Surviving your toddler is never dull, not a boring moment to be had… Here’s my theory: I think we parents belong unknowingly to a Tactical SWAT team of parenthood. Just before our little ones enter their toddler years we get whisked away to some mysterious location and trained in the art of Surviving Toddler-hood. But then we’re given a serum that ensures no memory of this tactical training. Seriously, how else do we survive the antics of toddlers…?

Maybe I just subconsciously imagine myself as  Angeline Jolie in the Tomb Raider as I expertly manoeuvre my way through yards of barbed wire… OK, Lego, it’s just Lego, but it’s no less dangerous than barbed wire!

Toddlers are a breed of their own, and their most unique characteristic is the fact that they have very particular ways of doing things, very specific desires… and it’s their way, or the highway. Beware the parent who dares to suggest that they cannot wear pj’s to the store, or that there is no difference between the purple crayon their sibling just took and the one you’re trying to give them. One has to be incredibly skilled, and highly trained, in order to prevent that ever-impending tantrum. That alone has TRAINING written all over it. Below is a list of “toddler-antics” that MOMMY SWAT is gruellingly trained for. There is no place for the weak when dealing with these.

Toddler Survival

  1. Zero Social Filter – And I mean zero! I remember my son once staring at a woman standing in front of us. I could tell he was about to say something that would require a swift escape, but before I could distract him he says: “MOMMY, WHY IS HER NOSE SO LONG? IS SHE A WITCH?”. Um, cue flash hand over the mouth, and silent sssssshhhhhhh in the ear…
  2. Sudden Food Allergies – Visiting people for dinner can sometimes be the worst experience when you have a toddler. You have to stealthily check out the food and carefully remove all the tomatoes or mushrooms, or anything else that might cause a scene. But there are moments when your training fails and you miss that lone LITTLE piece… “MOM, there’s mushroom in my food!”… Err, “No there isn’t, but let me taste just to make sure.” Silently and expertly you slip that damned piece of mushroom onto your fork and swallow it down… “See, nothing there, eat up.” Smile to the crowd, Mama.
  3. When you gotta go, you gotta go – Those dreaded words, after you’ve already made sure they all went to the loo before you left the house. “MOM, I have to PEE!” Seriously… before you can even get up to take him to the nearest bathroom… right there, in front of EVERYONE. He whips off his pants and finds a tree. Nod, smile, in one seamless movement you usher him away, whip those pants right back on, and explain that this is not his backyard!
  4. Getting my Streak on – My kids have always run around naked. And, while that may sound strange at first, bear in mind that we had 6-foot walls around our property back home, so it was a fairly private thing to do. But here in the USA. Nope, no walls. As soon as it was warm enough to get out, there was my princess, happily removing EVERY piece of clothing and ready to play. Quick as lighting, this mama bear covered her up. Catching and dressing a streaker (a 3-year old streaker) requires some serious training! :)
  5. Is that a man/woman – My then 4yr old saw a man sitting in front of us at church, and he piped up LOUDLY: “MOM, is that a dad or a mommy?”. Cue eye-popping red face… You reply quickly, with a reassuring smile on your face, and just loud enough for people around you to hear: “Your uncle had earnings too. Aren’t they cool?” The art of redirecting the conversation, now that’s an impressive skill.
  6. Little Drummer Boy -My eldest thinks it’s the most hilarious thing to play “drums” on my boobs, so at a class gathering, as I’m chatting to a new parent, he runs up, gives me a hug, does a few taps in the beat of 4 and runs off again. I respond rather sheepishly, “He’s obsessed with them.”… ARGH!! Well, THAT was the wrong explanation! Why in the heck would he be ‘obsessed’ with them!? I guess I failed that class at Mommy SWAT school. Cue the … Momma needs some wine.

So you see, as parents, we often find ourselves in tricky situations that only a specific kind of Tactical training can prepare us for. And just like that, I’m Angelina Jolie again.

Do you have any Toddler-antics that you’ve survived with your specially trained mommy-tactics? I’d love to hear them!

Surviving Your Toddler

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