A Toddler is a tricky beast at things concerning time.
Their lack of punctuality is basically a crime.
The concept of “a hurry” will fall mostly on deaf ears.
And waiting for five minutes will feel more like twenty years.
In general our small people don’t grasp time or what it’s for.
So when it comes to time-zones it appears they just have four:
This one relates to all the things A Toddler might require.
Juice, a snack, a wee, their current choice of pacifier.
The “Now!” demand can be invoked at any given hour.
But mostly when we’re on the loo or trying to have a shower.
They’re not cut out for patience, it’s beyond their inclination.
Comply IMMEDIATELY or risk toddler detonation!
2) In A Bit…
This time zone is appointed to all things that grown-ups ask.
And any pleading parent who attempts to do a task.
The “late” thing has no consequence. They couldn’t give a sh*t.
All items from our wish list shall be dealt with “In A Bit…“
3) …It’s Taking Ages!
So this one covers all the things that grown-ups want to do.
Brushing hair, washing up, or fastening a shoe.
This sweeping state of boredom is applied as an outcry.
Accompanied by rolling eyes, dropped shoulders and a sigh.
This one gets nicely emphasised with loud defiant shouts.
Freely applied to many things.
- * * * * *
So now that I’ve considered it and grasped The Toddler Clock,
I think I kind of get it having stopped and taken stock:
The source of my frustration when my offspring won’t comply?
The silent muttered F-Bombs as I watch the time tick by?
The shrieking, planking toddler who has no desire to wait?
The fact that as a parent I’m now permanently late!?
I’ve done my research carefully, and where it all goes wrong,
Is just that toddlers operate on “Parent Time Plus One“.
NOW! = In A Bit…
So when I’m in a hurry and I’m racing for the door,
And Little Legs refuses and just rolls upon the floor,
It’s not that he’s ignoring me and couldn’t give a sh*t.
It’s just that in his head he translates “NOW!” as “In A Bit…“
“Put your shoes on!”
“Get out of bed!”
Are swiftly re-prioritised in every toddler’s head.
In A Bit = It’s Taking Ages!
When they want to play and Mummy’s
busy doing highly important things blogging on her phone.
A grown-ups “In A Bit…” goes straight to “…Taking Ages” zone.
Our pleading “Just a Minute!”, “In a moment!”, “Won’t be long!”
Is lost in “…Taking Ages” and that’s where is all goes wrong!
It’s Taking Ages = NEVER!
I’ve learned that from experience, no good can come from nagging.
Like “Hurry up then slow-coach!” when a little one is flagging.
You think they’re going slowly and it’s going to take forever?
Just say “It’s Taking Ages!” and they’ll switch it straight to “NEVER!“
That grotty looking leaf that so entranced your tiny tot?
All vain attempts to rush them will just root them to the spot!
NEVER! = NOW!
Which leaves us with this chestnut in the parent laws of sod.
The one that makes us do the swears and mutter things to God.
All the things forbidden and whatever we obstruct,
Must promptly be attempted on a race to self-destruct!
“DON’T!” and “DO NOT EVER!” are the greatest toddler sports,
And taken as an urgent invitation in their thoughts.
- * * * * *
So there I was assuming that this parent thing was rough?
Accepting that communication can at times be tough!
But all I need to do to fix these feral tots of mine,
Is teach the little cherubs how to tell the sodding time!