To you, the parent, it may seem like toddlers have it easy. You probably think that your toddler is just bumbling through life, haphazardly managing to drive you up the wall without even trying. Well, you're wrong. All toddlers abide by the following (very strict) best practice code of conduct for toddlers written, of course, by a toddler:
How To Be A Toddler #1: Wear Your Birthday Suit As Often As Possible
Your parents will probably try to force you into all manner of constrictive and hideous outfits, but resist them. You were born nude, and you'll toddle nude. Naked is the toddler dream. Achieve this by refusing to get dressed, screaming very loud, and contorting your body into strange shapes so that your parents simply can't dress you. Failing that, let them dress you, then when you reach your destination, be it playgroup, a great aunt's birthday celebration or a family wedding, simply strip off while no-one is looking. The key to success is to hide your clothes so that you’ll just have to stay naked for the rest of the event.
How To Be A Toddler #2: Have A Potty Mouth
You are a toddler, that means you probably see your parents use the bathroom. Unfortunately, you're probably actually in there with them most of the time. In order to get out of this uncomfortable commitment, all you need to start doing is discussing their bathroom activities with other people. For example, march up to your mum's friend, and announce, “Daddy did a big smelly poo today!” Chances are, you won't be dragged in on another bathroom break.
How To Be A Toddler #3: Don't Be Afraid To Ask Twice
Parents are busy people. Busy, forgetful people. When you ask them for something, it is best to keep asking them until whatever it is has been done. For example, if you want a sandwich, ask for a sandwich. The continue to ask until you take your first mouthful of said sandwich. Even if it looks like your mamma is making the sandwich, she may forget and walk off without your helpful constant reminders.
How To Be A Toddler #4: Fight Sleep At All Cost
Sleep is fine. But, it means you miss out on things. Do you ever see the adults tucking themselves in at 6pm? No, that's because they stay awake long into the night. Fight sleep so that you can stay up with them, that way you get to spend extra time with your parents. Even if you're really tired, don't give in to sleep. In fact, as a general rule, the more tired you feel, the less you should sleep.
How To Be A Toddler #5: Don't Buy Into The Tissue Conspiracy
Tissues, they're just a way for big companies to make big bucks. I know that, you know that, but parents don't. They will come running at you with tissues every time they see the slightest bit of booger emerging from your nostril. Using that tissue is like wiping your nose on your inheritance. Instead, beat them to it by wiping it on anything else you can find. Your arm, your sleeve. your teddy – bonus points if you can wipe it on one of your parents.
How To Be A Toddler #6: Change Your Mind
Just because you loved eating dahl yesterday, doesn't mean you have to today. In fact, you could hate it. The mere sight of it could force you into hysterics. If that happens, just go with it – throw your dahl on the floor if you feel it is warranted.
How To Be A Toddler #7: Be An Early Bird
Roosters have nothing on us toddlers. Wake up early, long before the roosters – before 5am, if you can handle it. Wake up energetic, excited and ready to start the day. Run to your parents room and insist they wake up. Refuse to be silenced, and make a fuss until they are out of bed.
Bonus tip: worm your fingers in their mouths and repeatedly plant your bum on their heads to be sure they wont fall back asleep.
How To Be A Toddler #8: Go The Extra Mile
When wreaking havoc, always stop to consider whether you have gone as far as you can possibly go. For example, eating a packet of bright orange crisps is always a good way to keep your parents on their toe, especially when visiting friends. Try to get as much orange dust to stick to your fingers as possible. Make sure you are mobile whilst eating, teetering dangerously close to the white walls and pristine furniture with your orange hands. Once the crisps are finished, simply upturn the packet and shake the remaining crumbs all over the floor.
How To Be A Toddler #9: Don't Let Them Put You Down
By your parents' own admission, you have little legs. If you want to be carried every now and again, that is perfectly acceptable. If they try to put you down on the floor, simply raise your legs as high as you can, so they are simply dangling your bottom awkwardly over the pavement. This surprise move will infuriate them so much that they give up trying to put you down.
How To Be A Toddler #10: Adopt The Limpet Pose
If one of your parents tells you they are very busy, or just need to do something for five minutes, attach yourself to their leg like a limpet. This is especially fun if they seem stressed or in a rush. For extra glee, try repeatedly whining their name whilst holding on to their leg.
How To Be A Toddler #11: Embrace The Challenge
When told no, respond only “Challenge accepted.”
How To Be A Toddler #12: Know Your Limits
Throw yourself into every activity. Enjoy everything, but only for a maximum of 10 minutes. Even if you know your mother spent hours preparing an activity from Pinterest, you must restrict your enjoyment to 10 minutes, then announce that you're bored.
How To Be A Toddler #13: Keep Them On Their Toes
Complacency quickly leads to boredom. Avoid this by keeping your parents on their toes. During wonderful, problem-free afternoons, suddenly sob loudly without cause. This will both terrify and frustrate your parents.
How To Be A Toddler #14: Help With The Tidying
Parents can get a little (okay a lot) obsessed with tidying. They may storm round while you're playing, hiding all your favourite toys. They probably just don't realise which toys you were keeping out for a reason (i.e, because you might want to play with them later). Help out by carefully selecting the toys you want out. Hint: it's probably every toy your parents have just tidied up. Survival tip: pull them back out when no-one is looking, or you might get in trouble.
How To Be A Toddler #15: Always Ask Why
How To Be A Toddler #16: Repeat Everything You Shouldn't Have Heard
This applies to mean things said about grandma, and unkind things about your mum's cooking. Most importantly, however, it applies to swear words. If you hear any swear words, memorise them. Don't say them though, save them for a special occasion. The first day at nursery, or when you visit a new friend's house are good examples of great times to drop a swear-bomb.
How To Be A Toddler #17: If In Doubt, Do It
If you're not sure whether something is ok, do it. You will soon find out if it's wrong. For example, not all animals like to be ridden, but you won't know this for sure without trying to ride the cat, the rabbit, the dog and any other animals unfortunate enough to cross your path.
How To Be A Toddler #18: Exert Your Power
You are small but mighty. You are the head of the family. When in the company of new people, show off your social standing by making ridiculous demands of your parents. For example, tell them where they are allowed to sit, ask them to fetch you things you do not want, and tell them to go away. Show them who is boss.
How To Be A Toddler #19: Keep Them Keen
In order to remain as most loved and most evil toddler in the world, you must occasionally shower your parents with affection. Your lovable nature is where your power comes from. When you have pushed your parents to their absolute limit, and you can see the tears forming in their eyes, simply put your arm around them and tell them how much you love them. That will buy you at least another three days of being atrocious.