So, it’s all over. Presents have been unwrapped, turkeys have been eaten and jingle bells have been well and truly rocked. Christmas is over for another year, and it’s safe to say that this one has been a learning curve for Daf and I.
Last year, SB was a sweet little eight-month-old at Christmas, who was only just starting to crawl – never mind toddling around and getting into trouble. She was more interested in trying to eat the wrapping paper than she was in the presents we’d carefully selected for her, and her Christmas dinner consisted of a festive Ella’s Kitchen pouch.
This year? Well, let’s take a little look at what Christmas with a toddler has taught us…
- Being a parent involves making sacrifices. Like standing on the doorstep in the freezing cold so that your not-yet-two-year-old can wave at
the International Space Station Santa’s sleigh.
- Wrapping toddler toys is not fun. Seriously? So Santa is happy to deliver the presents, but won’t handle the gift wrapping? How are you supposed to wrap a plastic shopping basket filled with toy bananas anyway?!
- Whatever you buy your child, the most exciting thing will always be the tree. Or the “REEEE!”, as SB calls it.
- Unless you get her a Happyland city. Two hours of setting up train tracks, roads and castles was totally worth it for her cries of “Wowee!” on Christmas morning. Also totally worth it because setting it up was really, really fun.
- Don’t give your toddler a starter. SB’s Christmas dinner consisted of a bowl of soup, a few bites of turkey and a spoonful of mash potato. In hindsight, we should probably have started with the roast dinner.
- Be prepared to surrender all hats. All cracker hats are automatically the property of your toddler. No discussions will be entered into on this matter.
- The noisiest toys are the best. Not just for the toddler – you may find yourself playing with her electric train set when she’s gone to bed <glares at Daf>.
- It is best to have a pre-Christmas toy clearout. Otherwise you are left with zero space and far too much brightly coloured plastic in your house. In our case, an entire city.
- It’s slightly more exciting for you than for your toddler. Just because you’re awake at 5am, doesn’t mean your toddler will be too. Despite all of our Santa efforts the night before, SB snoozed on, blissfully oblivious, until 7:30am.
- Despite this, don’t assume that they won’t “get it”. Everyone I’ve spoken to about Christmas has said “Aww, she’ll really get it next year”, “She won’t really know what’s happening this year”. I think her knowledge of Father Christmas will improve next year, but other than that, she seemed pretty excited on Christmas Eve, and loved Christmas day! She had a fair idea of what was happening and loved unwrapping her presents – and, contrary to my fears, had no interest in the boxes whatsoever!
So, there we have it – the ten things that Christmas with a toddler has taught us this year. I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas too!