Taming the Toddler


{This is not a guide to taming a toddler,there is none,we just endure.}

A few years ago, when I was still young and innocent (read stupid) I always said to myself that my children, one day, would never be bad mannered, talk back or throw tantrums. 

There’s a reason they say the best parents are those without kids.

To be honest, I still had this mindset until Miss M was about one, let’s face it a child under one is pretty amazing, they are basically a life barnacle that occasionally smiles and depends on you for food and pretty much anything and everything.

We survived the terrible two’s (barely, with knickers intact)  they were wretched, but nothing and nobody can prepare you for the wrath of a three-year-old.

The Threenager.

Miss M turned three in Feb, and I do enjoy her for the most part. I do love my child immensely, just at times, it’s difficult to like her.

I am not the biggest fan screaming, shrill noises or [un]identified flying objects-sometimes they go so fast you only really figure out what it is once it hits you. I also do not have a very high pain threshold, let me just say it as it is, I am a wuss. Being hit in the head by a roly-poly toy is not exactly my idea of a good time.

Learning is done by repetition, over and over and over again, I get that. Try and get a three-year-old to understand that they can repetitively put on and remove the same pair of socks, about forty times, this afternoon when they get home. It’s like hitting your head against a solid brick wall, just for fun.

Do you think I would be a bad mother if I send her to school in her pyjamas? I am afraid that if I start that trend it will become the new normal and we would never get dressed. Even though it takes her approximately 37.3 minutes to put on tights. Don’t think you can coax a three-year-old into doing it slightly faster, oh no, they can smell the panic. They will rip those pants off faster than you can blink, have a screaming fit, probably throw you with it, scream when you would like to pick it up and probably throw themselves on the floor, next to you. (you will be on the floor lapping up your tears because there is no coffee in the house). Back to square one.


The grazing habits of a Three-Year-old is curious at best, they can function, quite adequately on a breadcrumb, which explains their diet.

I fully support the saying “You need to choose your battles wisely” but if that was the case my threenager would have Nik-Naks for supper every day, three times a day, so I go for second best, macaroni and cheese.

My darling daughter is blessed with the uncanny ability to spew on demand. If she as much as sees that broccoli sprig, you will be cleaning up regurgitated food for at least an hour. So the vegetables are snuck in, like cigarettes into a prison, pureed and hidden in the sauce.

By no means am I implying that this is the way to go, at the end of the day aren’t we all just doing our very best to keep these little humans alive with our own sanity semi-intact?



Written: Chantelle Coombes

Photo: Miles Aldridge


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