From August 2015

The Toddler’s Job

The Toddler knows a lot about computers. Silly Mummy and Silly Daddy do work on the computer. Not always of their own free will, in fact: ‘Mummy, you sit down do work now! Do work on computer!’ The Toddler has furthered her computer knowledge with a little bit of research to confirm how much fun it is to work on computers: ‘Daddy, you like computers? You like computers, Daddy?’

Armed with all of this information, The Toddler has decided she will also take up working on the computer. The exact nature of The Toddler’s work is at present unclear. Nonetheless, she sits down next to the Toot Toot Safari track. She looks at it closely: ‘Computer not working again.’ No, well, it’s a Toot Toot Safari track. (Also, do note the ‘again’: apparently this is not the first time the Toot Toot Safari track has failed to be a computer.) The Toddler is unhappy: ‘Not playing. Need to show The Baby my work.’ Don’t you hate it when your computer turns into a Toot Toot Safari track before you managed to save your work to show to The Baby? Silly Mummy suggests that The Toddler turns the Toot Toot Safari off and back on again. Silly Mummy thinks she’s funny. The Toddler does not agree.

Though the specifics of The Toddler’s job remain unknown, she is evidently a high powered toddler executive and, as such, cannot be expected to go to bed. At bedtime, entirely ignoring tiny, insignificant details such as the fact that she is nowhere near the computer (and is actually sitting on the sofa playing with a tea set), The Toddler declares: ‘Me do more works. Me go on computer just a little bit longer, do more work. Okay?’ Clearly, The Toddler is a workaholic, but at what?

The Toddler has put a plastic farmhouse in the hallway. She returns for The Baby: ‘The Baby, come and play on my computer. Come here, The Baby. To my work.’ The Baby is not showing signs of willingness to accompany The Toddler to her computer/farmhouse. The Toddler offers encouragement: ‘Come to my work. Want to hold hands, The Baby? Hold hands, The Baby. Is good.’ Well, that answers the question about the nature of her work, at least. She’s Borat.

Name the Children: Your Chance to Get Involved!

It has come to my attention (through keen powers of observing that The Baby had a birthday), that The Baby is no longer really a baby. As such, renaming of The Toddler and The Baby would appear to be due.

I have decided to open up the options I have been considering for public discussion/voting. *

(*I reserve the right to entirely ignore the publicly favoured option, if it is the one I do not want to use.)

Without further ado, I give you the shortlist of new names for my now pair of toddlers (oh, yes, I am fully committed to overplaying the excitement level of this post – prepare to be underwhelmed and totally disinterested).

1. The Toddler and The Artist Formerly Known as The Baby
Not really. Just kidding.

2. Toddler the First and Toddler the Second
I like the Lemony Snicketness of this, but wonder if it would fail to be a significant enough distinction, and thus be confusing.

3. The Littlun and The Bigun
A Lord of the Flies reference, so there would be a link to a favourite post of mine. (I know, right, how clever. Perhaps Silly Mummy should also be renamed? Clever Mummy. No? No. It wasn’t even my idea. Thanks, Dad!)

4. Toddler the Elder and Toddler the Younger (to be shortened to The Elder and The Younger)
As in the Pitts (William, not Brad and Angelina). A highbrow political reference. We are very highbrow around here (what is that laughing, stop that right now).

5. The Toddler and The Baby
For those who just don’t like change.

Which do you prefer? Or do you have suggestions of your own? (Yes, there is a small risk of this leading to further votes to deal with additional suggestions, and the eventual decision to just call them Toddler One and Toddler Two taken on the eve of The Artist Formerly Known as The Baby’s first day in secondary school…)

Undone, Everyone: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s Ten Funniest Things time again, and the newly appointed Sea Captain Mummy presents The Toddler:

1. On supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
The Toddler continues to be besotted with Mary Poppins. Feeling ambitious, she decides to try singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: ‘Super…sup…suer…supra…supercagla…Mummy, I can’t say that word at all!’ Don’t worry, The Toddler, quite understandable. It’s a very difficult word. Silly Mummy would go so far as to say the sound of it is something quite atrocious.

2. On furniture, not a climbing frame
The Baby has been behaving in a reckless – and frankly very childish -manner, clambering all over the furniture. The Toddler is not standing for it: ‘It’s not a climbing frame, The Baby. I’ve told you not to climb it. Please don’t climb, The Baby.’

3. On The Baby, brainwashing of
The Toddler is attempting to brainwash The Baby. The Toddler wants to watch Peppa Pig, but has met Silly Mummy based resistance. She needs back up, and she knows just the baby to ask: ‘The Baby, do you not want to watch Peppa Pig? Say it. The Baby, you say Peppa Pig. The Baby, you say it. The Baby likes say Peppa Pig. Look at me, The Baby. Say it.’ The Baby remains silent on the subject, but does pick up The Toddler’s Peppa Pig balloon. The Toddler will take that as a win: ‘That’s right, The Baby! Peppa Pig! That’s right, The Baby – Peppa pig on there!’

4. On Silly Daddy, incrimination of
In the latest episode of ‘The Toddler’s Guide to Proper Decorum at the Doctors’ Surgery’ The Toddler has been demonstrating how to alleviate boredom by incriminating Silly Daddy. The Baby is having her vaccinations. The Toddler apparently suddenly remembers her last trip to the doctor, when Silly Daddy took her to have a skin condition on her neck checked out. The Toddler decides to inform the nurse about this trip. Sort of. She announces, ‘I hurt my neck!’ Silly Mummy realises what The Toddler is thinking about, but then Silly Mummy is trained in the art of toddler interpretation. The nurse looks concerned and replies, ‘Oh dear, have you? What’s wrong with it?’
The Toddler expands on her original statement: ‘I hurt my neck!’
The nurse says, ‘How did that happen?’
The Toddler, presumably instead answering the question of how she happened to get to the doctors’ surgery, announces: ‘Daddy! Daddy did it! Got a sticker!’ Oh dear. The Toddler got a sticker. Silly Daddy did not receive a sticker for hurting The Toddler’s neck. Which he also did not do. Can we start again?

5. On praise
The Toddler has developed a rather unusual method of delivering praise. She does not say ‘well done’. No. She says ‘undone’. ‘Undone, everyone!’ Give it a go next time you want to praise your colleagues in a work meeting: ‘Undone, everyone, undone. No, really, very undone!’

6. On that being nice
Silly Mummy tells The Toddler we will read some books upstairs. The Toddler nods: ‘That will be nice, won’t it?’ It has since become a favourite phrase. It is sometimes genuinely hard to tell if The Toddler is being very polite or quite sarcastic.

