“…what I do have is a very particular set of skills I have acquired over a very long career…” Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) Taken
Just like the words immortalised by Liam Neeson’s character in Taken, parents develop particular sets of skills when their children are young. These skills change with the age of your child or children, and you don’t always realise that you have them until one day you think back on your PK life (pre-kids folks, get with it) and realise how completely different you are.
Parenting has been a learning curve, like doing a university degree with daily exams (just a few lectures and a handful of tutors!). Here are some of my ‘skills’ that I entirely
blame attribute to having a toddler.
Toddlers make you:
- forget everything (unless you write stuff down). Just yesterday I went to John Lewis to pick up a gift I had ordered online. The shop assistant asked me what I had ordered….tumbleweeds…!
- stop taking intentional photos of your dog. I made a photo album for Gus recently and could not find a photo of Leo – where he was the centre of the picture and not photobombing Gus – since 2012!
- pick them up when you are rushing out the door, negotiating 5 bags while opening the garden gate with a bottle of water balancing on your head. Gus waits till I have something in every arm before he insists on being picked up. Telling him to use his legs has no effect in this situation.
- say the most ridiculous things, and repeat silly words and phrases (often in public)
- laugh till it hurts (as a result of the above)
- reason, negotiate and debate better than a UN council on matters of international importance such as why the bicycle should not go into the bath (I know!)
- enforce ebola-level infection control protocols during a toddler puke-a-thon
- strategic – like when you cleverly substitute almond milk when you’ve run out of cow’s milk, or stealthily remove a melt-down toy* from toddler’s field of vision while distracting said toddler with something utterly random so as to avoid a future stand-off
- sing and think of ingenious ways of entertaining your child anywhere
- catch anything in mid air, with your left hand – you name it: flying sippy cups, airborne tractors and orbiting bananas as well as food-filled spoons – before they hit the ground (toddlers may find this amusing and do it again). Seriously, in the unlikely event that we are ever on a cricket team, put me in the slips! you can thank me later.
*every toddler has at least one melt-down toy. This is a much loved toy that provides hours of entertainment but has the ability to make them cross over to the dark side in seconds, cue wildly clutching at toy while evil parents drag child away in a rage.