Living with a toddler is pretty fantastic. Said without a hint of irony. As our children are all two years apart, I have had a toddler in the house continuously for the past six years and I will really miss these days when they are gone.
HOWEVER (and this is a fairly major one), toddlers do also think that they run the show.
Unbearably cute but you cannot imagine walking any slower. Image: author’s own
Which is why, I think, that much of the contact that I have from people reading my blog is often related to their toddler. And after sharing my most used phrase for toddlers in a previous post, I had some requests to talk a bit more about how to get things done, when you have a toddler in the house. It’s not always pretty.
Sing your request
You might have thought that giving birth was the point at which you lost some of your dignity (not me, obviously). No, the last vestiges of dignity and pride are out of the door when you realise that singing a request to a toddler can avoid a meltdown or encourage them to do what you are asking (singing).
I would have blushed at the idea of humming a favourite tune in public before having children but now I will happily belt out, opera style, “It’s tiiii-iiii-mm-e to put our SHOES—on” to the tune of a Frozen classic at any public gathering.
Keep it General
As in, rather than saying ‘put those biscuits down’, you stick to a general rule, so it becomes ‘we don’t pick things up in the shop’.
Keeping it general seems to minimise the opportunity for this to become a personal challenge, in the way that the moment you say ‘don’t touch those biscuits’ then the only thing your toddler will want to do is, predictably, to touch the biscuits.
I mean, I’m not sure what Supernanny would have to say about this one, so probably one to keep in your reserves and for those moments when you really need someone to listen.
But, for example, if your toddler is prone to running off while you are in a shopping centre, or at the school gate, then having the…