When hearing the word "toddler," many imagine one of those cute little chubby things still a bit unsteady on their feet, that waddle over with a drooly smile and their arms outstretched for a hug. Most other parents who have gone through the toddler years break out into a cold sweat, begin to tremble and endure terrifying flashbacks at the mere sound of this word.
Such a reaction might be due to the time when you discovered your child demonstrating that a half bottle of dish soap and a bag of flour is enough to coat the floors, walls, and ceiling, in three rooms and leave them smelling lemon fresh for months. Every parent has a similar story with levels upon levels of eye-bulging details.
The under threes have a particular way of behaving and of exploring the world. This uninhibited "I'm going to do whatever pops into my head because I haven't developed a full understanding of the concept of consequences yet" attitude can be cute, as it can be appalling.
They may be the kids who strike terror into the heart of a parent who suddenly notices that everything has gone suspiciously quiet. But toddlers certainly keep life entertaining, and for that, we thank them.
20 Now I Can't Hear You Say "No"
Few moms have been spared the heart flipping, stomach sinking feeling that descends when you realize your toddler has crammed a hole in their head, with something that shouldn't be crammed there.
If you're lucky, it'll be a crayon up the nose that is easily whipped out, wiped off, and thrown back into the coloring box. If you're unlucky, your toddler will go for either dried peas or beans that are guaranteed to have you worrying about plants sprouting in their nose, or, as in this case, something squishy.
Motherhood - the state of being where good luck becomes relative.
19 Too Dog Tired
Where else, but in a house with a little kiddo, would you find a beautiful, shiny coated dog, stripped of every last shred of dignity in this way? The look on this poor old canines face just screams "What did I ever do to deserve this? End me now before this photo goes viral or I'll never be able to show my muzzle at the dog park again."
At least he wasn't covered in cat stuffies though, that would have been really embarrassing.
18 Something Fishy
As a mom, you always need to be careful what you wish for. The next time you are complaining that somebody bought a pet for your child, but you are the one who has been left, lumbered with looking after it, consider the alternative.
Instead of getting on and being able to clean out out the fish tank unaided, you could have help from your toddler, and that's something you never really want... not under any circumstances. Any job in which you get help from your pre-schooler will take three times as long and be five times as difficult. Be thankful when you have to do it all yourself.
17 The Score Is: Daughter 1, Fancy Sink 0
Until you have children of your own or spend a considerable amount of time looking after somebody else's kids is difficult to understand how much havoc they can wreak in the blink of an eye.
All they need is the 90 seconds it takes for you to answer the door to the postman and sign for a parcel. By the time you turn back around, your toddler will have found a vividly colored substance which stains permanently and applied it to the most expensive item in the house they can.
16 More's Not Always Better
Having zero life experience, your littles are still laboring under the impression that if a bot of something is good, a lot more of that something has to be better. For this reason, it is vital to never, I repeat never, leave the bubble bath bottle within reach of your child.
You probably wouldn't dream of leaving your toddler unattended in the bath, but you might start the water running and go into the bedroom to grab their clothes.
That is all it takes for a little to dump an entire bottle of bubbles under the tap, resulting in a frothy foam fountain like this one
15 Daub And Dream
Faithful to the seventh unwritten law of motherhood, when your child pours paint everywhere, it will be a dark color on a pale carpet or a pale color on a dark carpet. This ensures that no matter how much you scrub the area afterward, no matter how many times you Google "paint removal hacks," and no matter how much you spend on cleaning products there will always be a discoloration left behind.
Consider this your toddler's way of providing you with free contraception. Any time you think about having another child, you will notice this discolored patch, remember the trauma of toddlerhood and go watch TV instead.
14 Bet The Target Dog Doesn't Have To Suffer This
Some moms may be blessed with a child who doesn't draw, paint, or color on the walls and soft furnishings, but what the world gives with one hand, it takes away with another.
Unfortunately, a little one who doesn't vandalize your home will still need an outlet for their creative juices. Instead of ruining an inanimate object that is dear to you, they'll pick on a living, breathing being with which you have dared to share some of your precious love.
This attempt to turn your loving pooch into a tiger by adding stripes with a marker is a clear attempt to scare the toddler's mom away for the dog and save all of her love and attention for himself.
13 Terrible Trio
Next time you get home after a hard day at work and see your toddler doing something random and bizarre, be grateful you only have one of the little monsters in the house.
Admittedly this is not much of a consolation when you are confronted by the sight of three jumbo-sized boxes of Cheerios used to create pathways throughout the home that Hansel and Gretal would be proud of, but you should try and take your comfort where you can find it. At least they didn't use Coco Pops.
12 Dud's In Disarray
Once you have passed a certain age, you forget how your brain worked when you were a little one. Because of this, it is impossible to fathom the thought processes behind the actions of your tiny humans, so don't waste your time trying to.
Case in point: you go upstairs to investigate why it so so suspiciously quiet up there and discover that your youngest child thought it would be a good idea to take every item of clothing they own and dump them in a messed up heap on the bedroom floor. Your older child tried to stop it from happening, got caught up in the excitement and instead, joined in. Enjoy.
