You can get pregnancy classes. You can get classes for caring for a newborn. So why the heck don’t we have toddler-taming classes yet? (Or, if we do, why has no-one been kind to this toddler newbie and pointed me in their direction?!).
Maybe it’s because the syllabus would need to be so diverse. I’ve read a lot of parenting books, and I’m still totally unprepared for this whole toddler-wrangling thing. Nothing can quite prepare you for what it’s really like – the syllabus would need to be something like this…
CLASS 1: Know Your Toddler. The transition from baby to toddler isn’t simple, but it is fast. Our first class includes the anatomy of a toddler (featuring the hair, an uncontrollable – see picture below – perfect storage space for knots, crumbs and fluff; and the mouth, producer of screams, random babbles and inappropriately-timed swear words).
CLASS 2: Toddler Taming. Toddler-rearing is fraught with disagreements. Of course, any rational creature would understand that running out into the road is dangerous, but toddlers are anything but rational. This class covers every method of handling your tot, from “Gentle” – in which you’ll learn the best tone to say “Come on, sweetie, please stop screaming, we’re in the middle of Waitrose and it’s very uncouth” – to “Desperate”, in which we’ll teach you the ideal scream-to-milkybar-button ratio.
CLASS 3: Toddler Terminology. We’ll be learning all the wild and wonderful words that toddlers incorporate into their vocabulary, and exactly what they mean
we think. We’ll also cover the toddler’s use of the possessive pronoun. Students are advised in advance that the only word they need to revise is “mine”.
CLASS 4: Stupid Stuff Toddlers Do. Students should be aware that this class is very long – much like the list of stupid stuff toddlers do.
CLASS 5: Feeding Your Toddler. This class is split into two sections. The first is entitled “How to spend hours lovingly preparing healthy, nutritious meals for your toddler”. The second is entitled “It’s okay, you only spent an hour slaving over the stove, and hey, a Milkybar contains calcium at least”.
CLASS 6: Getting Down With The Kids. Slow your ropes, there. No-one’s expecting you to don a snapback, tag your mains and start whipping and nae-naeing with the teenagers in the local park. Just work on your best Gruffalo voices (handy hint: we like to go for a Welsh snake, to emulate Rob Brydon) and steel yourself for watching endless repeats of Paw Patrol on Netflix. Just yelp for help
please someone help me. Most importantly, when the pretend phone is ringing, you ALWAYS answer it.
CLASS 7: Seeing The Bright Side. Toddler taming is tough; no-one’s going to deny that. Sometimes we need to step back and see the funny side of it all. Yeah, so sometimes they do stupid stuff and don’t eat their main course and make you endure “Marshall, Rubble, Chase, Rocky, Zuma, Skye, yeah! They’re on the way!” all
fricking day long – but they’re also super cute, super funny and really great companions. And I’m doing a terrible job of not making them sound like dogs. Moral of the story = toddlers are awesome, when they’re not being little shits. Which brings me to the final lesson…
CLASS EIGHT: It’s Okay To Call Your Kid A Little Shit, Sometimes. It’s taboo, it’s a guilty secret, it’s whatever, but we’ve all done it (okay, all of us except you, Perfect Percy reading this post and shaking your head). We’ve all had our kid in the middle of the supermarket or the doctors’ waiting room or some other public place, screaming their head off about something or other (we stop listening after a while) and resisting all attempts to calm them down, and the thought crosses our mind that “You’re being a little asshole today”. Stop right there with the beating yourself up, students. We’ve all been there. We were asshole toddlers ourselves once. This is the circle of
assholery life. One day, our toddlers will probably be silently calling their own toddlers assholes – and then we can tell them off, because those toddlers will be our grandchildren, who will be perfect in every way, but I digress. For now, just keep on keeping on. You love your toddler, right? You clothe and feed and bathe them and put them to bed at night and protect them from all harm, right? Then there is no shame in mentally calling them out when they’re being – and there’s no better way of putting it – an asshole. They’re still the cutest, most lovable, beautiful and your favourite asshole in the world, and that’s the important thing.
So, those are my classes that I think should be on the syllabus for a toddler-taming course. What do you think? Are there any classes that you wish you’d been offered before hitting the terrible twos?