When my toddler moves around the house, it feels like she owns it. She has managed to revise the use of every single item in it. If you think that spoons are just for eating, and couches are just for sitting, well think again!
So here is a short list of 20 things as seen from her perspective:
# 1: Stickers – Those cute animals need to be removed from the paper and placed on her face, hands and legs, as fast as possible. The objective here is to remove every one of those animals until the paper is completely empty. A game that I happily agree to because, she sets an objective for herself (which let’s acknowledge it, is great for this age), she keeps quiet for more than 10 minutes (again, a point worth crediting for her age), and she gets to practice the name of the animals (because continuous education is important).
#2: Songs – In a toddler’s world, songs needs to be put into practice each time you spot an item that reminds you of one – or else what use are they? You see an elephant, great! Sing the elephant song. A bus? Yes, we have a song for that too. A foot? Yes, that’s covered too.
So basically she keeps singing, and strangers who see her with her rounded pink cheeks and her little curls cannot resist but talk to her. The problem is that when she’s singing, she’s too focused to talk to anyone, so she doesn’t cooperate much. You see, she’s not snubbing them, she’s just… busy.
#3: Crossing the road – When we wait for our turn to cross the road, she thinks that part of her job description is to wave to every single car, truck, bus, motorcycle or tuk tuk that passes in front of her. So as long as there is motion, her hand is waving hello.
#4: Beds – Those are great for sleeping, but are excellent for jumping.
#5: Couches – Those are great for jumping too.
#6: Books that are on the floor – Also great for jumping. You see, any item that is higher than 2 cm is a great opportunity for her to practice this hobby. Jumping for my toddler is like driving a car for a teenager: a dream. Basically, the more she gets to practice a skill, the better she’ll get at it.
#7: Books that are NOT on the floor – Well those books have a different purpose: they are meant for reading – and by reading I mean turning their pages 5 at a time, until you reach the back cover. After that, you can close the book and put it back where it was.
If only I knew how easy reading could be, I would have completed my 5th PDF by now.
#8: Lipsticks – Not that I teach my toddler at such a young age how to use make-up, but she happens to be around when I get myself ready and – true to her age – she wants to give it a shot. To avoid getting my make-up spoiled, I got her a colored lip balm. The first rounds went well, as she was aware that it is meant for the lips-cheeks-nose-chin area, but then she started covering other parts of her body. That’s when I decided to put an end to the make-up trials.
#9: Mirrors – Those are great for practicing her talents. My toddler loves looking at herself when she’s ‘crying’ and tries different expressions to find the best ‘crying face’. You see, an actress has to work hard to reach perfection.
#10: Crying – An extension of point #9, crying is one of my daughter’s favorite hobbies lately, as she gets to practice the skills that she has learned so efficiently in front of the mirror. The problem is that when she’s faking it, she doesn’t have any tears, so she keeps pressing hard on her eyes, until a teeny-tiny-little-tear (finally) shyly appears on the corner of her eyes. That’s when the real show starts, and the big talent explodes.
#11: Eating – Once her stomach has received the sufficient amount of food that it needs, she decides that she can move on to the next activity: experimenting. So that’s when she starts putting her little fingers in her food to check what it feels like. She also tries to finish her meal one grain of rice at a time. My personal favorite is when she drops some of the food on the floor and then innocently screams, staring at me with her big bright eyes, and with her two hands covering her mouth, a big loud “OH ….NNNNNO! “ – another skill that my toddler has practiced so patiently in front of the mirror.
#11: Dad – a great instrument for gymnastics and acrobatic movements.
#12: My back when I’m sitting on the floor – is great to be used as a seesaw. It can also be used as transportation.
#13: My legs – those are great for sliding. Want to join the fun?
#14: Dad’s mobile/and alternatively chocolate – yes, these two fall under the same category. You see, when we do not agree to give a toddler something that she desperately wants to have, she agrees to give-up if in exchange we hand-over her dad’s mobile or some chocolate. That’s her trading currency. I’m not sure where this came from as her dad and I don’t usually give up easily on her little caprices… (okay, maybe I should say ‘I don’t give up easily’, that sounds more accurate)
#15: Smiles and hugs – As an extension of point #14 above, smiles are used when I ask her to pick-up something that she dropped on the floor, and she tries to ignore my request. If I ask her more than once, instead of getting obedience, I receive the best smiles and the biggest hugs you can dream of (notice: I don’t fall for that).
#16: Rules – Not exactly an extension of the two previous points, as over here I’m referring to the rules that she creates. Believe me, when it comes to her rules, we have to listen and obey. No room for negotiation. Examples? I’m not allowed to talk on the phone, eat or drink in my own house, I also can’t play the piano when she’s not playing (and I have to stop as soon as she decides to stop). Of course, the list keeps growing and evolving. I just need to listen to her nagging to know what’s the latest version.
#17: Play dough – Part of her precious rules, the dough must be kept outside their boxes. The consequence: the dough gets dried out and ends-up in the bin. You can imagine that, once we went through this 2-3 times, I never got her any replacement dough when the stock finished.
#18: Baskets, bags, boxes, and containers – Those are to be filled with anything that she can get hold of around the house. And then, she needs to empty those items, and put them back in. Until. She. Gets. Bored (which means never).
#19: Shoes and socks – They are used in the same method as #18 but their use is limited to feet. So she puts them on, and then takes them off, and then on again, and ‘repeat’. And when we happen to be in the mall, I sometimes find my daughter’s shoes across the shops or in the hallways. Luckily Thai people are welcoming and enjoy having kids around them, or else I guess they would have banned us from all the malls in Bangkok.
#20 Strollers – You know when you sit on your balcony at 8:00 PM after a long day, to enjoy a beer and some snacks? Well, that’s my toddler’s approach with the stroller – minus the long tiring days. When she’s not playing with her socks and shoes, she sits back, relaxes and asks for some snacks or milk to enjoy the ride. She looks at people around her, sings (#2) or waves (#3) as needed, and enjoys her life at its best.
Seeing life from a toddler’s perspective is great. Our house is fun. Our lives are full or surprises.
You should visit one day.
We’ll be nice to you, promise.
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