7. On Tommy Cooper, just like that
This week The Toddler has mostly been Tommy Cooper: ‘Mummy, I’m sitting here with my blanket. Just like that.’ We also have the variation of ‘just like this’, mostly used for bossiness towards The Baby: ‘What did The Baby do?’
‘She just fell over and now she’s a bit sad.’
‘Don’t do that, The Baby. Do like me. Just like this.’

8. On Sea Captain Mummy
While The Toddler has been Tommy Cooper, Silly Mummy has been ‘Sea Captain Mummy’. On one occasion, Silly Mummy misbehaved and was ‘naughty Sea Captain Mummy’.

9. On super lunch
It is 9:30 am. What is The Toddler doing? ‘I’m making super lunch.’ Out of coasters, no less. The Toddler snatches them away: they are not quite ready yet. ‘I need to put it in the fridge. Need to waiting for it to cool down first, please.’ Obviously Silly Mummy looks like the sort of person who would eat the coasters before they are ready.

10. On chocolate spread
The Toddler has been given chocolate spread on toast to try by Silly Daddy, who asks her, ‘Do you like it?’
The Toddler considers, ‘Yes…it’s a bit dirty.’

Other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 1: Come On, Guys
Week 2: I’ll Tell You What, Mummy
Week 3: Think So, Mummy
Week 4: Your Emus
Week 5: Don’t Do It
Week 6: Get On It
Week 7: Calm Down
Week 8: Perfick
Week 9: That’s Not Fair
Week 10: Silly Me
Week 11: Right, What’s The Problem

The Baby’s Five Most Important Words and Phrases (and How to Use Them)

The Baby has been chatty of late. She has identified the key words and phrases of the English language, and has been using them with gusto. Now, many of you may be surprised to learn what the most significant words and phrases in the English language, as set out below, actually are (particularly as one of them would appear to be French). Please do not be embarrassed: few are able to attain the lofty heights of The Baby’s grasp on linguistics. The correct frequency and proper usage for the word ‘duck’, for example, is understood by woefully few people. In an effort to re-educate, therefore, here are the words you need to know, and how you should be using them.

1. Cat
The Baby’s unrequited love affair with the cat continues. ‘Cat’ was probably her first clear word, after the usual ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. The Baby likes to make sure everyone is aware of the cat’s location at all times. She will jab her finger insistently in the cat’s direction and yell, ‘Cat! Cat!’ Should The Baby’s cat location services ever be specifically called upon with an actual query about where the cat is, The Baby is beside herself with glee: ‘Cat! Cat!’ The cat tries her best to be inconspicuous. Sorry, cat, like a tiny Liam Neeson: The Baby will look for you, she will find you, and she will point at you.

2. The Toddler
Of course, The Baby isn’t actually saying ‘The Toddler’. That would be weird. But she has started to say The Toddler’s real name. She first did this on an outing to the common, whilst The Toddler was running around and hiding behind trees. The Baby pointed at her: ‘The Toddler! The Toddler!’ It had come to The Baby’s attention that, like the cat, The Toddler was trying to hide. As with the cat, The Baby wasn’t having any of it. Never attempt to go incognito around The Baby. She will identify you. Loudly and repeatedly.

The Baby also likes to use her new word to request that The Toddler partake in her favourite game: peekaboo. She shouts, ‘The Toddler!’ The Toddler looks up. The Baby covers her eyes and giggles. The Baby repeats the process. Just a few times. The Toddler obligingly plays peekaboo. She was personally requested, after all.

3. Duck and quack
Presumably these words came from Sarah and Duck (the recent addition of ‘sayer duck’ to The Baby’s repertoire would seem to support this). Ducks occur to The Baby at random times, following which she will spend a pleasant fifteen or so minutes happily hollering, ‘Duck! Duck! Duck! Quack! Duck! Duck!’ As The Toddler has recently discovered the cupboard where the juggling balls are kept, and has taken to using them as missiles, The Baby’s love of chatting about ducks doubles as good safety advice.

4. Frere Jacques
The Toddler has been singing Frere Jacques a lot lately. Being a good, doting little sister, The Baby has therefore decided this is her favourite song. She bursts into ‘rehreh jacka’ at regular intervals, and is delighted when people join in. If people don’t join in, The baby offers light encouragement. Which is to say she relentlessly screeches, ‘Rehreh jacka! Rehreh jacka!’

5. Catch
When throwing and catching are taking place, The Baby likes to be involved. She likes to ensure that it is clear that she is involved by shouting ‘catch’ whenever anyone else says ‘catch’. It should be noted that, for all the shouting of ‘catch’, very little catching actually occurs. Though Baby can claim a better catching record than The Toddler – she has occasionally caught balls with her face, at least. The Baby’s reaction to being hit in the face with a ball? ‘Catch!’

Eight Times Having a Toddler Was Like Lord of the Flies

Hands up who’s read Lord of the Flies? (Hand down, Dad, I read your school copy of the book: just two pages out of the entire book were annotated.) Those who did read the whole book: have any of you noticed your house has gone just a little bit Lord of the Flies since having a toddler? (If you have never read Lord of the Flies, but still want to know if this applies to you: essentially, if your life has started to occasionally resemble a dystopian chaos run by toddlers, this applies to you.)

Here are eight times having a toddler was like Lord of the Flies.

1. Mummydaddy
Remember the twins in Lord of the Flies? Sam and Eric. The boys on the island stopped treating them as individuals, and referred to them both as Samneric. Does anyone else’s toddler refer to them as ‘Mummydaddy’ (or ‘Daddymummy’)? Or even just use ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ completely interchangeably? You are parents, not people, and don’t you forget it.

2. Overreact and destroy things
The children in Lord of the Flies become paranoid that a beast is living on the island. When a dead parachutist lands in a tree, they believe that it is the beast. Simon, the lone voice of reason, discovers it is just a man and tries to tell the group. In an hysterical frenzy, they kill him for his troubles. Meanwhile, your average toddler may, on any given day, decide that this banana they asked for mere seconds ago is rather suspicious, is not at all what they wanted, and may in fact not be a banana. Furthermore, this, this right here, this table, minding its own business, sitting exactly where it always does, is an interloper and deeply offensive. It must leave. Now. A Lord of the Flies-esque hysterical frenzy will ensue. Voice of reason Mummydaddy will be battered with screeches of ‘go away’ for attempting to defend the table. See the similarity? Be afraid. Be very afraid. (Oh wait, sorry, that’s The Fly, isn’t it? Wrong fly reference.) Much like in Lord of the Flies, should the toddler form a group, they will become much more dangerous. The group mentality can be summarised as ‘destructive’. Things will be thrown. Chanting and ritual dancing may occur.

