Being the grandmother of eight – several of whom are toddlers – I regularly receive the play-by-plays of their escapades. I can sympathize with their parents. Sort of. I just can’t help but smile and think to myself, “Haha! It’s payback time!”
1. You are the family alarm clock. It is your job to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn every day.
2. ALWAYS crap your pants AFTER leaving the house. Your best bet is to clench those cheeks together until you have left your street, and then EXPLODE!!! To achieve Legend status, do this when your parent is in a huge hurry to get somewhere very important.
3. Do not be content doing anything for more than two minutes. You have to constantly keep moving. NEVER SLOW DOWN!
4. If you are not interested in being picked up, get as low to the ground as possible. Think dead weight. Feel free to flail and cry for added difficulty.
5. If someone tries to take something from you, teach them a lesson by first throwing it, then jumping up and down while making your best “oh you are going to be REALLY sorry,” face, then falling to the floor and starting to spaz out, screaming and crying extra loud if you are in public.
6. If you do not like the food that is served to you, throw it on the ground in disgust, then at your parent, then at the cat/dog. For extra credit smash the remaining food into your hair and clothes. When you are given something to drink immediately dump it in your lap.
7. Whenever possible terrorize the family pets so they know who is in charge.
8. NEVER EVER let your parent get the house clean. EVER! Once something is picked up off the floor, put something in its place. A good rule of thumb is dumping out the cat/dog food daily. Feel free to snack on it as well.
9. You are in control of your sleep schedule. If you do not want to go to sleep, then don’t, and if someone really wants you to go to sleep, then definitely do not do it. Do your best to get so tired that you become an evil miserable crying mess. That will show them!
10. Always do your best to be in the way, including but not limited to: playing at your parents’ feet while they are cooking, cleaning, fixing something, talking on the phone, getting ready for work, or doing anything that looks remotely important.
11. Take ALL of your toys out of the toy box before playing with any of them. This goes for books, too — rip all of them off the shelf before reading one. Your job is to make a huge mess. Hint: To keep things interesting, never ever play with the same toy or book for more than one minute.
12. Under no circumstance will you make diaper changes or potty training an easy venture. If poop does not get everywhere then you have failed.
13. Every time you leave the park throw a fit big enough to make it look like you are being kidnapped. If you are lucky, this will buy you five more minutes on the slide.
14. The minute you learn to walk, refuse to be held. Insist on walking EVERYWHERE!
15. The minute you learn to talk, DO NOT STOP! Do not be discouraged if you are not understood — talk away anyway. It is not your fault if people are too stupid to understand you.
16. EVERYTHING in this world belongs to you. Feel free to touch it, take it, hide it, throw it, smash it, break it and completely ruin it. HINT: ALL of the telephones in the house belong to you — store them in the toilet.
17. Your mantra is, “Catch me if you can you silly fool.”
18. “No!” means, Good job! Keep doing that!
19. NEVER EVER do anything the first time you are asked.
20. And last — the most important code of toddler conduct — for every five minutes you spend terrorizing your parent(s), sibling(s) and/or pet(s), provide one minute of pure sweet lovin’ to ensure complete forgiveness.