do they? If the evolutionary process was so clever, you’d think that would have been rectified by now (Just imagine! “Congratulations Mr and Mrs Crawshaw! It’s a girl. Oh, and here’s the full, personalised manual, ‘What to do now, stages 0-18”).

Of course, that would make it all too easy, wouldn’t it? So instead you have millions of contradictory baby books and conflicting sources of advice, or just feeling your way around in the dark until it all kind of naturally clicks into place at some point. Which I suppose is part of the, erm, fun.

There’s so much focus on the newborn stage – NCT, Emma’s Diary, millions of midwife appointments – and then one day you look up and there’s a miniature person running around, with thoughts and opinions and everything. Who really wants two bowls of cereal, but definitely does not want to wear any clothes. Out of almost no-where, you have a toddler. Something they never warn you about when you’re pregnant.

And that’s probably a good thing.

So here’s a guide to toddler behaviour and all the things no-one ever tells you:

  • You’ll spend a lot of time picking bits of orange Play Doh out of the carpet
  • There are stickers everywhere; door frames, the floorboards, the sofa, your socks
  • As the mother of a toddler, you’ll be able to instantly conjure up enthusiasm, a skill previously only reserved for after you’d inhaled half a bottle of wine
  • You also have no shame
  • Everyone else’s toddler will sleep better than yours (says the person writing this on their phone, clinging on to the edge of the bed, with a small foot in their ear)
  • And you need never set an alarm again, apart from on the one day you have to go somewhere and they’re still asleep
  • It will still take hours and hours to leave the house
  • Fancy a nice relaxing bath once they’re finally in bed? You’ll have to move armfuls of bath toys, bath books, Peppa-shaped flannels, toy ducks and the TV remote out of the way first
  • They will be magnetically attracted to only your most expensive make-up
  • Some days you’ll feel like hiding in the kitchen; some days you actually will
  • Despite swearing that your child will never, ever watch TV, you and your husband could spend a good ten minutes discussing the brilliance of Ben and Holly, and it’s a text-able event when you see a new Peppa
  • They have intricate systems and methods of organising that are their way of making sense of the world (but pretty weird when you happen across the tea set arranged all over your kitchen step)
  • One day, you’ll find a stock of baby things in the cupboard (Infacol, Dentinox, and so on) and fail to remember what it’s all for…relief
  • You also no longer spend every spare second Googling ‘what is that red mark on my child?’ and ‘why are they making a funny noise?’
  • Your  house will never be tidy for longer than the longest naptime, even though you spend what seems like every waking moment picking up toys from the floor
  • And the most important thing; toddlers are insanely brilliant, and just keep getting better and better.

13 Comments

  • Nicola Harrison

    April 17, 2014 at 10:21 am

    You forgot:

    – You will clean the patch under their high chair until there is a visible dip in the wood

    – You will throw away 70-80% of everything you cook for them

    – Their first words might not be hello and bye bye – they might be ‘rhino’ and ‘hippo’ – that is ok

    Love this post!

    Nicky x

    1. gillian

      April 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Yes, yes yes, all of the above! And thank you 😀 x

  • Laura | Life Love Laura

    April 17, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I like this! 🙂

    My little man is 19 months and starting to get into the prime of his toddlerhood. Fun times!

    1. gillian

      April 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Thank you! It just gets better – such a fun age (with lots of wonderful weirdness too) x

  • Natasha Bailie

    April 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Fabulous and funny post and so, so true! Love your blog xx

    1. gillian

      April 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Thank you SO much, such a lovely thing to say! x

  • Alice @ Mums Make Lists

    April 17, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Great list – can so identify with. Can’t describe how relieved I am that 4yo has given up … at least temporarily … on Peppa!

    1. gillian

      April 24, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Lucky you! (and thank you!) x

  • Circus Queen

    April 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Yes, yes, yes to the alarm! In fact, yes to all of it! And they say “No” to everything except if you ask them to say “No”. But I really love your last point. They are magical little people. We’d have a lot more fun going to live in their world for a bit rather than trying to make them live in ours!

    1. gillian

      April 24, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Exactly! They take such delight in small (and strange things). Such a lovely time x

  • Anna

    April 17, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I agree! Toddlers are hard work but they get a bad press – the discovery of language and communication and sudden developments in physical ability is so much fun.

    1. gillian

      April 24, 2014 at 11:40 am

      It’s such a brilliant age, isn’t it? So good to be able to talk to them and so much fun.

  • Vickie

    May 4, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    If I hear the Bing Bong Boo song from Peppa one more time I might have to start telling my daughter that the TV is broken or that Peppa has gone off to Uni or is sailing around the world with Captain Daddy Dog.

    I do love Ben & Holly though. Nanny Plum is great!

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