3. When you’ve been naughty, cry
You recall what the boys in Lord of the Flies do when they are finally found by adults in their filthy, unkempt, may have murdered a couple of people state? They cry. What does your toddler do when found by an adult, covered in sudocrem, totally naked, and surrounded by the strewn corpses of the toilet roll? Probably cry.

4. Offerings to the beast
The boys in Lord of the Flies offer up a pig’s head on a stick to appease the ‘beast’. Presumably, similar thinking is what leads toddlers to present the cat with a piece of Lego, an Iggle Piggle and half a plastic egg.

5. Piggy’s glasses
Much like Piggy’s glasses in Lord of the Flies, any glasses wearing parent of a toddler will know that glasses get confiscated and taken back to the lair.

6. Pig chant
Like the ‘choir’ in Lord of the Flies, many toddlers have taken to chanting relentlessly about a pig. Admittedly, they are unlikely to advocate killing Peppa Pig or slitting her throat. Nonetheless, the reasonless, barbaric obsession with hunting down the pig in Lord of the Flies has its parallel in the toddler’s relentless pursuit of more Peppa Pig.

7. The conch
Remember the conch? The all important object that had to be held in order to speak in Lord of the Flies? Toddlers love an object that must be held at all times, will be fought over by other children, and confers great importance upon the possessor. In fact, the average toddler is grasping at least seven such objects at any given time. Six of these belong to Mummydaddy. Five are breakable.

8. The bad influence
Remember Jack? The boy who gradually leads all the others into savagery in Lord of the Flies? Your toddler is really very sweet-natured, actually quite well behaved, knows the rules, right? There’s always a Jack. Every parent knows there is always one other toddler leading your really quite well behaved child astray. There is always a Jack. If you don’t know this, and are wondering what on earth I’m talking about, you’re Jack’s parent. Sorry you had to find out this way.

So, there you have it. Your toddler starts the day in an orderly house, excited about the opportunities ahead of them. By lunchtime, said toddler is naked, crying, inexplicably dirty, and surrounded by the debris of what were once toys. It’s Lord of the Flies. (Don’t worry, this is not a cause for significant concern. If you are able to relate to eight times having a toddler was like A Clockwork Orange, however…)

The Baby’s Birth: In a Rush, Baby?

A quick little post that was originally featured in The Mc-Allens’ Throwback Carnival on August 3rd 2015:

As she is about to turn one year old, it seems appropriate to make my throwback memory The Baby’s birth.

The Baby was a few days late. I probably should not have complained about how slow she was being. She took it too seriously. I woke up early in the morning very sick. The contractions followed. The Baby was born in my bed less than an hour from the first sickness.

The Other Half called the hospital and they said to come in. I explained to The Other Half that there was definitely not time to get The Toddler up, get in the car and get to hospital. The hospital were no help. My midwife had said that, if I went into very quickly progressing labour, given that my first labour had been unusually short for a first baby, I should call an ambulance. The Other Half called an ambulance. I told The Other Half to read the section in the baby book about how to deliver a baby yourself. It later transpired that The Other Half did not actually read it, because he had apparently not grasped why I was telling him to read it. No idea what he thought was the reason – sudden inexplicable concern about his lack of reading materials?

A lovely rapid response paramedic arrived. She had never delivered a baby. She looked terrified, and kept checking on the expected arrival time of the ambulance in an increasingly panicked tone. An ambulance and three more paramedics arrived just as The Baby started to be delivered.

One of the paramedics had once delivered a baby. The others looked bemused. The birth time was recorded as under 30 seconds. The paramedics could not get a midwife to come to the house. The placenta would not deliver. No one present knew what to do about that. The placenta eventually did deliver and, in the apparent absence of any chance of getting a midwife, the paramedics decided they would have to take us to hospital.

The Toddler, aged 15 months, had been woken by the influx of paramedics. The Other Half had therefore brought her into the room. She was present for her little sister’s birth, toddling around in the background, rooting through the paramedics’ paperwork, entirely unconcerned. A paramedic gave her breakfast while I got cleaned up for hospital. She was having a great morning.

As for The Baby, now almost a year old, she is just as willful and determined to do things her own way as she was that day. Now she is the one toddling in the background, rooting through any paperwork she can get her hands on. Happy (nearly) Birthday, little girl!

Right, What’s The Problem: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

A little bit late this week (Silly Mummy’s fault, not The Toddler’s – it’s not that she forgot to say anything until Wednesday), it’s the Ten Funniest Things feature.

So, out of breath and a little flustered, Silly Mummy gives you The Toddler:

1. On Silly Mummy, not allowed to comment
Silly Mummy is trying to talk to The Toddler. The Toddler is sick of Silly Mummy’s talking, and lets it be known: ‘Stop commenting!’

2. On paranoia
The Baby is babbling to herself. The Toddler goes over and sticks her face right in The Baby’s: ‘What you saying, The Baby? Are you talking about me, The Baby?’ Well, as they say, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean The Baby’s not talking about you.

3. On cheese, remembering it
Silly Mummy asks The Toddler if she would like some cheese with her lunch. The Toddler replies, ‘Oh, cheese. I remember cheese.’ Ah, yes, my old chum cheese. I remember him well. Fought together in the war, you know. Wonder what old cheese is up to now. Jolly good.

4. On Daddy, bathroom activity
Silly Daddy has made the mistake of spending too long in the bathroom (he’s brushing his teeth). The Toddler has noticed the suspiciously long absence: ‘Daddy might be doing stinky.’

5. On Bamboo? Bambi? Dumbo!
The Toddler has discovered a love of Dumbo, but she can’t remember his name. She is quite excited that her current nappies have elephants on them. During nappy changes she will demand, ‘What’s that?’
Silly Mummy will reply, ‘An elephant.’
The Toddler will giggle and declare, ‘Oh like Bamboo!’ Bamboo? Silly Mummy thinks she is mixing up Dumbo and Bambi. Though this is a little odd: she’s never seen Bambi.

6. On The Baby, offering comfort to
The Baby is crying about something. The Toddler declares that she will be administering cuddles. She crouches down next to The Baby, puts her arms round her, and says soothingly, ‘It’s okay. It doesn’t matter, The Baby.’

7. On counting, three
The Toddler has her numbers board and an important announcement: ‘I going to do countings numbers. Three. Three. Three.’ Apparently, there is a lot of three today. But, wait, what’s this?
‘That one’s not three!’ It’s not three? This is a surprise. What is it, The Toddler? ‘Is…’ The Toddler pauses to consider, Mary Poppins is singing about robins feathering their nests in the background, ‘…Birds, yes!’ Ah, the power of suggestion. Those birds: singing in the threes (sorry)!

