20 ways to annoy the hell out of your toddler

Has anyone else made the epic mistake of flushing the toilet for their toddler? Don’t do it. Ever. In fact, my top tip would be to learn to suppress the urge to flush as soon as your little darling ditches the Pampers.

I’ve learnt this the hard way. After failing to take control of my flush reflex recently after a particularly momentous toddler toilet trip -“look, it’s a big one mummy,” she exclaimed with pride – I (and most of the neighbourhood I suspect) was subjected to five minutes plus of tears and inconsolable wailing of, “but I wanted to flush my poo.” You would assume I’d have learnt my lesson after this hair-tearing out experience. Wrong. At the mercy of my pesky flush reflex, only half an hour after this incident had finally been forgotten, I flushed again with haste, provoking a meltdown of the, “but I wanted to flush my wee wee” variety.

This made me think of all the other little things I naively do that annoy the hell out of my almost three year old. Most are at peak effectiveness between the hours of 5pm and 8pm when Poppy is tired. But be particularly cautious if attempting any after 7pm when entering the potential realm of overtiredness. Expect more extreme results in this circumstance.

1. Flushing the toilet when she can clearly do it “all by myself”.  In her own time of course. And definitely not without thorough examination (and conversation about) the contents of the toilet bowl beforehand.

2. Not being able to arrange for the carelessly flushed poo to re-emerge from the depths of the toilet drainage system so toddler can reassert her human right to flush her faeces.

3. Daring to offer to do a wee wee myself for her to flush away instead. This is clearly not a suitable counter offer to make up for such a schoolgirl parenting blunder and only makes matters worse.

4. Pulling out the bath plug to put an abrupt end to toddler’s leisurely soak in order to speed along to bedtime when she’s clearly overtired.

5. Providing a plate of food that is not at optimal eating temperature directly from the oven or hob. Particularly high aggravation levels  are achieved when the food concerned is baked beans.

6. Forcing toddler to wash and brush her teeth at speed in order to get up and out promptly in the morning when she’s clearly engrossed in a pivotal episode of Peppa Pig. You know, the one where Peppa splashes in some muddy puddles…

7. Not showing sufficient remourse for my complete incompetence when getting a few droplets of water within a centimetre of her eyes while rinsing shampoo soap out of her hair.

8. Locking the door when I’m seeking a few moments of privacy in the toilet, cruelly preventing toddler from coming in and demanding a running commentary of, “what you doin’ mummy”.

9. Suggesting favourite items of clothing are too small or inappropriate. How patronising. Party dress for a muddy trip to the park – why not? Matching pyjama top and bottoms for bed – why be so fussy?  Trousers that expose a little bit too much bum crack – just call me gangsta Poppy and get over it mummy.

10. Not investing appropriate time and levels of amazement in every single item of Frozen memorabilia glaring from the aisles of Sainsbury’s when (naively) thinking I can just quickly pop in for some milk.

11. Not buying any of the aforementioned Frozen tat. Not even those tooth-rotting Disney branded sugar-laden breakfast cereals. Even when she asks ‘nicely’.

12. Not letting her drive the car home from nursery herself.

13. Suggesting it might be quicker if I help her buckle up her car seat.

14. Not being able to magic up her favourite episode of Topsy and Tim instantly when iPlayer is down.

15. Having the audacity to talk on the phone in her presence and not react favourably to her enthusiastic offers to get involved in the conversation. Particularly when making phone calls to banks, doctor’s surgery, estate agents, household utility providers etc.

16. Encouraging toddler to come back into the house rather than giving an excessive and over familiar wave off to the postman, recycling lorries, DHL courier, Abel and Cole delivery driver, window cleaner etc.

17. Interrupting her to insist she comes to the door to wave off genuine visitors to our home.

16. Tidying away the remnants of her dinner when she clearly hasn’t finished. Even when she has left the table and shown absolutely zero interest in the remaining two peas and a carrot for the last 20 minutes.

17. Not moving aside to allow toddler to take the lead when changing baby sister’s dirty nappy.


18. Suggesting rugby tackling baby sister is not the same as giving her a hug and that she probably doesn’t appreciate it (yes, even though Milly is laughing hysterically at the feisty manoeuvre).

19. Insisting she wear a coat when it’s cold, a sun hat when it’s sunny and socks in basically any situation.

20. Not taking her to the park for a 20th time that day. Particularly when it’s raining.

Next up 200 million ways a toddler can annoy the hell out of a grown up… Now that would be quite a post! Thankfully one thing toddlers and parents can agree on is not to hold grudges. Most of the time.

Best of Worst
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10 responses to “20 ways to annoy the hell out of your toddler

  1. Haha! I really enjoyed this. So on point. My toddler (whose younger than yours) seems to discover new ways that I can annoy the hell out of her every day. It’s a never ending list… 😱

  2. I love 12! And I have foolishly flushed when my daughter can evidently do it ‘by my own’. Other tricks: singing/humming/whistling when specific prior permission has not been given. Insisting the cow biscuit was a cow and not a sheep (it was).

  3. Ha ha, love your list. My daughter does so many of those things. Her biggest thing is she wants to be a “big girl” and do everything by herself. She get SOOO mad when I do ANYTHING for her 😉

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