How To Entertain a Toddler in 109,843,821,093,249 Easy Steps

  1. Try to get out of doing this. Seriously, can’t you just play quietly in the corner? Or, I don’t know, go lick a wall or something? I don’t think there’s any lead paint around here. I just want five minutes to drink my coffee in peace.

    Sweet, sweet coffee

  2. So… that’s a hard no then, huh?
  3. Pour coffee into travel mug. Something that doesn’t spill easily.
  4. Make the mistake of asking what the goblin wants to do. Spend the next several minutes desperately trying to decode toddler-speak, to the mounting frustration of the larval person in front of you, who either wants a mummy cat or a honey vat.

    Mummy cat will haunt your dreams.

  5. Oh, Mommy hat!
  6. Wait, what the hell is Mommy hat?
  7. Make the mistake of asking for an explanation from your darling angel.
  8. Repeat de-coding process at least three more times, until you’re pretty sure you’re just learning a foreign language now, and that you’re going to fail the pop quiz on Tuesday.
  9. Throw your hands up in defeat, suggest that you play with blocks.
  10. Discover that the purest form of toddler happiness is destroying something you have built. Also discover how loud a tower of wood blocks can be when it’s kicked to the ground. Hey, at least the spawn is happy!
  11. Wow, he’s… really happy.
  12. Like, this is starting to worry me. Does he want me to pretend to cry?
  13. Am I raising a bully?
  14. AM I RAISING THE ANTI-CHRIST?

    anti-christ baby

    It would explain a few things.

  15. Google “toddler loves destroying things too much” and realize that pretty much every toddler in the universe is actually the anti-Christ. Not sure if that’s a comfort or not, but hey, at least misery loves company!
  16. Make the fatal mistake of noticing how long this has been entertaining him, and foolishly think you’re going to be able to sit, build, and drink coffee all morning.
  17. Whatever you do, don’t reach for your coffee! Don’t do it!
  18. No!!! You did it. You let the monster see weakness (that you were in any way comfortable).
  19. Blocks are no longer fun. Nothing is fun in this room. We must run, jump, frolic, and do whatever else it takes to make sure that your exhausted ass doesn’t get any more life-giving nectar of the gods (aka “caffeine”).
  20. Chase the little mongoose down the hall. Then up. Then down. Then up. Then down. Then up. Then down. Then up…

    You never noticed how long your hallway is before.

  21. Realize how out of shape you are. Then wonder if it’s possible to be as in-shape as an energetic two year old.
  22. Finally convince him to kick the ball instead, so you can stand still and just kick it to him.
  23. Hah, sucker! Joke’s on you! You kick the ball to him, he kicks the ball in a shockingly wild direction, often backwards somehow, then expects you to go after it. Now you’re still running all over the place, but the little cherub isn’t even burning any energy off.
  24. TRUCKS! Everyone loves trucks! Trucks are the tired parents’ secret to finally sitting still, right? Sitting still and finally getting a nice long sip of some of that wonderful coffee…
  25. Apparently trucks is actually a violent free-for-all, with crashing, throwing, scrambling, and sound effects. Any and all attempts to explain basic rules of the road will go totally unheeded.

    This.

  26. Wait… this is just blocks again, only with wheels. Still destruction, still mad laughter, still no space to slip in a gulp of coffee.
  27. Crash things for the next five minutes straight.
  28. Realize how long five minutes is.
  29. Holy shit, how has it only been five minutes?
  30. Contemplate the innate difference in the male and female brain. Why are wheels so fascinating to this alien life form? How are you two related in any way? And if I have to patiently explain one more time why we don’t throw toys at Mama’s head, will I actually go insane?
  31. Explain fourteen more times anyway. Not insane yet. Go, me!
  32. Abrupt end of the game, as the diminutive Bond villain in front of you suddenly loses interest and runs off.

    THIS IS WHY PEOPLE PUT YOU THINGS ON LEASHES, JERMAINE!

  33. Spend 10 minutes locked in a power struggle to the death over picking up a single truck and putting it where it belongs. At some point try to reason with the irrational ball of Id that he could already be playing right now if he would just do it the first time you asked. Set off fresh round of resistance, remember that a toddler’s brain is actually incapable of processing logic. Swear a lot on the inside.
  34. Either give in to blatant bribery, or spend another 10 minutes fighting, but one way or another that god damned truck is going in the god damned bin.

    Let’s be real here: we all know which way this is going.

  35. Yes, light of my life, now we can play. What would you like to do, oh center of my universe?
  36. No, sweet tiny human, we’re not going to make cookies.
  37. No, flesh-of-my-flesh, we’re not going to watch a movie.
  38. No, foundling child, we’re not going to repaint the house, where did you even get that idea?
  39. Look at the clock. Realize there are still 3 1/2 hours till naptime.
  40. Look kid, want to watch a movie?

    Go nuts, I’ve memorized them all anyway.

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