8. On yoghurt, not very nice but hers
The Toddler has just finished eating toast for lunch. She says, ‘Yoghurt, please.’ Silly Mummy fetches a yoghurt. The Toddler looks at it: ‘It’s strawberry.’ It’s banana. The Toddler thinks all yoghurts are strawberry.
Silly Mummy says, ‘It’s banana.’
‘Oh nana.’ The Toddler starts eating.
‘It’s not very nice.’ She eats another mouthful.
‘It’s not very nice.’ Another mouthful.
‘It’s not very nice.’ Another mouthful.
‘It’s not very nice.’ The Toddler is giving mixed messages.
Silly Mummy asks, ‘Can I try it, if you don’t like it?’
‘No. It’s my yoghurt.’

9. On…this
Silly Mummy, The Toddler and The Baby are walking along the road. The Toddler suddenly decides to be interested in lamp posts for the first time ever. She comes up against a slight hurdle in her desire to discuss her new find with Silly Mummy when, due to her previous complete disinterest in lamp posts, she realises she does not know what they’re called: ‘Look, Mummy! It’s a big, big…this!’

10. On the problem, what is it
Silly Mummy, on The Toddler’s orders, is searching for a missing toy. Due to the missing nature of the toy, locating the toy is proving rather difficult. The Toddler, however, would like to know what the hold up is: ‘Right then, what’s the problem?’

Other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 1: Come On, Guys
Week 2: I’ll Tell You What, Mummy
Week 3: Think So, Mummy
Week 4: Your Emus
Week 5: Don’t Do It
Week 6: Get On It
Week 7: Calm Down
Week 8: Perfick
Week 9: That’s Not Fair
Week 10: Silly Me

Why Childhood Vaccinations Should Not Be a Choice

The Baby is about to have her first MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccination. The Toddler had hers a little over a year ago. The Baby’s upcoming vaccination has prompted me to explain to the anti-vaccination movement why they make me so angry, and why I do not believe participation in childhood immunisation programmes should be the parents’ choice.

Of course, this subject can not be discussed without mentioning that study, the one that resulted in widespread panic about the MMR, reduced uptake of the vaccination, outbreaks of measles. The study, of course, claimed that there was a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. To be completely clear, that study was completely discredited many years ago. The research was proven to be falsified, the doctor was struck off, and the paper was retracted. In the years since it was published, there have been multiple large studies worldwide that have shown there is no link between the MMR and autism. Yet the entirely incorrect belief that there is a link continues to be peddled by anti-vaccers. In the years following publication of that paper, MMR vaccine uptake levels dropped dramatically in the UK. Having risen over the past few years, levels are now roughly back to those seen prior to the study, but remain lower than those recommended by the World Health Organisation. During the period of fallen vaccination rates, measles was declared endemic again in the UK. The anti-vaccination movement in both the UK and US remains vocal.

Before I tell you why I do not believe you should have a choice to refuse vaccination, I firstly have a question for anti-vaccers. It is this: if you are so concerned about autism that you would refuse to vaccinate your children at the mere suggestion of a risk, why are you not concerned about what measles could do to your child? Actually, there is no need to answer. The answer, presumably, is that you don’t know what measles could do. Thanks to widespread vaccination, we have forgotten what full-blown measles is capable of. There were millions of cases of measles in the UK and US each year prior to vaccination programmes. It is still one of the, if not the, biggest causes of death from a vaccine-preventable illness in the world. It is highly infectious, infecting around 90% of non-immune people exposed to it. Severe complications, which can include brain damage, blindness and pneumonia, occur in around 30% of cases. The majority of measles deaths occur in children under five years of age. Non-immune pregnant women who contract measles risk miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Measles is an unpleasant, highly infectious, sometimes debilitating, potentially deadly disease. Yet, you, the anti vaccers, apparently decided it was preferable to an alleged small risk of autism.

So, here is the problem with the argument that it should be the parents’ choice whether their children are vaccinated. It is based on the fallacy that this decision only affects your child. It is based on a major misunderstanding of the purpose of mass immunisation programmes. It assumes that they are about individual immunity. They are not. They are about herd immunity. The point is not concern for the health of specific individuals, therefore the decision should not be made on an individual basis. These programmes do not work if they are allowed to be about individuals. The rise in measles outbreaks in Britain and America since the MMR scare are testament to that fact.

The point of mass immunisation programmes is to protect the community as a whole, thereby reducing pressure on health services, and ultimately eliminating serious illnesses. If a high enough percentage of the population is immune, the spread of the disease can be stopped. For highly infectious diseases such as measles, this herd immunity requires 90-95% vaccination rates. Below this, the disease will start to spread again. There will always be some people who cannot be vaccinated and are immuno-compromised, for example, babies too young to be vaccinated and cancer patients. They are protected by herd immunity. Illnesses can be effectively controlled, or even eradicated, by vaccinations and herd immunity. Measles was. It was.

So, no, participation in mass immunisation programmes should not be your individual choice. It is not about you. It should be civic duty, like numerous other regulations you are required to comply with for the good of society. Your ‘freedom’ to make this decision is not relevant. You lack individual freedom in many aspects of your life. Very few rights are absolute. Most are qualified, to allow for rules and regulation in society, to allow for the interplay between your rights and the rights of others. Nor do you have absolute control over decisions about your children. You are required to put your children in car seats. You cannot choose to put your child in the car without one because they are ‘your child and it only affects you’. You are required to have your children educated. If you refuse medical treatment your child is deemed to need, you can bet that the hospital will invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the courts to override your authority and force treatment in your child’s interests. This is not different. This is simply another aspect of life that has nothing to do with your individual beliefs; where the decision does not only impact on you, and therefore should not be yours to make.

On that point, why would you believe it should be yours to make? Your all important choice not to vaccinate your child could have put my children at risk for the year of their lives that they were too young to have the MMR. Where is my choice? Where is the choice of the parents of the child with leukaemia, whose only protection is herd immunity, and who will be desperately vulnerable if exposed to measles? It should be a requirement to vaccinate your children. Instead of lamenting your lack of choice (in being forced to accept the protection of your and other people’s children from potentially deadly illnesses, no less), you could consider how lucky you are. In many parts of the world, people have no choice about childhood vaccinations, either. They have no choice to receive them. They have no choice but to watch their children die from diseases we are able to prevent.

This is what I want to say to anti-vaccers: your thinking represents the worst of egocentric, entitled, misguided, selfish behaviour. Childhood vaccination programmes, meanwhile, represent an amazing achievement in medical science, and they are not about you.

