Are you constantly on alert? Never alone? Are you an expert in cutting fruit into safe, bite size pieces and experienced at fishing remote controls out of toilet bowls?
Is the question you get asked the most each day “why?” and the phrase you hear the most “NO!”
If you recognise any of these unique characteristics in yourself congratulations – you must be the parent of a toddler.
You can single-handedly steer a double pram through a supermarket all the while continuously ignoring the cries of “want want want want.”
You can whip up a gourmet meal of spaghetti and bananas in seconds and you are never, ever, ever caught without a packet of wipes.
Toddlers are wonderful little bundles of ever changing energy. They can transform right before our eyes from sweet innocent babies to foot stamping teenagers and back again all in the space of minutes.
While each of us parent our toddlers differently and in a way unique to our own style, there are some things that (just for a bit of fun) we can generalize about.
Do you recognise anything of yourself in any of these toddler parents?
1. The milestone measurer.
We all like to know just how our kids are developing but for some mums it can become a bit of an obsession. These mums know exactly which month a toddler is meant to reach each and every milestone.
13 months old? Oh, she should be able to put blocks into containers. Can yours? Mine can.
20 months? He really should be walking upstairs by himself.
“Oh your little boy just turned two? He should know between 50 and 75 words. My Oliver knows 108. Do you want to hear them?”
The milestone measurer feels a certain level of anxiety if her child doesn’t quite meet each and every criterion on time, but they need not worry, all kids get there eventually.
Usually the parent of just one child… so far, anyway.
Your child is 24 months old? Their head should resemble a kiwi fruit. Image via Twitter @a_charmless_man
2. Food fretter.
Toddlers are notoriously picky. There are days when it seems like your little one hardly consumes anything at all (handfuls of sand and dirt aside).
When your child transforms from an eating machine who will consume anything that is put in front of them into one who only wants to eat vegemite sandwiches, it’s natural to worry.
The food fretter parent turns her toddler’s pickiness into a personal challenge to overcome. Their finger sandwiches look like art. Their dinners rival a gourmet restaurant (and have 15 different types of vegetables disguised inside). They will do anything to ensure their little one eats.
They are a devoted and loving whizz in the kitchen.
But if this isn’t you, then don’t worry. They will eat eventually and in the meantime vegemite sambos will get you through.
3. The scheduler.
These parents like to keep their little one busy – and the busier the better. They know that the toddler years are prime time for development and want to keep them stimulated and on the go.
From gymbaroo to junior soccer to baby ballet, the scheduler knows exactly what’s coming next and exactly which outfit is required for it.
Even if you organise the activities and coordinate the outfits... toddlers make no promises. Images via Instagram @averageparentproblems
4. The chaser.
Toddlers move. And fast.
The chaser is the one that has to run.
This parent knows they need to be constantly on alert, as the minute they turn their back their toddler is in something, on top of something or just about to fall off something. You’ll always catch them in their athletic gear, ready to spring into action the second their toddler shoots down the hallway.
You know that your conversations with this parent will be peppered with lines like “where’s-he-gone-now?” and “Sorry-I’ve-lost-him.”
If you are a chaser, don’t worry; before you know it they’ll be a teenager and you’ll have to prod them with a stick to get them to move.
5. The ‘been there before’ parent.
This parent has done it all before. They have a handful of older kids and know what to expect.
You can recognise the parent who has older kids by their laid back attitude. The days of carrying around bags of snacks and changes of clothes are in the past. If their toddler wants a snack, they can wait. If their toddler gets dirty clothes, they just stay in them until there is time to go home and get changed.
The ‘been there before’ parent doesn’t need to hover as they know what's coming. They don’t need to fuss as they know there is no point. They know each child is unique and develops at their very own pace.
The 'been there before' parent knows nothing bad will happen if you tie your kids' hair into a ponytail using a sock. Image via Instagram @babysideburns
6. The open book.
The open book parent tells you everything.
From discussing the quality and quantity of toddler poop they deal with on a daily basis to bursting into tears when their tiny one begins to walks. The open book parent documents each and everything their toddler does on social media and doesn’t hesitate to tell you every little detail about their personal life.
There is no competitiveness, no one upmanship. You get what you get with the open book parent – even if it is at times, too much.
Really when it comes down to it we are all a little of each of these aren’t we during the toddler years.
At the end of the day we are all just parents trying to do our best with a mish-mash of styles hoping that everyone turns out alright and not too much gets broken in the meantime.
So, which parent are you?
Because they never stop growing developing and imagining...
Made with love in Australia, S-26 GOLD® TODDLER is a nutritious milk drink that contains vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, iron and calcium which help fuel growth and development of toddlers aged 1 year and older. Suitable when dietary intakes of energy and nutrients may be inadequate.