Here at Mumsnet Oxford & Oxfordshire we like to follow Monty Python’s advice and look on the bright side of life. When considering life with a toddler you’d be easily forgiven for focusing on the cuteness, charm, cuddles and touching moments when trying to find the positives, but we take a more practical approach and have outlined five really good uses for a toddler.
No, no need to thank us. You’re entirely welcome.
1 – They can apply cream to hard-to-reach places. No, not double, whipped or single, although finding oneself smeared with food products by the end of the day is not at all unusual as a parent. No, the creams I am referring to are more of the moisturising/suncream variety. I am the *least* bendy person ever and most of my back is out of reach for me, so having a toddler handy is essential in this hot weather. From 18 months onwards the toddler terrorist was not just obliging, but positively eager to “rub rub keem” into Mummy’s back. Brilliant! Albeit somewhat messy sometimes.
2 – They can save a lot of needless running about. One thing about having a child (of any age) is that you’re usually completely knackered pretty much the entire time, so sitting down can be a fatal error. This is when the game of ‘fetch’ comes in handy. It’s not always reliable, it depends upon willingness and switched-on-ness of said toddler, but about 75% of the time you can get them to go get remote controls, mobile ‘phones, glasses, books – all that detritus that you need once you’ve sat down, but forgot to line up before your arse hit the sofa.
3 – Wakey wakey – you’ll never be late again! That’s right. When it comes to alarm clocks there is little more effective for getting you out of bed than the pitiful, yet penetrating, wail of “Mummy, Daddy, my neeeed a pooooo! My need a big pooooooo!” And if that fails, you may find yourself the lucky recipient of the toddler ‘pat’ (more of a slap) on the face accompanied by an order to “Wake up Mummy!” No snooze button. No chance to sleep through.
4 – Relieving those knots & aches (that they probably caused in the first place) – Yup. You can get toddlers to give you a back massage from really quite early on – in fact you can start before that. As soon as they’re crawling you can lie down on your front and within seconds they’ll be all over you. OK, it’s no hour-long aromatherapy sesh with Sven the Swedish Masseur, but two little hands and two little knees can do quite a bit towards working out the kinks if you’re desperate – and it won’t cost you fifty quid.
5 – Great for getting through those awkward moments – nothing is better for getting people talking than introducing a small, cute face full of mischief who is bound to say something unlikely, inappropriate or downright weird. Everyone laughs. End of awkward silence. Brilliant for large family gatherings and the like.
Know of any more practical uses for a toddler? We’d really love to know! Email us or leave a comment below.