(If you still feel inclined to criticise vaccination programmes, may I suggest you look up smallpox. Just look it up. Look up the terrifying prognosis and infection statistics. The horrifying symptoms. How it was eradicated.)

Trust Me, I’m Still a Toddler

The Baby is in trouble for harassing (throwing toys at) the cat again. She is crying hysterically (The Baby, not the cat – the cat looks a little smug, actually). Silly Daddy said ‘no’ to The Baby. He said, ‘No! Don’t do it!’ The Baby understands ‘no’. She has formulated two responses to ‘no’. The first is for any ‘no’ The Baby has deemed lacks sufficient conviction to be taken seriously. The Baby has concluded that the appropriate reaction to such a ‘no’ is to giggle and carry on as you were. The second response is for your serious, actually in trouble, shouty ‘no’. In these cases, The Baby feels that the only course of action is to weep hysterically and inconsolably. It is currently unclear whether The Baby is absolutely distraught to discover she has been naughty, or has simply decided, once and for all, that she is putting a stop to this ridiculous belief that people can go around telling her ‘no’.

So, The Baby is sobbing her little heart out. The Toddler is at the scene: ‘Me give The Baby a cuddle.’ The Baby does not want a cuddle; she cries harder. As a trained medical professional, The Toddler is unfazed: ‘Me get doctor’s kit!’ The Toddler rushes off and returns with her doctor’s kit.

The Toddler pulls out her stethoscope and listens to The Baby’s chest. The Baby keeps crying. The Toddler rams a thermometer into The Baby’s mouth: ‘Do tentup!’ The Baby’s ‘tentup’ is fine but, if anything, she is now more upset. Out comes the otoscope. The Toddler inspects The Baby’s ear. The Baby does, in fact, have something wrong with her ear: Silly Daddy told her off right in her ear and it was unacceptable. Despite coming so close to a medical breakthrough, The Toddler abandons the otoscope. She has decided that The Baby could do with a hair cut. Fortunately, there are scissors in the doctor’s kit. The Toddler grabs these and starts chopping at sections of The Baby’s hair. The Baby is not happy about this at all.

Hair cut completed, The Toddler frankly forgets about her investigation into The Baby altogether. She has a syringe. She brandishes it at the room in general and yells, ‘Roar!’ A roaring syringe. Interesting. That must be the controversial Measles Mumps and Roar vaccine.

The results of the extensive medical tests on The Baby have revealed two things. Firstly, The Baby is crying. Secondly, The Baby does not appreciate being the subject of extensive medical tests when she is crying.

I Found Me (Further Adventures in Hide and Seek)

The Toddler has been engaging in further games of her ever evolving version of hide and seek (you can see her very first attempt here). Fans of the surreal will be pleased to know that, whilst the format of toddler hide and seek has once again changed, the central tenet of nonsense has been preserved.

This time, The Toddler has declared that she will be playing hide and seek with her uncles and Pop, who are visiting. The Toddler will be hiding first. She runs off to hide. Everyone else closes their eyes and starts counting. So far so how you are meant to play hide and seek. But…The Toddler can’t resist a bit of counting. She joins in from her ‘hiding’ place: ‘Six, seven, eight!’ Well, this is confusing. Now everyone is counting, and no one is sure that anyone is actually hiding. Everyone is, however, sure that The Toddler is in the hallway, due to a little voice yelling, ‘Nine, ten!’

Let’s try again. This time, one of the uncles will be hiding. The Toddler will be searching (‘come get you, here me come’). The game is about to start. The Toddler just wants to say something first. She marches over to Uncle, and points at the space next to the sideboard: ‘You go hide there!’ Have you got that, Uncle? You just go and hide where The Toddler told you to, she’ll count to ten (do feel free to join in), and then she will come and find you in the place where she put you.

On the third attempt, The Toddler accidentally starts looking for the hider before they actually had a chance to go anywhere. She forgot to count to ten. Or to count at all. Or to cover her eyes.

The next hider is told, ‘You hide in the coats.’ In a shock turn of events, he is subsequently located in the coats.

Following the frankly abysmal performances of these players, The Toddler announces, ‘It’s my turn!’ Not hindered in the slightest by the noisy hiccups she has developed, The Toddler runs off into the hallway (hiccup), where she hides every time (hiccup). From her customary hiding place, The Toddler loudly and gleefully joins in the count (hiccup).

Upon reaching ten (hiccup), the seekers announce, ‘Comi…’
‘Boo!’ The Toddler bounds out of her hiding place: ‘I found me!’

Muppet Babies v Sarah and Duck

I’m conducting a comparative study of children’s TV programmes in the eighties and children’s TV programmes today. Impressive, non? Non. It’s a posh way of saying I’m trying to decide whether the children’s TV I watched was more or less utterly ridiculous than that which The Toddler now watches. In order to answer this all important question, I am comparing Muppet Babies with Sarah and Duck in five scientific* categories. Each of these categories has been meticulously formulated** to assess the relative levels of ridiculousness between these two shows. Once the outcomes of the five categories are combined, I will be in possession of clear, indisputable evidence conclusively proving*** which generation watched the more ridiculous TV Programmes.

(*Stupid. **Not at all. I made them up on a whim. ***Not even slightly.)

Category 1: Random Animals

Sarah’s best friend is a duck. Due to the complete absence of parents/guardians/responsible adults around to set her right (see below), she appears to believe this is normal.

Of course, at least half of the Muppet Babies were random animals and, frankly, who on earth knows what the rest of them were.

Still, ill-advised as it may be to put a baby bear and a baby pig in the same nursery, Sarah takes a duck to the library. And the doctors. We all know the saying. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…it is not suitable company for a child at the doctors. Because it’s a duck.

Sarah and Duck is the most ridiculous programme in the random animals category.

Category 2: Random Animals Aside, What on Earth is Going on with the Characters?

Okay, so The Muppets, as babies or otherwise, have always been a little on the weird side.

However, let us just take a moment to consider a few of the characters featured in Sarah and Duck: a seven year old girl; a duck; a rainbow; a wool wrapped lady with a talking bag; a talking bag; a donkey; a cake; a flamingo; a girl with a plate; an umbrella that is scared of rain; and some shallots.

I think we can all agree no more needs to be said. Sarah and Duck is the clear winner here, too.

Category 3: Parents and Guardians

The whereabouts of the Muppet Babies’ parents was never addressed. However, the Muppet Babies were being cared for by Nanny. Nanny had her weaknesses. She was just a torso and a pair of legs. That seemed a little odd. Mary Poppins would certainly have frowned upon that sort of thing in the nannying world. But, in all fairness to that torso, it was there for those muppet kids. It was a torso and a pair of legs more than is supervising Sarah and that duck.

