7 signs your house is ruled by a TODDLER TYRANT!

honey i blew up the kid2

“My want JUICE!” [Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, Walt Disney Pictures]

Has your home become toddler-occupied territory? Do you live within no-go zones changeable on a daily basis? Are orders frequently barked at you? “Don’t sing!” “Stop talking!” No laughing!” It’s likely the toddler Taliban took up residence somewhere between the second and third birthday, and I’m afraid Amnesty and the UN are unable to help. There are just too many of them and in case it has escaped your notice, their will is terrifyingly strong. But we can stick together – laughing manically like the women on the verge we are. So in the spirit of misery loving a bit of company, here are seven signs you are living under a toddler tyranny…

1. Your living room looks like Argos threw up its entire toy range on it
Somewhere beneath the layers of primary-coloured plastic and other manmade, ozone-eating fibre, is your home. The interior you so carefully and fondly fashioned from lovely John Lewis swatches and several earmarked pages in the Ikea catalogue, now looks, well… shit. Bricks, lego, books, his entire miniature zoo – all strewn around the floor ready to inflict a whole world of pain as you shuffle in later to watch Corrie. Teddies, dolls, Peppa Pigs – all lie motionless scattered on the rug like post-party casualties, face down in their own vomit. In fact, at the end of every day, the debris left in the battle-worn living room very much resembles that of a hotel room in the 1970s trashed by a drunk, angry rock star. Even the lovely thick lines of chalk he’s etched so considerately on your Made.com coffee table, seem rather fitting…

2. Your relationship is reduced to a spelling bee
Since becoming parents, chances are conversations have largely taken a quick question-and-answer format as you and your other half pass each other by on the landing/ pass out in bed: “Did you do his bottle?”; “Can you run the bath?”; “What was his poo like?” But then when his vocabulary starts gathering momentum, you begin to realise these seemingly innocuous, brief exchanges could potentially detonate tantrum triggers, and soon you are spelling key words with the speed and accuracy of a contestant on Countdown. “B-A-T-H in ten – skip the S-T-O-R-Y and straight to B-E-D”; “No C-A-K-E until he’s eaten that B-R-O-C-C-O-L-I”; “Did he S-H-I-T today? He’s F-A-R-T-I-N-G like he needs one”. And just when you think you have more skill than a spy during World War 2, that fucking phonetic alphabet bites you on the A-R-S-E when he lets out sudden, indignant cries of, “my NOT going to bed” and “what shit mean?”

3. Fusilli ai funghi is replaced by fish fingers, chips and beans
Remember the days when you and your other half greeted each other every evening with smiles, kisses and glasses of wine, before tucking into a delicious meal of rich, creamy moussaka, or crispy, slow-roasted pork? Alright, it was the M&S £10 deal, just slammed in the oven before The Port of Call’s pub quiz – but the point is, it was adult food. These days, since the tyrant turned two, the likelihood is your diet consists largely of whatever he’s eating. You tell yourself, ‘who can be bothered to cook two different meals?’ But let’s be clear – see that sweet child at the head of the table dining on Chicken Dippers, hurling peas at his baby sister and laughing like an evil genius at his clever game? That cackling, crowing king is the real reason your spice rack is gathering sticky dust and that Annabel Karmel book lays unopened on top of the well-used microwave…

4. You frequently sleep on the frame of the bed
It all starts reasonably well. You tuck him in, negotiate the bedtime songs down from seven to two, kiss each of the 152 toy animals nestled next to him and bid night night. Then at some point during the deepest, darkest hour of the night, you find yourself joined by him and at least nine of those stuffed toys, as he scrambles across your bed, kneeing you in the groin as he does. While he twists and turns before finding eventual comfort lying widthways across the bed with his feet jammed joyfully in your back, you’re forced to the very edge of the bed with about enough space for a fairly catatonic cat that’d be happy to sleep poker-straight, flat on its back. Finally, as you fall back to sleep, dreaming of well, just staying asleep, you’re woken by a flailing leg right between the eyes – followed shortly by a looming little face, hissing: “Mummy, my need a wee-wee”. You’d cry big, body-wracking sobs, but there isn’t really the room.

5. Cbeebies is on. All day. Every day. Never off. Ever.
Cartwheeling lions, Rastafarian mice, a gurning idiot in a twatty bowtie – all parade in the corner of the living room throughout the day, largely unwatched. It’s hugely frustrating. You spy him with his back to the TV, clearly far more engrossed in trying to fit Purple Elephant into Lego Crocodile’s mouth. Lego Crocodile is about half the size of Purple Elephant so potentially, he could be a while… and the remote is just sitting there… unmanned. You’re literally just two moves away from a sneaky ten minutes of This Morning. Fuck it, you’re going in. As you motion towards the remote, everything slows down like a scene in The Matrix. His head turns as your hand almost reaches the remote. He lets out a Rocky-style, “noooo!” – and then dives, throwing his whole body on top of it. The dream is over. He shoots you a fleeting, cool glance before turning his back indifferently, still gripping the remote. And the twat in the bowtie cruelly mocks you with a vigorous, idiot wave.

6. There is a piece of string sitting on the third step of the stairs that must NOT be touched
A parent of a toddler learns very quickly, and most likely the hard way, how important the order of his world is to him. One false move – the wrong beaker/ choice of song/ person putting on his shoes – and you will be subjected to a level of noise torture that even Guantanamo might take issue with. Similar decibels of anger will be reached should you also, say, move a potted plant without seeking explicit permission first, or attempt to bin a bit of foil he’s become quite attached to. Because, you see, that foil is not just the lid of a yoghurt and the plant is not just a peace lily (how ironic). They are representative of an incredibly important backstory that you will never be privy to, but have now very thoughtlessly devastated. So when you see a lone piece of string, probably shed from the head of your old Vileda mop, sitting on the third step of the stairs, leave it. Just, leave it.

7. You rarely get to finish a sentence
Half the reason you and your spouse keep conversation on a need-to-know bare minimum, is because any attempts at anything more are generally thwarted before you’ve even drawn breath to speak. Sometimes it’s clear he hasn’t even thought through what he wants to say – he’s just interrupting for the cruel, mum-goading sport of it. You open your mouth to address your other half and the tyrant’s ears prick up like a dog excited by the doorbell. He bounds over singing, “Mum-meeee!”, before a long, uncertain pause. He looks around the room, clearly searching for inspiration to justify his zillionth interruption of the day. “Yes?” you sigh, barely able to contain your eye-twitching irritation. “Erm, um…” he falters, before a brilliant brainwave strikes and he throws his chunky, dinner-lady arms around your neck, “My LOVE you!”

Sometimes, that tyrant is just too bloody cute.

This post made The Huffington Post! Read it here! http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/zeena-moolla/signs-your-house-is-ruled-by-toddlers_b_7695840.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-parents&ir=UK+Parents

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