The other day, I read that companies are already putting together their lists of the ‘must-have’ children’s toys and gadgets for Christmas 2017.
It’s May, chuffing MAY!
Why this surprises me I really don’t know; advent calendars seem to hit the shops earlier every year, and who the actual f*ck is buying those Easter eggs they put out on Boxing Day…
But here’s the thing. When it comes to toddlers, these lists COMPLETELY miss the mark.
Sure, they might play with the toy for five minutes or so once you’ve spent the best part of an hour wrestling with the packaging, frantically untwisting 40 different plastic ties to the soundtrack of your little darling’s impatient screams (I’m absolutely convinced that it would be easier to break into Buckingham Palace than it is to free a family of Sylvanians from their sodding box). But beyond that? It won’t even make their top 10…
Here’s Miss O’s current list of ‘must-have’ toddler accessories:
Manky stuff she finds in the park
If it’s slimy, mud-encrusted or shat out by wildlife, she’ll immediately make a beeline for it.
Fun for all the family here – J usually embarks on that classic follow-up game, “where the F*CK has she hidden my debit card?!?” at around 9pm. Often, I’m fully aware of its location, but equally aware of the wet towel that he’s left on the bed AGAIN, so I’ll give him a 10 minute head start…
The TV remote
Some children have comfort blankies, others have teddies; ours has the Sky remote. Honestly, she’d take it to bed with her if she could. It usually takes me about half an hour after she’s gotten her chubby mitts on it to turn the TV back on again/turn off the subtitles/reset the language (how on earth do they do that?!), so we now have a dummy control, a back-up dummy control, and the real deal. That’s right folks, we’re a remote-per-person kind of household these days – modern parenting at its finest.
Initially, she just wanted to eat these, but has now progressed to using them to clean the floor, her toys, my face – whilst this is terrifically sporting of her, when a toddler feels obliged to step in and do the housework, this really doesn’t reflect well on you…
Old birthday cards
If you thought ‘That’s not my penguin’ was the ultimate bore-fest, try reading your daughter’s collection of ‘You are One!’ cards aloud in your best storyteller voice. Over and over again. All afternoon.
These are the things that Miss O absolutely YEARNS for but is not allowed, so she rewards me with her very best “STOP RUINING MY LIFE!!” face/wail/boob-punch.
Yesterday I was the worst mummy in the world because:
– I wouldn’t let her drink Chanel No 5
– I wouldn’t let her rearrange the shiny things in the knife block
– I decided against letting her electrocute herself.
I know. What a knob.
The imaginative possibilities are endless with boxes; they can be a ship to sail the seven seas in, a jaunty hat to parade around the room in, or a step that finally enables you to reach the fridge door (we learnt this one the hard way, the yogurt-coated toddler kind of way).
Unfortunately, her favourite box is this one:
Yup – the postpartum ‘why are my lady-bits on fire??’ box she found in the bathroom. This is the box that she insists on keeping her collection of small plastic crap in, and also the box she toddled over to show the Sainsbury’s delivery man last week.
I can never look that poor guy in the face again…
Somehow, I don’t think any of the above will make the final cut this Christmas!