Yes, Sarah and Duck are wandering around town without a single parent or guardian in sight. To make matters worse, the one adult who appears at all is Scarf Lady. Hardly the epitome of a responsible adult. She’s called Scarf Lady; has a pet donkey; and her talking knitting bag helps her when she gets confused. Though evidently not when she got confused and thought a donkey was an appropriate pet.

Sarah and Duck is once again most ridiculous.

Category 4: Stupid Names

Sarah and Duck has Scarf Lady, Ribbon Sisters, Plate Girl, Scooter Boy. Yes, you don’t want to be called Plate when you have to go to school (not that anyone in this programme has any parents to send them to school) but, to be fair, these names are accurate descriptions. It therefore just doesn’t seem quite justified to call them stupid names. Stupid characters, perhaps. But with pertinent names.

Over to Muppet Babies: Fozzie, Rowlf, Gonzo, Animal, Beaker.

Muppet Babies takes this one.

(Interestingly, both programmes have a Scooter. Scooter is a cross-generational daft name.)

Category 5: Plot (or What Are They Doing?)

The Muppet Babies lived in a nursery and went on imaginary adventures, with songs, before returning to Nanny and reality. They played hide and seek, tried to cure fear of the dark, performed Snow White, and avoided the dentist. Actually, this is all relatively normal behaviour for young children (or young whatever they were).

Sarah and Duck also go on adventures. Not imaginary. Surreal, but not imaginary. They go to the zoo because Duck wants to be a penguin (of course he does). They photograph birds (yes, that’s a duck photographing birds). They learn to bobsleigh (Cool Runnings 2: The Child and The Duck). Their bus gets diverted and makes some underwater stops. They make soufflé (a seven year old and a duck, weirdest Come Dine with Me ever). Imaginative? Yes. Different? Yes. Ridiculous? Absolutely.

Obviously, Sarah and Duck wins in this category.

By four categories to one, children’s programmes of today are declared more ridiculous than those of the eighties. So, there you have it. Children of the eighties may have believed nannies didn’t have heads, and to this day think the word ‘beaker’ is hilarious, but at least we weren’t asking our parents for pet ducks. Or, indeed, ignoring the very existence of any such thing as a parent, and making a soufflé with a small aquatic bird of the anatidae family (i.e. a duck).

Tune in next week for the epic smack down that is Rentaghost v Mr Tumble.*

(*This is not happening. Do not buy foam fingers.)

Silly Me: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

It’s that time again: The Toddler is chattering away in the Ten Funniest Things feature.

Over to The Toddler:

1. On small talk
The Toddler has taken up small talk. Specifically, she is enquiring as to how people slept. Silly Mummy comes downstairs. The Toddler bounds over: ‘You sleep well?’ On another morning, having heard the Silly Parents discussing The Baby’s restless night, The Toddler approaches The Baby: ‘You not sleep very well, The Baby?’ The Baby is so tired from her bad night, she can’t even be bothered to make polite small talk back.

2. On The Baby, looking at The Toddler when The Toddler is talking to her
The Toddler has been getting involved in disciplining The Baby again. This time, she has been addressing The Baby’s noisiness with a firm hand: ‘Don’t shout. Don’t shout. Look at me, The Baby. Don’t shout.’ Yes, The Baby, look at The Toddler when she is hypocritically telling you off for being half as noisy as she is.

3. On Silly Mummy, being a naughty wolf
The Toddler has developed a three stage plan for dealing with Silly Mummy on those occasions when Silly Mummy insists on saying things The Toddler does not like. Stage one consists of a simple: ‘Go away!’ Should Silly Mummy, despite clear instruction, fail to go away, The Toddler will progress to stage two: ‘Roar!’ In the very unlikely event that being roared at does not dispatch Silly Mummy, stage three will be enacted: ‘Go away! You’re the naughty wolf!’ Didn’t work for the three little pigs, not working for The Toddler. Besides, Silly Wolfy Mummy is not the one roaring.

4. On ages
In honour of The Baby’s birthday, The Toddler has been considering age. Silly Mummy asks, ‘How old is The Baby?’
This is an easy one. The Toddler answers immediately: ‘Three!’
‘She’s not three. She’s one, isn’t she? And do you know how old you are?’
This is obviously a bit harder, The Toddler being older than The Baby. She thinks about it and answers, ‘Fourteen!’ Not that much older, The Toddler. What a random number to pick. The Toddler, very diplomatically, refused to answer questions about how old Silly Daddy is at all.

5. On the naughty step (literally on it)
The Toddler is on the naughty step. She is not happy about it. There is muttering: ‘Me not want go naughty step. Me want play. Me want shopping basket.’ The Baby is waddling about near the living room door. The Toddler can be heard in the hallway whispering, ‘Come get me, The Baby. The Baby…’ When The Baby inexplicably fails to fetch The Toddler, The Toddler raises her voice again: ‘I don’t want to sit on here! Me don’t want sit on naughty step! Me don’t want sit on naughty step! Me told you don’t sit on naughty step! Me want get down! THAT’S NOT FAIR!’

6. On being creepy
Silly Mummy is putting The Toddler to bed. The Toddler suddenly leans her face in really close to Silly Mummy and whispers, ‘Mummy, don’t go to sleep at all.’ Well, there is a good chance Silly Mummy won’t following that creepy horror film worthy exchange, thank you.

7. On having ideas
The Toddler’s new phrase for this week is: ‘I’ve got an idea!’ It rarely seems to be followed by any indication of actually having an idea, but it’s a nice phrase nonetheless.

8. On herself, how silly of her
The Toddler has recently moved from cot to bed. After a few days of perfect behaviour, she realised you can get out of a bed. And that there are books in her room. Thereafter, The Toddler was to be found, each nap and bed time, sitting in a pile of books and turning plug sockets on and off. Silly Mummy eventually had some success one nap time with letting The Toddler have books in the bed, on the agreement that she must not leave the bed. She fell asleep amidst the books quite happily. Silly Daddy was informed of the new technique. At the weekend, Silly Daddy put The Toddler down for her nap. Silly Daddy went out. The Toddler started crashing around her room. Silly Mummy found her once again out of bed, surrounded by books. Specifically, putting book sleeves into the bin. The Toddler assured Silly Mummy that Silly Daddy had told her she could have books, but had not said she had to stay in bed. Upon his return, The Toddler’s assurances are relayed to Silly Daddy. Silly Daddy categorically states that The Toddler was definitely told she must stay in bed. The Toddler shrugs, the picture of innocence: ‘Oh…silly me!’

