Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Rules (Toddler Edition)

How to Get the Toys You Want and the Attention You Need!

1. Be a toddler unlike any other.
Cultivate unusual tastes in books, music, and TV shows. If your sibling rival requests a particular CD, immediately veto it and urge an alternative of your own choosing. After all, if both siblings agree to listen to the same music, how will anyone discover which child is the parents’ favourite?

2. Never accept an initial offer. Always wait for the parents to sweeten the deal. If you’re offered goldfish, hold out for arrowroots. If you’re offered a bedtime story, hold out for a shoulder ride.

3. Grab first, ask questions later. Removing a valued toy from a new acquaintance can be a great way to initiate fun get-to-know-you games like tag or hide-and-seek.

4. The answer is no. And the question is irrelevant. When you hear that rising inflection, respond promptly and firmly – that way parents know you’re in charge.

5. Develop a no-limits attitude. If you arch your back insistently enough, eventually the parents will realize that child safety seats are an affront to basic human dignity.

6. Eat what’s on your mommy’s plate. It almost always tastes better than what’s on yours.

7. Don’t be afraid to play hard to get. Parents take you for granted if you come across as too eager. Run away sometimes and let them pursue you – especially during diaper changes.

Did I miss any?

32 comments:

Omaha Mama said...

Ha! You know, it's so funny how universal toddler-speak is. How far apart we are and how similar our toddlers (and my now preschooler) are. Too friggin' funny.

Karen said...

how about for #8:
always keep 'em guessing: keep your mommy and daddy in a constant state of questioning their own sanity and/or fitness as parents by strictly keeping to a randomly ever-changing schedule of acceptable food, books, videos, shoes and pajamas. Do not under any circumstances fall into a rut, this will not bring you the attention you deserve as your parents will begin to care-give mindlessly while doing such unacceptable tasks as a. talking on phone and b. eating their own meals while sitting down.

Mad Hatter said...

Refuse sleep whenever it is suggested. Sleep is highly overrated.

Nail trimmings and hair combings are so last year. Scratch if necessary to avoid them.

OK, I'll think some more on this...

flutter said...

Pick your nose without compunction.

marian said...

Perfect.

Lady M said...

If someone tells you not to touch something, that means it's really, really worth having.

toyfoto said...

Sleep is overrated.

slouching mom said...

Here's one: Having temper tantrums in public is much more fun than having them at home.

metro mama said...

Cakes has mastered these rules.

metro mama said...

Cakes has mastered these rules.

Beck said...

No! No! NO! NO WAY!
CANDY! CANDY NOW! NO!
NO DIAPER! NO WAY!
NOOOO! NO NAP!
Lunch. Bluck. (throw offending lunch upon the floor)
Grandma! Hi! HI! (mommy drinks in bathroom.)

kgirl said...

Brilliance. Sheer brilliance.

Here's one:
Diapers are for chumps. Kick, flail, arch back and scream until parent gives up and says 'fine. go without one.' Scramble immediately to couch and pee.

Lawyer Mama said...

Be sure to walk as slowly as possible when your parents are in a hurry. Take time to examine that rock, the fuzzy caterpillar, and the dog poo on the sidewalk. Once again, it's all about showing them that you're really in charge!

s@bd said...

Whenever possible, grab random items and yell, "MINE". If in the presence of a sibling, so much the better.

sober briquette said...

Here's what I love:
Shout "BAAAAD BABY" at the top of your lungs in any public place when your big sister is NOT with you. Everyone "knows" he's only parroting what he hears at home, but won't realize sis is the source.

Redneck Mommy said...

Damn, do I miss parenting a toddler.

It is so much fun.

I can't wait to get the new one.

Mimi said...

*snort*. I think toddlers also use 'intermittent and random rewards' to good effect: you know, how they are kind and sweet just often enough but totally unpredictably that you just keep on trying to make it come out ... but you never know when ... or how ... or why.

Heather said...

This is super cute! I love #4.

How about...When potty training sit on the potty and demand a cookie. If no cookie is produced refuse the potty. At naptime to avoid a nap poop after being in your crib about 30 minutes. This will make your mama crazy, but she won't make you nap in a poopy diaper. Then you've managed to avoid the potty and a nap!

Kyla said...

*lol* Too funny!

nomotherearth said...

Make sure to refuse even the food that you've asked for specifically. Keeps 'em on their toes.

oddmix said...

How about...

Ensure that your voice is raised at least ten decibels louder than anyone else in earshot.

When parents try to insist upon compliance, fight until they cave... and then comply. Makes them doubt their sanity.

Always greet any food presented to you with a scrunched up nose and an vulgar expression such as "Ewwww!" or "Yuck!". Even if it is your favorite. Then accept what you want as if granting a concession.

Gwen said...

The best part? I'm still waiting for my almost 7 year old to grow out of some of these.

Mary-LUE said...

This is very funny, B&P. I've always wanted to write my own version of The Seven Highly Effective Habits of Teenagers. (Can you believe this book really exists?) Habit One: Eye rolling. You definitely cannot be an effective teenager without the ability to roll your eyes at almost everything any adult (especially a parent) has to say.

Mary G said...

First and most effective rule of grandfather managing.
Cling to mommy's leg and refuse greetings, kisses and even tempting bags that might contain presents. Refuse to answer questions. Reduce grandfather to puddle of worry about how he has offended.
Caveat: do not catch grandmother's eye and giggle while employing this strategy.

bren j. said...

Should I be posting this up on the fridge for future reference??

NotSoSage said...

Refuse to wear hats and mittens even when it's -14 with the windchill. When your parents finally give once they are 20 minutes late for work, ensure that you yell, "I'M COOOOOLLLLLDDD!!!" 5 minutes into the walk, timed perfectly for the moment when the old European grandmother has toddled over to lecture your parents.

Jenifer said...

So, so funny. How about wanting and not wanting something simultaneously so that neither option makes you happy.

Julie Pippert said...

HA!

HA! HA!

I'm so glad to know my kids got the rules book!

#5 is the only reason I like Dora. Seriously. "Seat belts...so we can be SAFE!"

And #4? This is where the No-Mary-Poppins firm voice and "easy way...or hard way?" option comes in here. LOL

PeanutButtersMum said...

These are awesome!

Now if ONLY my little PB would eat things from my plate. He has a menu with about 6 things on it. Total. 6.

How about one that says a toddler/preschooler should ask a LOT of questions, preferrably those beginning with the word, "Why?"

Raji said...

Take two naps all through the week when the baby sitter is around.
So that you have enough sleep reserves on weekends which ensure parents don't get their much needed afternoon nap!!

PunditMom said...

These same rules seemed to work well with other lawyers when I was still practicing law. That's one reason I stopped -- only to find myself smack dab in the middle of the same stuff with PunditGirl! ;)

moodswingingmommy said...

You nailed it! As an addendum to the food comments above, please include

In addition, never accept the first plate/bowl/cup/utensil offered, even if it is precisely the one you requested in the first place. The only acceptable one is the one that is in the dishwasher, that mommy or daddy will have to take out and wash by hand to quiet your screaming.