Life with young children is never dull.
This is especially true if you live next door to one and only hear snippets of conversations without ever really knowing what’s going on.
I can only imagine what my neighbours think we get up to if they hear the endless absurdity pouring out of my mouth each day.
If I’m not asking her to, please, step off my neck, I’m shouting up the stairs that she should really wipe her own butt this time.
I can often be heard exclaiming, “I can’t take you out until you put some knickers on. I just can’t!” And also, “What did you just do to the cat?”
The ridiculousness of my words is now lost on me, because I’ve become so used to the desperate pleas, insane bargaining and tense negotiations that accompany toddlerhood.
Here are just 10 of the ridiculous things I’ve said to my three year old lately:
#1: “Please Unhang The Velociraptor”
Poor velociraptor met a terrible fate when he encountered the plug chain at bathtime. I didn’t discover his lifeless plastic body until the middle of the night, when his eyes glistened at me from across the room. This is really not what somebody who has so far racked up three and a half years of sleep deprivation needs at 2am. Like, at all.
#2: “Please Take The Raindrop Off My Forehead”
Wall stickers are cute, right? Well, they are if they’re left on the wall, which seems unlikely in the bedroom of a threenager. I picked up a pretty set that consisted of three rainclouds and an assortment of raindrops. It looked great for the first week, then my three year old discovered she could pull them down. And stick them on my forehead in protest to the concept of bedtime.
Her bedroom wall is now decorated with three clouds. I’ve pulled about 16 raindrops out of the washing machine, and the rest are stuck on random walls throughout the house.
#2: “Just Walk To The Lamppost”
Carrying a three year old is really not good for my back. My three year old is arguably tiny, but carrying her for more than a few minutes still results in some pretty epic back pain for the next few days. That said, I also don’t want to live in the street forever.
My three year old knows this and uses it her advantage. She just stops walking. I start off firm, telling her she must walk, but about thirty seconds later I begin bargaining out of desperation. “No, I can’t carry you all the way home. I’ll get a sore back. I tell you what, you walk three steps to that lamppost and then I’ll carry you the rest of the three miles home.” Hardly fair. And my back never thanks me for it.
#3: “Wow! A Fairy! Let’s Follow It!”
If I’m not in the mood for negotiations, I’ll switch to, erm, white lies. You would be surprised at just how many mythical creatures there are in my village. And, weirdly, they all seem to be heading for my house. Ahem.
#4: “Yes, I’d Love To Play Doctors”
Playing doctors is my daughter’s favourite pastime. She could play it all day, and often tries to. I am the doctor, of course, and she brings each of her toys in turn to visit my surgery. Every single toy has the same injury. A bad fall. Usually onto a thorn. There is no variation. No chest infections, no coughs, no tummy bugs. Always just a fall. I have tried explaining that she should really visit her local Minor Injuries Unit rather than wasting GP hours, but she doesn’t seem to care.
#5: “Just Choose 20 Books”
My daughter loves books, which is great and all, but will be much better when she can read herself. She often asks if we can read a book, so I pop off to make a cup of tea before we start. When we return, I can’t see my daughter for the pile of books in front of her, hundreds stacked ceiling-high. This is our to-read pile.
“Erm, how about we just choose 20 books?” I suggest, cautiously. She looks at me as though I am the epitome of bad parenting, and shouts “NO!” She nudges the pile towards me, while giving me a hard stare. We eventually negotiate our favourite 20, but once we’ve worked through those, I often end up reading more, just to avoid a meltdown.
#6: “You’ll Have To Pee Against This Tree”
We’re nature lovers. We love getting muddy, climbing trees and looking for wildlife. This means we spend quite a bit of time away from creature comforts like toilets. This means my three year old often ends up peeing in the bushes during our adventures. And that’s fine, unless she surprises me with a poop. Yep.
#7: “How Do I Look?”
I grew up on romantic comedies. Riding In Cars With Boys was one of my favourites. Drew Barrymore is in it, and she has a very adorable little boy. In one scene, she asks her son how he looks, he replies, “You look beautiful, mommy.” This is what I’m aiming for in life.
Sometimes, I foolishly ask my own daughter the same question. She looks at me, awkwardly, and shakes her heading whilst saying, “Not good.” Every. Time.
#8: “You Will Have A Bra One Day”
Sometimes, I wake up to find that my daughter has run off with my bra. She is busy parading round the house in it, and I have to try and coax it back off her. It’s not an easy task. She wants to know when she’ll have her own bra. When will she get boobies? Will it be soon? This is not a conversation I want to have before 8am.
#9: “You Are Not The Bridesmaid Today”
My daughter was lucky enough to be bridesmaid when two of my best friends were married earlier this year. She took the role very seriously and spent months preparing for her duties. She was wonderful on the day, and really enjoyed being a bridesmaid.
A few weeks later, we attended another wedding. On the morning of the wedding, I found my daughter practicing walking down the aisle whilst giving herself a pep talk about being a bridesmaid. It took about 10 minutes of very gentle persuading for her to realise that she wasn’t a bridesmaid at this wedding. “But I AM a bridesmaid, every day!”
#10: “Did You Miss Me Today?”
For the first three years of her life, my daughter was firmly situated by my side. Then, as she turned three, she started attending a local preschool a couple of mornings a week. And now, she’s joined the local school nursery.
Sometimes, I ask if she has missed me. This is foolish, because she always, always says, “No, I was having fun!” Obviously, I’m happy she’s having fun, but couldn’t she miss me just a tiny bit?!
Check out BellyBelly’s article 20 Things Your Toddler Is Trying To Say To You.