I seem to have been plagued by the condition ToddlerMonsterItis since my baby girl took her first wobbly steps back in November: goodbye sweet, sweet baby; Hello still reasonably sweet, but impossibly cheeky TODDLERMONSTER.
It is no secret that I am pretty negative about this socially inept phase. Those who know me have generously put up with my exasperated moans on a weekly basis: the teething, the dreadful sleep patterns, the sheer MESS everywhere- all the time (can I blame this on a burglary?!), the crying tantrums, the desire to toddle rather than ride the pram, – to name but a few.
Well as there is no sign of this phase transitioning over to the far superior Pre-schoolers realm any time soon, it is time for me to take a different approach before I sink into a deep hole of despair:
I give you my attempt at rose tinting the toddler years. Let’s take advantage of these unpredictable mood swings, the inconsolable tantrums and wayward frustrations. (-and that’s just the Mumas!)
We can use our pint sized whirlwinds to our advantage, I’m sure of it…
- Queue Jumping
Parked on double yellow lines outside the post office at lunch time? Need to get to the front of the queue ASAP? No problem, you just need to wake your peaceful ToddlerMonster, carry them without their comforter into the overflowing post office, join the snaking queue and wait for toddlerMonster to come round. 5 or 6 seconds should do it until the blood curdling screams begin. Even the hardiest Queue-goer will take pity. You will see the Queue part like you are an emergency response vehicle.
Calmly make your way through the throngs of tutting, eyebrow raising crowds. Attempt to pacify The Noise for the sake of The Queue. If you experience resistance further down the line try suggesting to ToddlerMonster that you hope they aren’t sick AGAIN. If this doesn’t work, loudly realise the nappy has burst its banks.
You’ll be in and out that post office in minutes. No Queue for you Muma.
- Domestic Squalor
Has a thick layer of disorganisation swept through your home on a scale you thought not possible since the NewBorn debris washed up?
Does it looks like you hosted a playgroup by lunchtime? THAT’S OK. Is the Iroining pile is half way up the wall? THAT’S OK. If darling hubster is having fish fingers for the 3rd time that week for dinner then THAT’S OK: Toys are a necessity. Ironing is hot and a bloody lethal activity around a pulling tugging tripping waddler, and cooking one handed isn’t even a round on MasterChef yet. Frankly if you manage to conjure up hot foodstuff during the Witching hour, when ToddlerMonsterItis is at its peak then you deserve a medal – or at least a glass of wine!
- Missing an appointment
- “I don’t recognise that number… oh they’ve left a voice mail…. Hang on a minute, VETS APPOINTMENT, BUGGER”
This is a regular occurrence for me. Trying to keep a track of appointments for myself used to be a tall order, but now I have two other people’s social diaries to add to the mix its frankly getting confusing. So missing appointments and rescheduling is becoming a regular thing for me – something which I have discovered can cushion the blow is ToddlerMonsterItis.
The basic workings of this tactic are:
- Realise the fuck up you have made.
- Contact via telephone to apologise & reschedule.
- Await gritted teeth acceptance of apology, and then release the hound.
- This is the easy bit: ToddlerMonster will see you are on the telephone. You are not therefore 100% engaging with her, this will massively piss them off. To the point where they cry: LOUDLY.
- Cue tone change from down the phone, sympathy washes up the line: forgiveness is close.
- Suggest your preferred rearrange date.
- (LOUDER WAILS, POSSIBLY SCREACHING BY NOW)
- Hesitation from down the line, that date or time doesn’t suit them – but kindly voice will switch things around to make that work because “you do sound like you have your hands full”
- Making a quick exit
We’ve all been there: suckered in to attend a YawnFest out of obligation. Side glances at your watch, contemplating the fake ‘There’s an Emergency’ friend trick for a speedy exit. Actual concern that a soggy Vol au vent could be the last thing you eat should you die of boredom here.
Fear no more; You are harbouring an unruly, unpredictable but desperately sweet looking secret weapon. ToddlerMonsterItis. Muma’s gotta do what a Muma’s gotta do. A quickie whinge because they can’t suck their toes with their shoes on can easily be elaborated on in this situation…
“We had better leave now before she gets EVEN MORE tired, and works herself up into a right state. What a shame. We were having such fun!”
Done. Thank me later. You are out of there. Windows down, radio on.
I would love this list to grow, I need more Toddler positivity in my life. I have a good couple of years before the beloved pre-school phase kicks in – share some ToddlerMonster one ups with me, please!!