9. On The Baby’s food, putting into gobby gob
The Toddler has a new method for encouraging The Baby to eat her food. The method involves holding out the food to The Baby and insisting, ‘The Baby, put that in your gobby gob. No, put it in your gobby gob.’ To be honest, it isn’t really any more effective than any other method for getting food into The Baby’s gobby gob. But it is funnier.

10. On being stuck
The Toddler has fashioned her binoculars into a harness. She is very pleased with this invention, and heads to the door. Presumably to take herself for a walk. Halfway there she remembers that she has something else very important to do instead. Walk abandoned, The Toddler tries to get out of her binoculars/harness, but finds they are tangled in her dress. She notifies Silly Mummy of the situation: ‘It’s only gone and got stuck.’

Other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 1: Come On, Guys
Week 2: I’ll Tell You What, Mummy
Week 3: Think So, Mummy
Week 4: Your Emus
Week 5: Don’t Do It
Week 6: Get On It
Week 7: Calm Down
Week 8: Perfick
Week 9: That’s Not Fair

Warning: Politically Incorrect Toddler Menace in the Vicinity!

Silly Mummy did not plan to write this post, due to concerns that it was not quite appropriate. Well, it probably is not quite appropriate; being, as it is, a tale of awfully (albeit entirely inadvertently) inappropriate behaviour from The Toddler. But then Silly Mummy thought: who doesn’t like to hear that a child who is not theirs has been showing up a parent who is not them?

So, The Toddler has a bad habit. Throwing food, you ask? No. (Waste food? What crazy talk is this?) Biting? No. (We have yet to reach that milestone.) Picking her nose, you say? No. (Well, yes actually, but that’s not what this is about. No, this is much worse). The Toddler has a habit of accidentally, entirely unwittingly, appearing a little bit, well, how shall we say this? Politically incorrect.

Yes, that’s right: we have a problem with being accidentally terribly un-pc. Silly Mummy is led to believe that other people’s toddlers embarrass them with public discussions about poo. Questions about the exact location from whence baby siblings came. A firm belief that they have located some amazing strawberry flavoured balloons next to the pregnancy testing kits in Boots. That sort of thing. The Toddler does none of these things. She simply comes out with perfectly innocent phrases and behaviours that sound, rather unfortunately, like racist slurs.

Makka Pakka
So, The Toddler likes In the Night Garden. (Of course. A creature of indeterminate origin – apparently lost at sea for reasons that are never explained – turns up in a garden populated by a girl who likes to lift her skirt up, some other equally indeterminate creatures whose trousers inexplicably match their bums, and some very tiny wooden people with rather shady neighbours. What’s not to love? But this is beside the point.) Initially, The Toddler would talk about ‘Piggle’ and ‘Daisy’, but soon her interests progressed to Makka Pakka. Her speech, however, did not progress quite so rapidly to Makka Pakka. The actual word The Toddler used for Makka Pakka will not be written here. Suffice it to say, she ignored the ‘Makka’ element entirely, whilst for ‘Pakka’ employing the common toddler device of turning the end of all words into an ‘ee’ sound. This unfortunate version of Makka Pakka’s name would be loudly shouted whenever The Toddler saw anything to do with In the Night Garden. Cue avoidance of all shops selling In the Night Garden merchandise. It would also be shouted loudly whenever The Toddler thought about In the Night Garden. This could occur at any time. Cue avoidance of leaving the house. After a while, The Toddler progressed to saying the ‘Makka’ part. This did not vastly improve the situation. However, Silly Mummy is pleased to report that she did eventually learn to say ‘Pakka’. With an ‘a’. (Possibly due to Silly Mummy’s repeated sobbing of, ‘It’s Pakka! WITH AN A!’)

The hospital and the beard
This one goes back a bit further. (Yes, this has been a concerted and long running campaign by The Toddler to make Silly Mummy look really, really bad.) When Silly Mummy was towards the end of her pregnancy with The Baby, and The Toddler was about 13 or 14 months old (a new toddler, in fact), much time was spent waiting in the hospital for extra scans and Consultant appointments. On one particular occasion, the appointments were running very behind, and The Toddler and Silly Mummy had been in the Maternity Outpatients waiting room for many hours. The Toddler had spent most of that time running around the room meeting and greeting total strangers. She had smiled, waved, delivered random toys to random people, tried to eat someone else’s food…all the usual social niceties. She had appointed herself hostess of the waiting room, and she was mingling. Now, it should be noted that, at this time, The Toddler was going through a phase of being deeply upset by men with beards. This was particularly strange as Silly Daddy often had a beard, which she was fine with. However, any man with a beard who was not Daddy was unacceptable. Perhaps The Toddler felt beards were Daddy’s thing. It should also be noted that in the entire time that The Toddler and Silly Mummy were in that waiting room there was only one man with a beard present. Furthermore, in the entire time that The Toddler and Silly Mummy were in that waiting room, there was only one person who was not white present. Yes, they were the same person. Yes, the poor, unsuspecting man saw the friendly, smiley toddler tearing round the room, waving at everyone. Yes, he smiled and waved at her. Yes, she hid behind Silly Mummy and cried. Yes, every time. Slightly awkward. It was the beard. Silly Mummy knew it was the beard. It is unlikely anyone thought it was anything else. Nonetheless, the unfortunate coincidence did sow just a tiny bit of doubt as to what people might think. What is the appropriate protocol in such circumstances? Can one assume that everyone present will obviously conclude that The Toddler is simply upset by beards? Or is it polite to confirm, just for the avoidance of any doubt, that she is not being raised in the KKK?

John Brown’s Baby
Now, The Toddler really likes this song. You may know it: ‘John Brown’s baby has a cold upon his chest. John Brown’s baby has a cold upon his chest. John Brown’s baby has a cold upon his chest. So they rubbed it with camphorated oil.’ The Toddler can now sing most of this song. However, when she first became familiar with (read: Silly Mummy innocently – but ill-advisedly – taught her) the song, she remembered two specific words: ‘brown’ and ‘baby’. She would use these two words to ‘sing’ the song. She would also use them to make demands that the song be sung by Silly Mummy. Just to improve matters, The Toddler’s demands that anything be done were often phrased as, ‘Mummy, get me…’ And this is how Silly Mummy came to be walking through a crowded shopping mall, pushing a double buggy with a toddler in the front yelling, ‘Brown baby! Brown baby! Mummy, brown baby! MUMMY, GET ME BROWN BABY!’ It wasn’t ideal. There were looks.

So there you have it. Anyone can show up Mummy but, with a little extra effort, you can really make her look bad. Why stick with the cliched loud description of how stinky one’s bottom is, when you could be screaming a really offensive racial slur at a supermarket display of toys from a beloved children’s programme? Dare to be different, that’s The Toddler’s motto.

