Toddlers: the things no-one ever tells you
Children 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.