Tuesday, 11 February 2014

11 Things I'd Forgotten About Toddlers

It’s been ten weeks since EB took his first baby steps.  Life has changed completely now I am mothering a little man in motion. It’s been a rude awakening. I don’t remember any of this from first time around.

Based on my recent experiences of my fourteen month old, here’s eleven things I’d forgotten about toddlers.

11. The mess at mealtimes 
Oh the mess.  EB refuses to be fed by me. He will only eat something he can feed himself.  I look back at Pip’s babyhood and his table manners were exquisite compared to the sight that greets me three times a day now.  Like a medieval trencherman, EB gnaws at his food then lobs what he doesn’t want over his shoulder or at the wall. If using cutlery, successful journeys from fork to mouth weigh in on 50% of occasions. The remainder of the time, said instrument is used to catapult food all over the kitchen. This is before the grand finale of Britain’s strongest toddler, whereby EB attempts to remove his bowl with suction pads from the table and hurl it across the room. Post event, the clean down begins, the job of dealing with an encrusted trip trap chair, chiseling Weetabix from the sides or using one’s fingernail to remove dried porridge from the straps. One of my least favourite jobs - ever.

10. They’re health and safety oblivious
My hygeine OCD is in overdrive right now. EB likes nothing more than a rummage in the kitchen bin; raiding it on average, twenty times a day.  He loves to try and put his hands (and anything else)  down the toilet - no matter whether there’s someone sitting on it or not. Chewing the floor side facing part of the thong on Daddy’s flip flop is another favourite past time.  Thankfully he seems to have a good immune system.  

9. Kings and queens of little things
The smaller, the tinier, the better to practise their pincer grip with or to put in their mouths. I find myself constantly enquiring, "What's in your mouth?".  I’d forgotten how much toddlers like putting things in things. Potatoes in and out of a saucepan, crockery in and out of the drawer. Lego in the toilet. Loo rolls in the toilet.  And, if there aren’t little things, they can make their own. EB can perform an Andrex puppy confetti shred on a loo roll in a couple of minutes.

8. They're fixated with the machinations of daily life
Removing the hair trap from the shower, (yes, that dark watery hole seems a good place to stick one's hand), attempting to use the loo brush *shudders*. Sticking their head in the washing machine or placing other household items ( like the remote control) which do not require washing, in there. All very helpful.

7. They are adept at Hide and Seek
They hide stuff. You seek it. The new remote control for my camera - gone. Possibly hidden inside a small toy car, somewhere in a sea of plastic. My bedside table is no longer safe.  Each morning it is swept of it’s accoutrements. Lip gloss, hand cream, the alarm clock, are all hidden in an unannounced game of hide and seek.  The baby monitor is disconnected and the cradle hidden.  Just a little bit of fun to keep me on my toes at 8pm when I’m exhausted and longing for a glass of wine. 

6. Mother becomes a walking snack machine
I'm now unable to leave the house without a stash of raisins, rice cakes or biscuits in BPA free Tupperware. Food placates a crying toddler. In an effort to get on with life when faced with a person who walks far too slowly, you end up carrying a small stash of snacks wherever you go. The buggy you paid a small fortune for now ingrained with sawdust like crumbs from biscuits made with fruit juice and sticky spots from half chewed raisins. 

5. REPEAT is one of their favourite things 
Opening and shutting the kitchen drawers is EB’s favourite hobby. Get pans out, put back. Ad infinitum. Tinnitus has nothing on this audible torture.  Never mind, let’s go read some books. Dear Zoo, my favourite. Ah, that was nice. Something else now. Oh. Only Dear Zoo..? An hour later we have read it twenty times.

4. They’re Early Risers
They are very happy to get up at 5.30am and don’t understand why no-one else is. And the bad news is- they don’t even like TV yet so you’re stuck putting the same shapes in the shape sorter and reading Dear Zoo until breakfast time.

3. They are trying to grow teeth
Twenty of them. Which as well as being painful and causing them to wake regularly during the night also causes vast amounts of dribble. This can be found in slug like trails all over one’s clothes. Kissing is wet and slobbery and rather like being licked by an over exuberant dog. 

2. Even when you think they’re occupying themselves nicely, they’re probably up to mischief.  
As I watched EB rearranging the shoes on the rack in the hall the other day I thought to myself; finally - some stress free amusement (flip flops removed). At the weekend I found he had possetted a secret sick inside Pip’s trainer, now dried into a cementy mess. Even I didn’t want to use my fingernails on that.

And the trump card?

1. They’re adorably cute
Their curiosity of the world around them makes them so endearing. They’re honest; either something is funny or it isn’t. They won’t laugh if it isn’t.  Every hug, kiss and smile is genuine and as a result, they’re great photographic subjects. They revel in every small achievement, whether it be clapping their hands, walking, or pulling off their shoes for the umpteenth time that day.  And when they're not executing items 11-2 above, they're fabulous to hang out with.

It’s almost enough to make me want another one.

Toddlers. I love them.

* I said almost.


  1. Toddlers are amazingly cute... and I love the way they get so excited about their achievements. But EB sounds like one very independent and curious little fellow, quite the different personality to Pip. Have you clamped down locks on the toilet lid - so glad Little A was never curious about the loo, she loves jokes about poo though. We did the whole baby led weaning thing as well... the mess, oh my goodness, the mess, every morning and evening scraping food off the high chair. And I love that EB chews Daddy's flip flop - that made me laugh - he's a little puppy! X

    1. He is a very curious fellow - and you're spot on - so different to Pip. I had forgotten about locks on the toilet lid, never needed them for Pip, but think I need to get online and buy some pronto!

  2. He's such a character - I do love him! I can feel your pain and joy. I mentioned before my youngest was curious and independent like EB - he would never let me feed him either so I learned not to give bowls to chuck, but food he could eat with his hands - like Cheerios without milk now you've jolted my memory and toast or chips if we were out, whereas my dear, more refined eldest would always happily munch on avocado and bananas. I look forward to more entertaining posts about him :) X

    1. Sounds like our two follow similar character traits in some ways! EB is certainly good fodder for blog posts - if only he'd allow me the time to write them :0) x

  3. YES YES YES! All this in spades at Bod Towers, clearly our two are still cut out of the same mould :) I'd only add that Little Man is considerably stronger than Curly Girl was at this age (or I'm weaker) and adept at struggling out of my arms, usually when we're half way down the stairs. Emergency services now on speed dial, just in case. Hugs x

    1. The strength they have at such a young age can be quite amazing, can't it? EB is a wrestler too! I'd dreading the twos. If he becomes a tantrum thrower I think I really will have my hands full to overflowing :0)

  4. I'm going to send a link to this post to a friend of mine who I know will really appreciate! I've a teenager and an eleven year now but haven't forgotten the joys of parenting a toddler - especially those early mornings...yawn. Helen

  5. They are cute, but my word they are hard work aren't they. I can often find myself reading Dear Zoo over and over too, so much so I actually hid it for a few days to give myself a break (I know terrible aren't I)! It amazes me how much mess such a small person can make at meal times and when left un-attended with a loo roll or a handbag which can be un-zipped! I felt exhausted just reading ;) x

  6. This post REALLY made me smile :-)