Here are 5 things that toddlers do that may make parents scream…
- ‘Nooooo don’t do that!’ A toddler unravels tissue then stuffs it down the toilet. The annoying part? They do it just before you get a visitor, and you have to unblock the loo! The inspirational part? They are curious, they want to see what will happen, or they are desperately trying to get to the tube in the middle so they can use it as a telescope.
- ‘Nooooo don’t bite me!’ A toddler will smack, whack, scratch and bite… usually when they are struggling with an acceptable mode of communication such as speech or sign language. The annoying part? They have some strength behind those little fists and their teeth are dagger sharp. The inspirational part? They remind us that we are here to teach them, and to understand them even when they are unable to communicate clearly. They are determined. And push boundaries.
- ‘Nooooo don’t touch that!’ A toddler goes through their mum’s things, choosing her favourite and most expensive lipstick… takes the lid off the tube, winding up the stick, and almost perfectly applying it on their lips, on the wall or on a toy, before popping the lid back on without winding the lipstick back down. The annoying part? We don’t notice until they walk in with it smeared all over them. The inspirational part? They imitate us. And they are experimenting with dressing up and with their identity. They see the overpriced lipstick for what it really is… a colourful crayon.
- ‘Nooooo don’t eat that!’ A toddler doesn’t eat dinner because they are full on insects, fluff, paper, boogies and plastic… If a toddler swallows something sharp, has breathing difficulty, or doesn’t poop out the object in two days then it is important to seek emergency assistance. The annoying part? We feel really worried and guilty and we morph into a highly-strung version of ourselves, placing all small objects up high (note: toddlers learn to climb quickly, and quite expertly). The inspirational part? Children discover many things about the world by putting stuff in their mouths. They remind us that we are learning just as much as they are. That small things are really important to keep safe. And that the human body is amazing as it can pass foreign objects through its complex digestive system… what a relief!
- ‘Noooo don’t stick that sticker there!’ If sticking things in the mouth wasn’t enough, toddlers stick stuff in their ears and up their noses… if the object is sharp or expands with moisture seek emergency help. Stickers up the nose is common! Why? Who nose knows? (;o)) but it doesn’t mean it is fair on the parent!!! Googly eyes, large, small, raised, flat… whatever the sticker, they don’t come out easily, and again the shouting of ‘nooooooo’ or ‘whyyyyy?’ and the frantic panic won’t fix the situation. The annoying part? Not even child-friendly objects like stickers are actually that friendly. For such sophisticated beings like the human, what pre-programming involved stick a sticker up your nose to see what happens? These moments are always heart-stopping for parents, because they come with those inner feelings of… ‘when is the situation too much for me to handle?’ and ‘I am an idiot!’ and ‘Let’s ban stickers from the house forever!’ The inspirational part? They usually only do this once… it is a clear trial and error process; one to carry through to life… don’t get stuck in situations you can’t get out of… and NEVER stick things in places that you can’t get them out of… and that nostrils are very much important apparatus for the functioning of efficient breathing.
Image copyright of Jordan Martin