When we found out I was pregnant with Ted, it was the newborn stage that I feared most… could I really do the sleepless nights and perpetual feeding again?! But looking back, the newborn part is far easier than the current phase we’re in! I’d forgotten about this awkward 1-1.5 phase! The phase where they know exactly what they want but can’t communicate it to you and get increasingly angry with your inability to mind read!! The phase where they are drawn to danger like a moth to a flame but have no regard or understanding of the word NO! The phase where they endeavour to destroy everything in their wake and themselves on a minutely basis!
With that in mind, I’ve summarised the 7 stages of being a toddler!
1. The Launcher.
Ted currently possesses an over arm throw that should be able to get him access to the opening line up of the England cricket team! Drink cups, toys, books, full bowls of cereal… The object doesn’t matter; the trajectory is all important! If he can whack a sibling he is particularly proud, bonus points are also awarded if maximum splatterage is achieved! My favourite recent throwing incident was when he launched half an unwanted Yorkshire Pudding and managed to land it perfectly in the middle of the dogs back! This led to a good few minutes of hilarity while poor old Stan span round in circles trying to get the unobtainable baked goods and we all watched on, crying with laughter!
2. The Flusher
Toilets seem to send off some kind of magical beacon to a toddler… fill me… throw stuff down me… block me… Closing the lid only adds an extra layer of challenge! Plus they come with a selection of appealing accessories- toilet roll provides hours of fun and those germ ridden brushes at the side are very entertaining to smear across a huge number of surfaces!
3. The Emptier
Kitchen cupboards have been fair game since he could bum shuffle- he is the only child to break us on the cupboard closers!! He regularly empties the entire contents of the kitchen cupboards onto the floor and then takes the emptying to the next level by tipping the contents of the packaging all over the kitchen- cinnamon was the spice of choice last week and was liberally sprinkled around! It is however not limited to cupboards… yesterday I found him in the bathroom emptying the dirty washing from the basket into the full bath that was ready and waiting for him and his siblings! Boxes of jigsaws, book cases, toy boxes… all previous victims of ‘the emptier’!!!
4. The Protester
We have just hit that fun phase where Ted knows exactly what he wants but has very few words to express this! This leads to a variety of exuberant protests each day! Manically throwing himself back in the high chair and launching stuff off the tray appears to translate to ‘you appear to have misheard my request and inadvertently brought me the wrong kind of cereal- please address this immediately!’ Becoming a rigid block of concrete who refuses to bend in the middle translates to ‘I’d rather not be transported in that car seat today thank you very much parents; is there an alternative available??’ This protest can be ratcheted up to the next level in public places when the only solution is to pick them up and carry them horizontally under your arm! Throwing himself backwards on the floor and laying there screaming could basically mean we did pretty much anything wrong!
5. The Heart Melter
This age can be exceptionally cute! The ‘what do dinosaurs do ROAR’ and ‘What do snakes do HISS’ are current crowd pleasers! Everyday activities for adults become unbelievably adorable when done by a toddler… shaking his head in response to a question for example- super cute!!! Grabbing your face on either side with his hands and pulling you in for ‘a love’, putting his hands over his eyes and thinking he’s invisible, copying every action his brother or sister do… man alive this boy melts my heart… when he’s not making me tear my hair out!!!
6. The Spitter
I remember longingly back to the days when I could spoon any puréed mush into my children which they would lovingly accept with a smile! Then all of a sudden, they develop bloody opinions! And why would you politely decline the offer of delicious yoghurt (which incidentally you loved yesterday) when you can instead blow raspberries with a mouth full of said yoghurt and spray it all over the high chair, kitchen and the person holding the spoon?!?
7. The Independent
I am still haunted by Esmes favourite toddler phrase ‘no MY do it!!’ All of a sudden, everything in life takes 4 times longer as they insist on doing every bloody little thing themselves! And lots of the things designed to make life easier with a toddler suddenly become their arch nemesis! Travel at a sensible speed in a pram where I’m safe from traffic and rogue pigeons… no thanks I’d rather walk at 0.00007 miles a week, make you even later than you already were and play chicken with the oncoming vehicles!! Sit safely strapped in to a high chair??? No thanks, this super high stool with zero regards for my safety seems like a much wiser option thank you very much!!!! MY DO IT MUMMY!!!!
So, at 15 months I’m re-remembering the challenges of the toddler… but not to worry, I’ll blink and the 2’s will be here… and what could possibly be so terrible about those?!?