Before you became a parent there were certain situations you probably never thought you would encounter.
Catching sick in your hands, fishing a poo out of the bathtub - all par for the course when you have a child under four.
Sadly, no one is going to give you a prize for coping with these situations, but according to Bunmi Laditan, the mum-of-three behind the hilarious Honest Toddler Twitter account, it does make you part of a club.
A club made up of parents who have been there and survived to tell the tale.
"There are certain rites of passage that are universal to the parents of toddlers," writes Laditan, in her new book: Toddlers are a**holes (It’s Not Your Fault)
"Each time you experience one, know that you’ve earned a badge in the 'Parents of Toddlers Scouts of the World' organisation."
Read on to discover how many badges you have earned already in this extract from Toddlers are a**holes:
Nappy Blowout So Bad You Have To Throw Away An Entire Outfit, Shoes Included, And Possibly Burn Your Car Seat Badge.
This one isn’t for the faint of heart. Nobody knows what causes poop like this to explode from a toddler’s tiny rectum in such massive quantities.
Was it the eight apples he ate the night before? Was it Aunt Shirley’s potato salad? Is the child possessed by the souls of the damned?
There’s no way of knowing. All you know is that you can’t subject your washing machine to this horror and you will probably never again eat anything resembling yellow curry.
Where The Hell Is The Other Shoe? Badge.
You’re pushing your toddler’s buggy down a busy street and look down to see that one of her £40 PediPeds is missing.
What? How can this be? My child notices when I remove a single Cheerio from her bowl. How did she not notice she’s missing a shoe?
You look your toddler in the eye and suddenly, from her steely gaze, you realise that she did notice. She did. And she said nothing.
You learn an important lesson that day as you retrace your steps, desperately trying to find the lost item (you will never find it).
You’ve learned that not only can the toddler not be trusted, she gives zero fucks. Not today, not any day.
There’s Shit In The Tub Badge.
Perhaps you brought your phone into the bathroom. Maybe you just got lost in your thoughts after a long day.
Whatever it was, you didn’t notice your child’s face tense up as he pushed out a Lincoln log under the bubbles.
Do you remember what first alerted you? Was it the cloud of brown? Or your toddler’s shout as the sea biscuit began floating its way over to him?
Either way, you probably screamed and your mind raced.
The first reaction is always denial: “No! Baths are for getting clean! Why? WHY?”
At one point you knew what you have to do, and you faced this decision with the bravery of the thousands of parents who have gone before you.
We don’t care what you used to scoop it out. A Lego. A fishing net. Your hand. You did it. You got through it.
You can survive anything now.
That Was The Worst Night of My Life; I Feel Legitimately Traumatised Badge.
This night is hard to describe, but you’ll know it when it happens.
It starts like any other evening, except your child never sleeps for more than 25 minutes at a time and there’s no clear reason why.
You’ll have gotten out of bed so many times that at one point you decide to take your own sleep off the table entirely.
The next day will be a haze. You’ll feel hungover, betrayed, angry, and scared. You will eat your emotions. You might burn sage in your child’s room to drive out bad energy/evil spirits.
One thing is for sure, though: You’ll never again be the same.
The My Child Just Slapped Me In The Face Badge.
It happens to everyone. If you’re lucky, it happens in the privacy of your own home. If you’re unlucky, you’re at a family party surrounded by judgmental relatives.
Either way, the sting is felt both in your heart and on your cheek as your angry toddler clocks you across the face with an open hand.
You’re stunned. Frozen. You don’t know what to do.
Your first instinct is to hit back, but you remember that this person, this individual that hit you, is a child. Your child.
When you return to your senses, you struggle to come up with an appropriate response. Time out. A firm talking to.
But you’re only half present. The rest of you is wondering how, wondering why, the beautiful child you brought into the world, and lovingly cared for up until this very moment, could treat you with such stone cold disrespect.
Welcome to toddlerhood.
The I Just Caught Vomit in My Hands to Avoid It Hitting the Floor Badge.
This badge is earned through instinct. No sane person who has the luxury of rational thought would ever catch barf, but you just did.
In a millisecond and in the absence of mental processing, you decided to cup your hand and form a vomit-catching basket of fingers in order to collect the partially digested food, bile and possibly some stomach virus, rather than having to clean it up.
This is parenthood. You have arrived.
The I No Longer Give A Fuck What I Look Like And Wear Pyjamas In Public Badge.
I’m not talking about the black yoga pants so many of us use to conceal the fact that we are sleeping in the same clothes we’re wearing to run errands.
I’m talking about the mothers and fathers who finally said “FUCK IT” and walked out of the house in striped pjs.
Nobody forgets the day it happens to them; the day they stopped caring.
Your hair looks like you just crawled out of a sewage pipe, your face is blotchy and your pyjamas are wrinkled and stained, but you’re so tired, so beaten down by this thing called toddlerhood, that you grab your keys and let your freak flag fly.
We salute you, soldier.
The Is This Chocolate Or Is This Poo? Taste Test Badge.
You, my friend, are a gambler.
Whether you won and the smudge on the wall or on your child’s face was legitimate chocolate, or you lost and got a taste of feces, you have our respect.
Yes, you could have done a sniff test, but you live life on the edge and I get it.
Maybe you have pinkeye now, maybe you don’t, but what you do have for sure is a sense of adventure that we all strive for. Namaste, motherfucker. Namaste.
Extracted from Toddlers are a**holes (It’s Not Your Fault) by Bunmi Laditan (Workman, £7.99). Illustrations by Tim Tomkinson.