I love seeing new parents heading forth into the 'real world' with their bundles of joy snuggled up tight. I love the twinkle in their eyes, the hope, the expectation.

And two years later, the door opens and out steps the epitome of dishevelled. Dreams shattered.

Having a toddler is, on another level, harder than I thought it ever would be. I imagined perfectly disciplined creatures, that 'pleased' when they wanted and 'thank you-ed' when they received, that ate all the vegetables and potty trained quickly. Oh how life is a whole heap of 'expectation vs reality'.

Theo, to his credit, is a great kid. He's well mannered, conscientious, kind to other children and enjoys his food. But my lord is he a character. He kicks my ass when it comes to stubbornness, once he has set his mind to something he is damn sure he's going to get it, he manages to word-twist me into agreeing something I never realised I was agreeing to. He's smart and wow am I proud! But it doesn't always make for easy living. We clash and it definitely adds to the drama.

I guess the idea of this post is to give you a few tips, or 'what not to do's', when it comes dealing with a strong toddler.

  1. 'No' should never be uttered.
I said it. Don't use the word no all on it's lonesome. We try 'no thank you' or 'I don't think so'. Or distraction. Basically avoid being a parent wherever possible. Cookies are great in changing the subject. And jaffas. Big pieces of chocolate.

     2. Sack off vegetables.

You know when you spend months and months breastfeeding, weaning on to a perfect combination of spinach, garlic and lentils, you overkill on the antibac and dish out the multi-vits. Yeah, that means nout. They will eat whatever they wanna eat no matter your intention. They get their likings so stick with those and you'll be tickateeebooo!

     3. Bath times are futile.

You could almost liken toddlers to pigs in sh.. They care very little for clean, white t-shirts and much prefer layering their mop with yoghurt flavoured hair gel. Happy days, that's one less thing to 'add to the wash'.

    4. Toddlers get angry about dumb stuff.

Have you ever seen the Disney film 'Inside Out'? Well Theo has a 'core memory'. He once lost a load because I wouldn't let him shove this oesophageal sized sphere deep into his throat.  I'm trying to keep the dude alive but that is apparently not his priority. 

    5. Toddler beds suck.

Cots are by far the best invention known to man. Play pens, stairgates.. dog cages even. You feel they're ready for their 'big boy' bed and they want to play marathons in your hallway. Keep them in the cot as long as possible.

I joke and I jest but he is a little dreamboat, he has changed my life in ways I didn't know he could and I love every moment I get to spend with him. I feel very blessed to have such a vivacious and comedic bubba in my life!

What surprised you the most about becoming a parent?

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