I know I’m not the only person who starts most of their days exasperatingly asking a toddler to just sit still and put their shoes on. Michael McIntyre perfectly summed up leaving the house with kids in a sketch that I cry laugh at time and time again, sometimes I just cry.
Getting a small person to cooperate with getting dressed and then get ready to leave the house is my Everest. We only have to leave the house a couple of mornings a week, but those mornings are fraught with tantrums, tears and my inner monologue that could land me in a heap of trouble if it every came to light.
- As I’m sure I’m not the only one I’ve put together an unprofessional guide to leaving the house with a toddler. Maybe don’t take this too seriously:
- Count to three. There is nothing more terrifying to a child than the prospect of their mum getting to three. There is nothing more terrifying for a mum than counting to three and then having to do something about it. “Right I’ve counted to three, I’m really cross now. Please put on your shoes.”
- Bribe them. Don’t bring out the big guns first, start small, offer a packet of raisins, then go in for the Pom Bears, peak with a new toy from The Entertainer and chocolate for breakfast for a week if you’re struggling. You’re in survival mode now.
- Make your life easier and dress them before they wake up.
- Quit your job, take them out of childcare, never leave the house.
- Stop being unreasonable. Come on now, are you sure it’s not just you?
- Tell them you’ll phone Daddy / Mummy / Granny / Santa / The Easter Bunny and tell them they’re being really naughty. Watch them not care.
- Tell them that’s it, you’re not taking them out, and go and sit on the sofa in front of Lorraine. Watch them call your bluff.
- Plead. Beg. Shed a tear.
- Tell them they’ll have to leave the house without shoes and their feet will fall off because of the cold.
- And repeat.