Once again, it seems I am with toddler. Let’s call her ‘S’.
S. My darling-faced, dark-haired, twinkle-starring little monster.
I love the sweet socks off this child. She’s clever, with all those impressive comprehension and motor skills. I’m smiling at the memory of that first time she shook her head and yelled ‘no way!’ as I removed her from the dining room table. And her capacity for affection is coming along well, if her bright-eyed, random body-slamming of her brother is any measure.
But, seriously, she’s coming at toddlerhood in full swing and almost overnight. So, a survival guide. Obey the rules of S, and nobody will get hurt. Well, more hurt.
The rules of S
1. You will take me to your bed IMMEDIATELY when I awaken at 2.30am. Or 11pm. Maybe even 8.15pm. Whenever, really. My need for wee-hour chatter and comfort is greater than your need for ‘personal time’, food or sleep.
2. When I decide to fall asleep in your bed, we will share your pillow. You will be ok with this. I may also lay across your head. Should you even consider moving me, I shall protest in the form of a scream. Should you consider returning me to my cot, I shall scream and refer you to Rule 1.
3. I will, from time to time, and without warning, bite your shoulder; pull your hair; whack you in the face; put my fingers up your nose; or throw my weight on or against the region of your full bladder. This is how you will know I love you.
4. My policies on eating are straightforward:
a) don’t include vegetables other than fried potatoes
b) don’t include fruits other than bananas
c) don’t include meats other than those which have been minced and fashioned into a sausage or patty format
d) cut EVERY LAST BIT of crust from that sandwich, lady
e) heat my baked beans to a temperature of 38C. I believe this equates to around 20 seconds on full power in our microwave.
f) foods must be easily squished through my fingers and/or smeared through my hair
g) what I don’t eat I will either share with the cat or throw at my brother
h) finally, a word on sultanas: STOP TRYING.
5. When you say ‘no’, I hear ‘yes’. Always. It’s Toddler 101. I suggest you brush up on this as you seem to have forgotten it from last time. Also, please re-read the section on possession: what is mine is mine, and what is yours, daddy’s, my brother’s and the cat’s is also mine.
6. You may have noticed I can climb. If not, I will help draw your attention to it by making various noises, such as yelling ‘uh uh uh uh’. Try to look proud, would you?
7. I like the cat. I will play with him at my leisure. Please ensure his food bowl is filled regularly and his claws are clipped often.
8. It’s ok when you leave me. Except when it’s not. I’ll let you know when it’s not. And when it’s not, you shall be required to remain at a distance no greater than 92 centimetres from wherever I am at that time. I will chase you, screaming, to ensure you abide by this.
It’s this simple. Good thing I love the sweet socks off this child.