Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Things I'd forgotten about toddlers

Now that BB has reached the grand old age of 13 months and a bit, she is most definitely no longer a baby. Due to the fact that Firstborn and the Small(er) One are now closer to the pre-teen stage than babyhood, I'd totally forgotten what toddlers do and how they behave.

Here's what BB has taught me in the past month:

1. If it's dirty or otherwise repulsive then a toddler will be drawn to it like a magnet. Toddlers enjoy sticking their chubby hands up drainpipes and down the toilet, eating objects found on the floor (flies appear to be especially interesting), licking windows, investigating the cat's dinner and similarly revolting pursuits.

2. Toddlers have scant regard for danger. Attempting to fling themselves into the deep end of the swimming pool, executing a full-force face plant on to any object that looks bouncy (air beds seem to be ideal), sticking their fingers in plug sockets, wildly shaking anything wobbly (standard lamps, side tables etc), chasing the cat and trying to climb into the dishwasher are all highly amusing games for a toddler. Being told "no" by an adult makes it all the more entertaining.

3. Toddlers have mercurial temperaments: they swing wildly from rage/ despair to sheer unadulterated joy in the blink of an eye. They also seem impervious to any pain suffered in pursuit of fun (as above) and seemingly able to shrug a tumble off with no more than a quizzical expression (BBs face plant in the mud yesterday being a prime example). But if thwarted when in pursuit of something they've set their heart on (i.e. a sharp knife, the fly swat, an expensive musical instrument), then they're likely to scream as if being tortured. This is also the case when their mean mothers change their nappies, dress them or wipe their faces. Bizarre.

4. Toddlers are not especially keen on the sort of toys their mothers think they should play with. Cardboard boxes, newspapers, handbags, cupboards and cigarette packets are far more interesting than anything educational, age appropriate, safe and/or cute-looking. Anything owned by an older sibling and likely to be a choking hazard is also fascinating.

5. Toddlers really love their mummies. Love is usually demonstrated by clinging to your legs like a limpet whilst bellowing to be picked up, biting you (accompanied by a delighted grin), sticking a finger up your nose or following you around like a small shadow until something more interesting distracts them.

6. Toddlers are social animals. Staying at home is dull, dull, dull but going out, even if it's just to the supermarket, is highly exciting. Shouting gibberish at people to get attention, running away, shamelessly begging for food from strangers, dancing and knocking things off shop shelves are all brilliant fun. The best time BB had recently was when we went to the Fresno ArtHop; she thoroughly enjoyed having a baby bop to a drum 'n bass soundtrack in the local tattoo parlor whilst 'chatting' with a load of alternative arty types.

Toddlers are great levelers and they don't care what people look like, only if they might be amusing company. Which is precisely why they're so much fun to hang out with.


Anonymous said...

beaming like a Cheshire cat at your description of a toddlers antics; thank you

Anonymous said...

Toddlers! Teenagers surely!

Circles in the Sand said...

This really made me smile and reminded me to enjoy these times to the full, thank you! Been battling with my 2 yr old today, all a bit travel weary, so am so glad I stopped by your blog tonight! Have a good trip back to Dubai :-)