If you haven't been following @HonestToddler on Twitter, you've missed a treat over the past year.Written by an infamous tot, with an unbridled sense of entitlement and irrefutable charm, the hilarious and witty diatribe of toddler tweets gives us an insight into what a two-year-old's mind might just work like.
Why WOULDN'T she get upset when asked to eat a broken cracker or a 'wrongly peeled' banana? What, exactly, is the point of spoiling juice by diluting it with water? And would YOU share your brand new car with a 'friend' who might 'break' it? Get real!
Up until a month ago, the identity of the 'toddler' on a tirade was unknown. But she has recently 'come out' as Canadian parenting writer, and mum, Bunmi Laditan, who launched the hilarious Twitter account as a form of cathartic release (and also because she thought it would be interesting to think about life from a toddler's perspective) after her angelic baby morphed overnight into a mini-tyrant determined to make even a simple trip to the supermarket a hellish and humiliating experience. (Haven't we all been THERE?!)
After @HonestToddler became an internet sensation, the logical step was for said toddler to write a manual instructing parents on the needs of toddlers.
Cue new (and effortlessly entertaining) book: The Honest Toddler, A Child's Guide to Parenting, £7.99 (Orion) published in the UK on May 23
This comical manual covers the big questions such as: Who Does Mummy Belong To? How Can You Prevent Siblings? Sleep and Weaning Your Parents Off It, plus general advice on preferred toddler foods (ice cream and non-organic gummy bears) and sleep training methods (hint: none), Honest Toddler has everything every parent needs to know to keep their little angel happy.It's a giggle a page as you recognise your own gregarious tot through the book and read an all-too honest appraisal of your own parenting shortcuts that don't go unnoticed by an honest toddler (think skipping pages in a bedtime story. Oh yes!).
You'll be hooked on this book from beginning to end. Cleverly- written with tongue placed expertly in cheek, it deserves a place on the bookshelf of every (tired and confused) parent of a toddler. Not least to make you laugh out loud through that haze of exasperated exhaustion.
Here's a snapshot of some of it, in our Q&A session with Honest Toddler. But I'd advise you to get hold of a copy yourself if you want to know what your toddler really thinks of you and your parenting style and how to make him/her endlessly happy!
Q: What does The Honest Toddler think about 'Sharing'?
A: Even though it sounds ridiculous, many adults believe that because children don't have formal employment, all of their possessions must be non-proprietary, This form of communism is not only dangerous but 100 percent no.
Wrong: Sadie, it looks like Henry wants to play with your LEGO. Why don't you give up your dreams and let him destroy everything?
Right: Sadie, it looks like Henry wants to play with your LEGO. Move aside while I throw him out of the house.
70 percent of all toddler-on-toddler violence comes from sharing. 86 per cent of toddler illness is a direct result of sharing.
Parents, please be honest with yourselves. Do you like sharing? If a strange woman or man knocked on your door and asked to borrow your vehicle, how would you feel? Mothers, everyone sees how you guard your handbag, as if it's full of gold coins and chardonnay rather than toddler socks and receipts. Daddies, you clench that remote control as if it's the only thing keeping your heart beating. It's time to admit that sharing hurts everybody.
Q: What does The Honest Toddler think about you treating the family to eating out in a restaurant?
A: What a terrible idea. Even if you're bringing a bag of emergency clothes, snacks from home, an iPad, iPhone, iTouch, backup Android, markers, stickers, a 1,001 page activity book, and a stuffed bear, you will eventually regret your choice. The only thing toddlers detest more than dinner is dinner in public. There is an enormous amount of pressure to remain seated in restaurants, as well as to maintain lower than reasonable voice-decibel levels.
Everyone knows that toddlers are burrowing animals. Your child will feel most comfortable under the restaurant table. Leave it alone. Public booster seats and high chairs smell like sick and are constricting.
There is only one course your child is interested in: the bread. Order the £15 macaroni and cheese or chicken strips if you must, but understand that you'll be taking it home to feast on at midnight (as if we don't know). Pass your child the breadbasket under the table along with a juice box from home.
Five minutes later, your toddler will be done eating. Your drinks may not have arrived, but now is the time to pack it up and go home. If you decide to stay, know that you are opening yourself up to a world of public embarrassment.
A box of crayons and a menu that doubles as a colouring book are no match for a toddler determined to end a family's evening out. Next time go to the drive-through and eat in the car.
Q: What does The Honest Toddler think about the food you try to feed him?
A: Do not go to the Internet for information on feeding your toddler. It's full of lies and blog posts. Toddlers need to eat from the following five food groups daily:
RED: Popsicles, certain apples, and juice all fit into the red category. Be sure that toddlers enjoy some red each and every day.
WHITE: Normal bread, birthday cake, pasta without seasoning, pizza, and marshmallows are all part of a healthy white diet. Don't make a big deal.
JUICE: Better than water, this liquid will help your toddler advance in life. Resist the urge to get weird about it.
CHEESE: If you see a cheese on the Food Network, it's the wrong kind. Only two types of cheese are toddler-appropriate: yellow and string.
CHOCOLATE: Be generous.
Q: What does The Honest Toddler think about bedtime routine?
A: Ah! There's nothing like a cosy pair of cotton pyjamas. The only thing that can ruin them is the wrong design. Science has proved that toddlers who sleep in the wrong-coloured pyjamas throw up. Check your toddler for signs that the pyjamas you've chosen are incorrect. Screaming and head banging will be the first obvious indicators. It's now up to you to go on a scavenger hunt for the right set. If they're dirty, run the washer and dryer. Why should I even have to say that?
Your confusion over saying goodnight comes from television. In diaper commercials, parents tuck their toddlers in, wave goodbye from the door, go outside, and drive away. That isn't real life.
The proper way to wish your toddler pleasant dreams, is to start with four kisses and then ten hugs. Walk towards the bedroom door. As you get one foot out, your toddler will call you back. This is fine. Relax the angry lines in your face. Since there are no limits on true love, repeat the kiss/hug intervals for as long as it takes. If a demon tempts you to say something like "This is the last hug," tap out and call Grandma. Shame on you.
About an hour into your kiss/hug dance, pick up your toddler and tenderly place him in the big bed (aka mummy and daddy's). Don't think, just do it. Lie down beside your blessing and watch a movie on your computer until you both fall asleep. You did it! Treat yourself with a small mint.
Q: What does the Honest Toddler think about mum's iPad?
A: If your toddler doesn't have an iPad, she doesn't know what a good time looks or feels like.
There are hundreds of games to play and contacts to delete. When your toddler clears your address book, he's saying, 'You are mine.' Open your heart to this message of love, and cut your friends out of your life once and for all. If your songs, movies or books go missing, see it as a form of censorship by your toddler. You don't have time for books other than this one, let's be honest about that. What are you reading? Nothing. Your music is nonsensical and makes you feel carefree (you're not).
iPads are indestructible, but every now and then, a powerful toddler fails to recognise her own strength. Don't make a big deal. When your toddler kills the iPad, through either juice saturation or a short but fatal flight across the room, just pick it up and bury it in the front yard. The people of Apple will bring a new one in five to seven days; all you have to do is give them hundreds of dollars. What's money when you have love?
The Honest Toddler, A Child's Guide to Parenting, £7.99 (Orion) is published in the UK on May 23.