Monday, 15 April 2013

What to Expect- The Toddler Years

Throughout my pregnancy, the book 'What to expect, when you're expecting' was my bible. After my horrific child birthing experiencing, I was angry. They lied. Childbirth was nothing like the book had told me to 'expect'. When the baby's head is 'crowning', it isn't simply a 'burning sensation'. It feels like your lady bits are being attacked by a chainsaw, coated in sulphuric acid.

Nevertheless, in the weeks following Max's birth, I carried 'What to expect- The first year', everywhere I went. Max was about 8 days old, when I threw the book at the wall. Because that book lied as well. Newborns don't feed every 2-4hours, they (well mine) want to be sucking your nipples until they're bleeding and cracked 24/7. Even from birth, Max had his own unique way of doing things and life was nothing like I 'expected'.

I was shopping the other day and I stumbled across this-

Given my previous experiences with the 'what to expect' crowd, I assume this book is full of complete and utter sh*t. I was tempted to flick through it a little, but the illustrations alone made me nauseous. I'm certainly no expert on toddlers and the oldest toddler I know is 28 months, so the extent of my knowledge ends there. Nonetheless, I think I could impart a little bit of realism into the whole 'what to expect' bizzo.

Note: Please remember, this is all intended in good humour and is by no means a replacement to scientifically proven parenting advice (that's what Attachment Parenting is right?). Besides, you might get lucky and have a toddler as placid as the ones adorning the cover of the book- just (a) don't gloat about it and (b) don't give them a matching 'bowl' haircut.

When you have a toddler, you can expect......

  • To find the most random of crap, in the most random of places. There'll be egg flips in your bed, shoes in your bathtub and Mr Potato Head in your toilet. None of this will seem strange to you.

  • To find yourself saying things, which are utterly ridiculous but again, don't seem strange to you. Examples include, but are not limited to the following-

  1. Why is the dog covered in noodles?
  2. Do not throw that helicopter at the....*smash*, *yelp* dog.
  3. For the love of Jebus, will you STOP harrassing the dog?
  4. Things that go in the rubbish bin, stay in the rubbish bin. Except for shoes. Why are my shoes in the rubbish bin?
  5. Please stop trying to eat my shoe.
  6. Mummy is not Mr Potato Head.
  7. Yes it's a car. Yes it's a car. Yes it's a car. Yes it's a car. Yes it's a car. Brrrrrrooom. Yes it's a car.
  8. We don't eat dead bugs. Actually, we don't eat any bugs, alive or otherwise. For the love of cheesecake, spit that bug outta your mouth.
  9. The toilet bowl is not a swimming pool.
  10. The ipad has gone to sleep now. Nigh nigh ipad. In fact, everything has gone to sleep, nigh nigh train, nigh nigh hot wheels and nigh nigh to every annoying toy I'd secretly love to throw in the bin.
  11. It's a wall. Not a canvas.
  12. We don't hit people across the head with the remote control.
  13. Mummy doesn't need you to repeatedly ram the fridge door on her head.
  14. Stop sticking crayons down mummy's bra.
  15. Please don't rub Mr Monkey on your doodle

  • To abandon every parenting/discipline/educational strategy you had carefully planned out. Unless you have a textbook child, you'll spend most of your day flying by the seat of your pants. You might as well flush your disciplinary plans down the toilet, alongside the hairbrush, toast and random bits of fluff you find there. For example
  1. My friend was successfully using time-out with her Master 2. Until the little fella decided he actually liked being in time-out and started deliberately hitting her repeatedly, so he'd get sent there.
  2. My own son, who is bemused by my firm voice, giggles at my stern voice and laughs maniacally at my 'mummy's lost her shiz' voice. I have absolutely no control over him. Any type of reaction is a win in his books, and there's only so long I can maintain a poker face, whilst he's lobbing things at my head (The other day I was hit in the eye by a toy pineapple. Seriously. A flying pineapple)

  • Extreme variances in mood. Toddlers are like land mines, you tip toe around them all day, trying to avoid anything which might trigger a full blown meltdown. Nonetheless, they will still loose their sh*t, with monotonous regularity. Sometimes, you won't even know why. You'll spend a large portion of your day, feeling like this.....

And then they'll look at you, all like this.....

And then you'll feel, all like this.....

  • Mummy will always cop the entire repertoire of vile toddler behaviour. This is because they love you more than anyone else, in a sense it's a compliment, but you will find yourself wondering if your child actually hates you. In most instances, your toddler will pull out their halo for everyone else and then don the devil horns for you. Naturally, people will assume it's their superior way of interacting with your child that causes this response. It's not. We call those people 'douche bags'.

  • Every single night, you'll stand by their bed watching them sleep and wonder if you could possibly love them any more than you already do. Then you'll wake up the next day and discover (a) that you totally love them even more than you did yesterday, and (b) there's a dinosaur in your undies drawer.


  1. Haha. Funny because it's true and because laughing at it makes it seem easier. Yep, and I've been there as well - losing it and then feeling guilty about losing it.

    The only book I've stayed with in my parenting journey is Kaz Cookes 'Up The Duff' because she approaches pregnancy and birth with the same humor (and understated exasperation) that you do in this article. Nice.

    1. Thanks RD. If you can't laugh about it, you'd never stop crying. Toddlers crack me up. I'd forgotten about the Kaz Cooke book, I loved it. Didn't find the sequel all that helpful though!

  2. In my house, it is 'why don't you have any pants on? where are your pants'. My 19 month old son has decided now that the weather is cooler its time to take his daks off with regularity.

    (It is bloody funny though!)

    1. Marnie, I can't believe he's 19 months now!! He must be a fully blown ratbag now?! Toddlers (whilst draining) amuse me no end. The things they say and do. I'm glad I can blog about it, so I can remember all of these things for his 21st one day!