#dontbeadick – a toddlers guide…

Quite often, my youngest can be a bit of a (massive) dick.

There, I said it.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I love him to bits, and my entire family for that matter, and wouldn’t be without any of them, but just recently I have found myself mutedly mumbling the phrase, “don’t be a dick”, whilst feeling my heart sink multiple times in a day. It’s starting to feel a bit like Groundhog day…

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That’s right Phil, you smash the crap out of that alarm clock my friend.

Every morning I try to wake up with renewed vigour.

“Today will be a good day!”

“Today will be full of fun and giggles!”

“Today, I’m not going to shout and call the littlest one a knob-head under my breath”.

And then, normally within 30 minutes of waking up, the little one begins his reign of terror for the day and the first muttering of, “don’t be a dick”, spills from my mouth.

Seriously, Boss Baby has nothing on this kid.

I just can’t help it. I can see him about to be a pillock before it happens, but there truly is little to nothing that I can do about it.

Sure, there will be those out there who tell me I am a shit mum for even thinking my toddler is a bit of a tit, who will be opinionated and say I am not in tune with my child’s feelings and it’s my fault he is behaving this way, but I beg to differ.

I can, at times, have the negotiating and bargaining skills of the President of the UN and it still doesn’t make any sodding difference. If this kid has decided he is going to dick-ville, he’s packing his Trunki and zooming there regardless of what I offer him.  This kid doesn’t do mediation.

Here are just a few instances where those words are uttered by me, including some handy tips for toddlers on how not to be a dick.

The first argument we face is normally;

Breakfast.

  • Toddler tip: If you don’t like any of the twenty choices that mummy is offering you for breakfast, DON’T BE A DICK. Just say no thank you and go hungry until snack time, or at least have a silent protest. Don’t scream at me, roll about on the floor, blow raspberries in my face and throw all the cereal boxes out of the cupboard in a rage.

Getting dressed.

  • Toddler tip: If you don’t like the thought of being clothed for the day so we can leave the house without the potential of mummy being arrested for child neglect because it’s a mere two degrees outside, DON’T BE A DICK. Just put the goddamn clothes on already! I’ve spent a small fortune on clothes with your favourite characters on so that you’d be more inclined to put them on and has it made a difference at 8am in the morning when I need to get you and your brothers out the door for school?! Does it bollocks. Just say, “Yes Mummy! I would love to wear my Lightening McQueen t-shirt today! Why thank you!”, and put it on. Don’t leg it and hide under the table so I have to drag you out kicking and screaming by your ankles so I can wrestle you out of your birthday suit.

Walking to school.

  • Toddler tip: If you don’t want to go in the pushchair, I very am happy for you to walk as long as you hold my hand. Please DON’T BE A DICK and let go of my hand and do a runner towards a busy road. Lots of people frown upon the use of baby reigns (I’ve seen the Judgey-McJudge-face’s commenting on the interweb – they seem to think they’re for animals, not children, but I would hazard a guess they haven’t been in possession of a child who could keep up with Usain Bolt). If you continue to let go of my hand and accelerate away from me quicker than I can eat a Creme egg on the sly, I will put the animal-esque walking reins on you without a second thought.

Leaving pre-school.

  • Toddler tip: I know you’ve had a lovely morning playing with your chums, but when it’s time to leave pre-school and get in the car to go home for lunch, DON’T BE A DICK. Sadly we can’t stay at school all day nor go to your friends house for lunch every day. I know you love them, but the answer is no. Please don’t run off in the car park, or sit in a puddle, or go as rigid as a plank so I can’t get you in your car seat.

Lunchtime.

  • Toddler tip: When mummy asks you if you want a Ham sandwich for lunch and you reply with, “yes please!” and help mummy make it full of excitement whilst shouting, “Yummy!”, I don’t find it very funny when you then sit there and say, “Yuck!”, at it like I have presented you with a turd on a plate. I understand it’s everyone’s prerogative to change their minds, god knows I do it all the time myself (hmmm, Gin or Rum? Gin or Rum?) but to change ones mind within the space of 15 seconds, when one is the person who made the request of a ham sarnie, that’s just madness. Stop being a miniature penis and eat it nicely, there’s a good chap. Oh, and if you’re thinking about putting stickers from your Peppa Pig magazine in your sandwich, please don’t.

Around the home.

  • Toddler tip: If mummy gives you a snack, like a yummy-scrummy biscuit or yoghurt, DON’T BE A DICK. Please don’t put it on the TV cabinet, find a toy car and then smash it to smithereens or smear it everywhere because you didn’t want to eat it after all. Number one, you’ve now made a huge mess and pissed mummy right off because she now has more cleaning to do and number two, it’s a waste of good food and I’d have quite happily scoffed that snack had you offered it my way or left it lying on the floor (yes, I have no shame and would not bat an eyelid at the thought of eating a biscuit my toddler has left on the floor rather than bin it). Also, colouring yourself in with a felt tip pen might seem fun at the time, but getting it off? Not so much. Mummy will have to put you in the bath even if you don’t want to go in there and she will have to scrub you profusely until you no longer look like you have a tropical disease. You have been warned youngling.

toddler covered in felt tip pen

At the shops.

  • Toddler tip: Look kiddo, mummy hates shopping with you as much as you do most of the time, but the fact of the matter is, sometimes shit just needs to get done and until you start school properly, you might have to come along for the ride too, alright? If mummy needs to pop into M&S to get herself some new socks and pants because hers have more holes in than a slice of swiss cheese, DON’T BE A DICK. Please don’t go into jelly mode and lay in a heap at the threshold to the shop entrance because you know it’s a boring shop with no prospect of playing with toys. If you behave, I could be in and out in 5 minutes flat but if you continue to be a toss-turnip and bellow at me in the middle of the shopping centre, it’ll end up escalating to the point that I go all cry baby on your ass and then retreat home with no new socks and pants meaning I’m going to be a tad peeved at you and not let you watch the kids opening Kinder Eggs on YouTube. Capisce?

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I know kids are only small for a short amount of time, and I wouldn’t wish the time away but my gawd, some days they push every single button you have don’t they?! It’s natural to feel like you want to book yourself a one way ticket to a Caribbean Island with only a suitcase full of Gin (and maybe those new M&S socks and pants you finally managed to buy) on occasion and that’s ok. It’s ok to find some days a struggle, and don’t think for one minute all those posts you see on social media of happy smiley families every day are the norm, because for most people, it isn’t. We all have wonderful days, glimpses of what we perceive to be perfection, but we can also all have truly shit-tastic ones, and I can assure you that you’re not alone.

So toddler of mine, and most other toddlers out there, remember;

Don’t be a dick.

Ultimately though folks, said toddler will end up being a bit of a dick at some point every day. They’re still little, they’re learning, they’re testing boundaries and pushing our buttons quicker than a teenager playing a video game. But it’s ok to feel a bit pissed off about it, mutter profanities under your breath and moan, lord knows I do.

It’s ok to say in your head, “I love you kiddo, but I don’t always like you”.

And when all else fails, remember cake and cocktails are your friends people.

Cake and Cocktails.