Friday 20 April 2018

10 Things All The Best Toddlers Do On Sunny Days

Did you know it’s been hot this week? Perhaps you noticed on your way to work this morning? Maybe you saw a brief mention of it on your social media feeds? Well, anyway, it’s been sunny. Last week it was cold, this week it is sunny and apparently next week it will be autumn or something. From what my weather app says, the summer of 2018 has been condensed into just a few days and, for some unknown reason, they’re in April. I hope you made the most of those fleeting days of sunshine because from next week it will be black tight weather again, apparently.

With the three-day summer almost over, I thought I’d better get my weather-related post up quickly before we’re all sledging again (side note, climate change is a bit real, isn’t it?). So, here are 10 things toddlers do on sunny days:

1. Avoid the shade
It’s almost like they want to get burnt. You can spend ages creating a perfect shaded haven filled with toys, books and pillows and your toddler will avoid it all cost. They may even take the toys and books and drag them right out into direct sunlight. The only way to keep a toddler out of the sun is to keep them indoors because if there is even a tiny patch of sunlight on your garden, you can bet your life savings that’s exactly where your toddler is going to set up house.

2. Drop all their food
My toddler can eat just fine. If we’re inside she can eat soup, noodles, whatever, all without dropping so much as a crumb. If we’re outside, where the ground is covered in mud and dust and bugs, she becomes a real butterfingers. Food flies out of her hand as though launched by a rocket pad. Everything ends up covered in blades of grass, specks of dirt and tiny ants.

3. Eat stones
Don’t worry though, because your toddler will be more than happy to eat that food anyway. In fact, you may find they enjoy it more with a sprinkling of nature on there. And for dessert? How about a mouthful of stones. My 18-month-old today tried to get away with eating a stone by pretending it was a chickpea. It was clearly not a chickpea. I think she might have eaten half the stone. I worry about her teeth and her insides.

4. Pee in the paddling pool
If you’re brave enough to attempt inflating a paddling pool on a hot day (warning: do not attempt this if pregnant, you will cry), it is pretty much guaranteed that your toddler will pee in it. The clear pool of cold water is just too tempting a toilet. Plus, what is nappy-free time for if not for peeing everywhere?

5. Run away with the sun cream
Toddlers just love cream, don’t they? Especially when they get to be in charge of the bottle which is officially never but unofficially every time you blink. One minute you’re popping the lotion bottle down beside you so you can apply more sun cream, the next you’re chasing a butt-naked toddler around the garden and pleading with them to please not eat the sun cream. Side note: toddlers are much faster than they look.

6. Point out all the bees
Toddlers don’t have all the words yet, but they usually learn the word ‘bee’ pretty quickly once the sun comes out. Then they will say it over and over again to every passing bee, butterfly, wasp and worm. ‘Bee! Bee!’ This is always accompanied by overenthusiastic pointing and you will spend literally the whole day saying ‘oh wow, yeah, a bee’ until you lose the will to live.

7. Attract bees
The bee labelling is particularly tedious because of the sheer abundance of bees. Bees like flowers, sure, but they also like sweet-smelling, sticky toddlers. If you feed your toddler any fruit on a sunny day, they will immediately smear the juice all over their face, body and hands then spend the rest of the day toddling about, wafting those sweet scents in the direction of any passing bees.

8. Refuse to wear a hat
Hats are good sun protection. Young children should wear sun hats. Great advice but actually impossible to action. I couldn’t get my toddler to wear a hat if I glued it to her head. She would remove her own head just so she didn’t have to wear a hat, and she would do this spitefully while giving me a death stare. She will not wear hats when it is snowing or during a heatwave. She does not agree with the very nature of hats. I do not have the energy nor inclination to chase her around with a hat. I really don’t.

9. Get undressed a lot
Remember the layers of winter? Ah. They were so abundant and so difficult to remove. There were buttons and zips and poppers and so much fabric that toddler arms could barely move to even attempt to free themselves. But now summer has arrived and with it a new dawn of nakedness has arrived. There are not enough layers to prevent the constant stripping and so toddlers walk around pretty much naked. You can dress them, go for it, but within minutes they will be naked and peeing in the paddling pool again, a trail of abandoned clothes in their wake.

10. Ruin your new garden furniture
This one might not be universal, I’m not sure. I put my new garden furniture up yesterday and today I sat on it for many hours. I bought the dark grey colour because I thought this would increase its chances of survival. Only a madman would buy the cream. The garden furniture has been there for 24 hours, here is a list of things my toddler has smeared on it:
  • Sun cream
  • Pineapple juice
  • Pasta salad
  • Carrot crisp dust
  • Mud
  • Her snotty face

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