11 I'll Only Eat From The Orange Plate
Toddlers are notorious for being fussy in their ways. Despite how it feels, this is actually a good thing, developmentally at least. By digging their heels in and being the unyielding little monster that refuses to eat from anything other than the "correct" plate, your toddler is showing how they have become self-aware and that they realize they can control the environment in some way.
Next time you walk into the kitchen and see the carefully organized contents of a cupboard or draw strewn across the floor because your child is looking for the only bowl suitable to eat from, take a deep breath and remember, "This is a good thing."
10 Cheez-It And Crash
I have never understood why the phrase "sleep like a baby" means to sleep well because babies are not known for their slumbering prowess. I have always thought "sleep like a toddler who has raided the cupboards, eaten every last morsel of processed sugar and fat in a three-mile radius, trashed the house, and then crashed" would be more appropriate.
The only thing missing from this picture is a plastic cup sitting in a pool of sticky soda, where the little one has tried to pour himself something he shouldn't.
9 Does Whatever A Spider Can
Without exception, everybody I have shown this photo to has fallen into one of two categories. Those who are childless or have not gone through the toddler years are at first surprised and then fascinated at how this little fella is perched on the post at the bottom of the stairs.
The second group, the ones who have already spent a hefty chunk of their parenting life finding bizarrely dressed children in obscure places or odd situations, glance at the photo and almost skim over the fact there is a mini spiderman expertly balanced there. Instead, these hardened veterans of the motherhood battlefront notice the leaf garland and the pumpkin on the stair and ruminate about what to do this Halloween.
8 This Is Harder Than It Looks
I don't know if it is just the inherent need to copy mom or a deep-rooted desire just to look damn good, whatever it is, all toddlers appear to want to play with make-up.
For me, make-up being ruined has never been much of a problem. Being one of those moms who live in yoga pants and baggy tee-shirts, my beauty routine consists of trying not to catch sight of myself in the mirror in the morning when I brush my hair.
When I do get really fancy and put on some mascara, I stand at the mirror with my mouth wide open and often end up looking like the kid above. The advantage of this is, no expensive make-up has ever been trashed by a child in our house.
7 Dude, Don't Ask
Not only is this image a fantastic demonstration of the wonderfully random things toddlers get it into their heads to try, but this kid has a marvelous expression on her face.
It's almost as if she is fully grown, has had a hard night, out on the town, has been forced out of bed to get ready for work and just can't face adulting today.
Hopefully, her mom will share this picture with this little one when she herself is grown with kids and asking why they do weird things.
6 Ready To Party
Imagine the scene: it is 2035. The little boy sitting on the sofa with his oversized golden foil and tinsel hat covering his head and the shiny blue noisemaker at his feet is now fully grown, at college, and attempting to pledge for a fraternity. As part of the process, he has to prove what a committed, life-long party animal he is.
"Are you ready to party?" this little fella is asked by his cohorts, "Man, I was born ready, and I have the photos to prove it," he replies.
5 Always Prepared
The trouble with having sanitary protection stored in a draw you can quickly reach when you are sitting on the big white chair in the washroom is that they are also readily accessible to any of the tiny humans in your home who wish to have a quick explore.
The unwritten scientific laws of motherhood state that if your child is going to empty out your stash of monthly knicker protectors, they will do so only when there is a brand new box to ensure maximum wastage.
4 Where'd I Leave That Barbie?
Luckily for all concerned, not least of all the dog, this toddler didn't go straight in for the traditional bend, point and poke with the finger. Instead, she is obviously a scientist in training and is taking the sophisticated route of examining the orifice in question with her Doc McStuffins inspection light, before exploring.
Yes, I knew this was part of a Doc McStuffins medical set. I too have had to watch every episode, back-to-back while our daughter uses the contents of her doctor's bag to inflict nameless tortures. We can all feel each other's pain on that point.
3 The Texas Choc Syrup Scene
If you too would like your kitchen to look like the crime scene where Count Chocula savaged an entire troop of CocoPops monkeys, follow this simple recipe.
You need nine tubs of pudding, the flavor, and brand of which are not important. One full bottle of Hershey's chocolate syrup. Two cartons of lactose-free milk. Two plastic cups in which to try and mix your own chocolate milk while mom is busy elsewhere. One fork, one measuring spoon, because you have to be accurate with these things, and a pair of briefly unsupervised toddlers.
Leave to brew for two minutes and then enjoy a day full of cleaning and regret.
2 Feelin' Stuffy In Here
The internet is awash these days with photos and video of dogs looking guilty for trashing the house while their owners were away. No matter how bad the damage, the owners of said dogs are usually ruefully amused and willing to share the mess in order to lighten the day of the world at large.
With kids, not so much. I think it is because nobody wants to share a video of themselves swearing at their toddler for trashing the house and then feeling bad about themselves when the toddler in question bursts into tears. Or maybe that's just me.
1 Snack Attack
Anyone who can wrangle four kids of this age into clothes in the morning and still have enough energy to get herself dressed AND take photos of their pesky shinanigans gets my vote for being a supermom.
For this reason, we will overlook the glaringly obvious mistake the mom in question has made, that is, leaving the kids on the wrong side of the child gate in the kitchen doorway. The poor woman probably hasn't had a decent meal or a hot drink for the last three years so we cannot judge!