(So, should you ever come across a rather panicked looking lady with two small girls, apparently engaged in an extremely un-pc conversation/absolutely unacceptable discriminatory behaviour, we are terribly sorry! It is not how it looks/sounds.)

Don’t Mention the War

‘Mine’ is, of course, a favourite word of toddlers. Toddlers like to make it very clear that their belongings are theirs and no one else’s. Also that your belongings are theirs. Furthermore, that any item they happen to have found is, in fact, theirs. All of these ownership claims are succinctly voiced by a simple scream of ‘mine!’

The Toddler’s language development took a somewhat sinister turn one morning a few months ago, when she extended her use of ‘mine’ to situations where she meant ‘my’. Getting dressed in her bedroom, she waved her arms and pointed emphatically, bellowing, ‘Mine top! Mine socks! Mine trowies!’ It sounded, frankly, like she was holding a mini – and curiously clothing based – Nuremberg rally in the nursery. The Toddler, atop her changing table, gesticulated forcefully at the gathered crowds of Silly Mummy, and set out her ‘Mein Trowies’ manifesto.

The Toddler is a powerful orator but, fortunately for her wardrobe, she is a largely benevolent dictator. The Toddler has been known to oppress the odd hat; and does believe that shoes, pyjamas and bumble bee outfits are superior to other items of clothing. (Not worn together, of course. Possibly worn together. The Toddler would like to wear them together, please.) The occasional pair of trowies has been accused of desertion when they are, in fact, on her person: ‘Where’s The Toddler’s trowies? Where’s trowies gone?’
‘You’re wearing them.’

Nonetheless, few sartorial items have suffered under The Toddler’s rule. Trowies make for an innately more laid back manifesto than struggles. Would be despots: take note.

That’s Not Fair: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

Still going strong (and blowing its own trumpet), its this week’s Ten Funniest Things, featuring The Toddler:

1. On manners
Silly Mummy, Grandad, The Toddler and The Baby are out with the double buggy. A couple of women want to pass. The Silly Party moves over slightly to make room. All very courteous…but, wait! The Toddler wants to say something. Does she want to say ‘hello’, perhaps? ‘Nice to meet you’? ‘No, no: after you’? ‘Please do go past us, we’re a little slow’? No. The Toddler turns to the passing ladies: ‘Shoo! Shoo! Get away! Get away!’ The Toddler, ladies and gentlemen: so charming, such manners.

2. On philosophy
The Toddler is playing on the common. She runs out from behind a tree and stands in the middle of the grass. She gestures around with her arms and shouts, ‘Where’s everything gone?’ So profound. The Toddler is still determining which philosophical school of thought she adheres to, but she is leaning towards metaphysical nihilism.

3. On fairness
Possibly as a result of her new found nihilistic tendencies, The Toddler has this week come to realise: ‘That’s not fair!’ Many things have not been fair since The Toddler discovered the existence of the phrase ‘that’s not fair’. Silly Mummy does not know where The Toddler learnt this phrase, but Peppa Pig is under suspicion. (In fact, firm evidence or not, it’s going on the Peppa grievance list.)

4. On The Baby, not a game
Silly Daddy and Uncle are playing a game of flying baby. This involves passing The Baby backwards and forwards between them over their heads. The Toddler looks up at this activity and comments, ‘That’s not a game.’ It is unclear whether she is concerned about The Baby’s safety, or just thinks the activity is really rubbish.

5. On birthdays, who’s having the cake
Silly Mummy and The Toddler are discussing The Baby’s upcoming birthday. The Toddler knows about birthdays: there is cake. Silly Mummy has suggested that there may also be balloons. The Toddler agrees that there can be balloons: ‘Daddy have balloon. Me have balloon. You have balloon, Mummy. The Baby have balloon. Computer not have balloon.’ This all seems eminently sensible so far. The Toddler has not finished: ‘And have candles. Have cake. Blow out candles. Not you have cake. Just me have cake.’ Just The Toddler have cake? On The Baby’s birthday? Silly Mummy sees further discussions about whose birthday it is marching over the horizon.

6. On surprises, not
The Toddler is finishing a jar of chocolate pudding that The Baby does not want. The Toddler is rather excited about it. Silly Daddy enters the room, and Silly Mummy comments, ‘The Toddler likes the choccy pudding.’
Silly Daddy, with more than a hint of sarcasm, replies, ‘There’s a surprise.’
The Toddler, entirely missing the sarcasm, is quick to set Daddy straight, ‘No, it’s not a surprise, Daddy.’

7. On computer games, attention to
Silly Daddy is trying to teach The Toddler to play a Harry Potter Lego game on the computer. Silly Daddy’s deeply convincing (*ahem*) argument as to why this is a purely educational exercise has been forgotten by Silly Mummy. Motor skills may have been mentioned. When Silly Mummy enters the room, The Toddler is on Silly Daddy’s lap at the computer. She excitedly informs Silly Mummy, ‘Me go on computer with my Daddy! Not you help. Just me help. Me help win again! I win again! It’s my turn! It’s you, Daddy! Good boy!’ Clearly, The Toddler is engrossed in this game and…(The Toddler sings) ‘Roly poly ever so slowly, roly poly hot hot hot…me want Peppa Pig on!’ Clearly, The Toddler was engrossed in that game.

8. On walking, leaving it to the experts
The Baby is practising her new skill of walking, tottering across the living room unassisted, before falling down. Silly Mummy claps and praises The Baby. The Toddler appears. Clearly something is going on here. The clapping is a sure sign of something going on, and The Toddler is going to find out what it is.
‘What’s The Baby doing, Mummy?’
‘She was walking, darling.’
The Toddler considers this information, and turns to The Baby: ‘Just let me do the walking.’ That’s right, The Baby, step aside and leave it to the experts, this is not amateur hour.

9. On watching something else
The Toddler has been watching Peppa Pig. As she does on days that end in ‘y’. Rather surprisingly, she suddenly announces, ‘Watch something else now.’ Silly Mummy and Silly Daddy try to hide their glee. Silly Daddy says, ‘What shall we watch?’
The Toddler bounces up and down: ‘More Peppa pig!’

10. On I spy
The Toddler says, ‘I spy with my little eye.’
Silly Mummy is surprised: ‘I didn’t know you knew I spy with my little eye.’
The Toddler replies, ‘No. Me don’t.’ Of course.

Other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 1: Come On, Guys
Week 2: I’ll Tell You What, Mummy
Week 3: Think So, Mummy
Week 4: Your Emus
Week 5: Don’t Do It
Week 6: Get On It
Week 7: Calm Down
Week 8: Perfick
Week 10: Silly Me