Yes, they’re cute. And yes, they do give great cuddles every once in a while but lord almighty, they’re a tornado of complete and utter chaos.
Here’s 21 things all parents of toddlers know to be true…
1. Grandparents are wildly wonderful for free childcare. They’re also wildly wonderful for giving your child an entire plate of chocolate as a snack and then declaring ‘oh you really liked that didn’t you? Let me get you some more.’ Cool, thanks, really excited for you to hand them back to me after you’ve doped them up on 143 Smarties.
2. Trying to work out your toddler’s sleep is a bit like trying to work out a Latin riddle which has been carved into stones. Drop the nap they wake up at 7am, and then 5am? Keep the nap, they fall asleep earlier and then later and WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO BREAK ME?!
3. If you leave them alone for two minutes and 37 seconds whilst you ferociously scrub your armpits during the world’s quickest shower, you can be sure that they’ll have emptied out every single toy onto their bedroom floor, just to make a statement.
4. Fresh Play-Doh out the pot is a thing of bloody beauty. So smooth, so bright, so clean, so delicious smelling. Enjoy that seven seconds before it becomes a pot of dried up crusty brown rainbow hell.
5. YouTube will always be approximately 57437856 times more enjoyable if watched on your phone, which is fan-diddly-tastic because now you can’t even aimlessly lose your soul to watching the Instagram stories of complete strangers.
6. There is no greater pain of getting bashed in the nose/lip/cheek/eye/forehead because toddlers fucking love nothing more than a spontaneous head throw back when you least expect it.
7. If you were to look under the sofa at any given time you would find two toy cars, a stray blueberry, a bright yellow block, a dummy, a pen lid, and the cool, hip, relaxed part of you that died approximately two and a half years ago.
8. We all know your toddler is perfectly capable of walking, heck they can probably run faster than you. But the minute you brazenly leave the house without an emergency standby pushchair there will be almost-immediate cries of ‘UP! MUMMY, UP! UP!’ It’s cool, excruciating back pain is just a fun quirk anyway
9. If your child gets hooked on a TV show that you even slightly like, they will immediately sense this and refuse to ever watch it again, instead opting for screams of ‘BING!’ and ‘’PEPPA!’. You can just watch Ben & Holly once they’ve gone to sleep anyway, so?
10. There is no greater workout than chasing your toddler around the sofa, under the dining table and into the kitchen with a wet wipe in your hand just to do some kind of half-hearted attempt at a nappy change because lord knows you ain’t gonna get them to lie still on a changing mat.
11. If your toddler wanders off and goes silent, there’s a 97% chance they’ve found your lipstick stash and are now using them to draw on the furniture. Soz.
12. You’ll suddenly need to hoover approximately four times a day because WHERE ARE THESE CRUMBS COMING FROM?!
13. It is really truly very important that if you find yourself craving anything sweet/savoury/delicious it MUST under all circumstances be eaten in secret in the kitchen, ideally when the washing machine is on to hide the noise of you chewing because your toddler WILL hear you and demand you share. And by share, I mean give it all to them.
14. It’s a real bloody success of a day if you make it to 7pm without getting a sticker stuck to your foot/hair/clothing.
15. There is nothing that incites the pounding fear of doom in your chest more than the 5.27am screams of uproar from your toddler’s room that can only mean one thing: you will need at least three cups of coffee today if you’re to even begin to remember your own name.
16. Wooden toys and puzzles are really cute present ideas until it’s approximately seven minutes since you opened the damned thing and somehow now three pieces are missing forever to the hell that is the under-the-floor monster who also hoards odd socks and hair bands.
17. If you give them blueberries as a snack and they ask for more because ‘YUMMY!’ and you start to believe they really like them, then you can rest assured they will probably never ever eat them again. Y’know, just to keep you on your toes.
18. As much as you’d always planned to be the reasonable parent who didn’t bribe their kid with chocolate at 10am to. GET. IN. THE. CAR. NOW., things change and now it’s absolutely pivotal you have a bag of emergency chocolate buttons with you at all times.
19. Sometimes your toddler will scream over completely reasonable things, like not being allowed an ice cream before you’ve even had a chance to brush your teeth. Sometimes they’ll scream because you won’t let them carry serrated knives around the house.
20. If your toddler has picked up a vegetable from their plate and is putting it near their mouth and you even DARE to get eye contact they will immediately abort mission. So it’s important you stare out the window and pretend the decaying garden fence is the most exciting thing you’ve ever seen during every single mealtime.
21. Sometimes you’ll be so tired and over it that you’ll contemplate running away (and by running away, I mean hiding in a cupboard), and then your toddler will come wandering over and rest their head on your knee and say ‘love mummy’ and you’ll think ah fuck it, you’re alright really, aren’t you?