5 ultimate tips for toddler survival

tod°dler: noun. (Smallicus painintheassicus) a tiny, irrational humanoid that is capable of evasive, bipedal maneuvering. Predator. They are known to entice their prey with cuteness before attacking. Do not engage during nap time.

The wild human toddler is truly a sight to behold. The ease with which they may transition from gleeful delight to inconsolable misery is a remarkable display emotional acrobatics. But beware! Engaging this majestic creature without the propper training is extremely dangerous. Fortunately, I have compiled 5 essential tips to aid you in surviving your next toddler encounter.

  1. Stay calm! Yes, you just woke up and the only thing you want in the whole world is a cup of coffee and five minutes of quiet. Well think again because the toddler’s older brother stole a marshmallow from his lucky charms and it’s now world war 3. Stop. Take a breath and repeat after me, “It’s all going to be ok.” Of course it’s not going to be ok but reacting the way you want to will only make matters worse. Stay calm, pour yourself that cup of coffee and then drink it in the closet downstairs where you can pretend that all the screaming is just the muted screech of a passing freight train.
  2. Never negotiate with terrorists! Don’t let their charming smile fool you. Toddlers are criminal masterminds determined to break your spirit and bend you to their will. Buy them that box of tic tacs to end their screaming today and you might as well just draw them a map for how to get what they want every time. It’s a battle of attrition. Stay strong! Say no! Lay on the floor and kick and scream yourself if you must but never give in to their demands.
  3. Know your enemy! The candy shelves at grocery check out lines. The toy department of Walmart. The baby chickens at the hardware store. These are all just boobytraps designed by the man to ensure a disasterous altercation with your toddler. It’s a conspiracy against the regular parent just trying to buy the one thing they need to get through the day. Plan your routes carefully through these stores and keep contigency plans in place. The enemy is always watching, watching and trying to coax your toddler into demanding that you purchase the thing that they will suddenly want more than anything else in this world.
  4. Seek shelter during a storm! There will inevitably come a tantrum that exceeds all of your greatest fears. There is no stopping this tantrum. Your only hope of survival is to weather out the storm in a safe location. Be sure that your bathroom has locking doors and that your data plan will allow you to play all the Candy Crush you need until it is safe to venture back out into the war zone.
  5. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail! There is no telling what might set off your toddler when you leave the comfort of your home. Pack accordingly! Extra clothes, an assortment of toys and coloring books and for God’s sake, all the crackers you can carry. Give yourself a pep talk in the mirror before ever taking them out into public and remind yourself that you are the boss, not them. This is of course not true, but sometimes it’s the little lies that get us through the day.