Humour · Parenting · Poem · Rhyme

The Time According To Toddlers.

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:

1) NOW!

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.
Usually sprouts.

  • * * * * *

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!”
“Hurry up!”
Get dressed!”
“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!


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!

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121 thoughts on “The Time According To Toddlers.

  1. Ahahahaha! I’m in stitches! (there’ something there with ‘a stitch in time’…?) At the moment, for Amelia, everything in the past is “yesterday”… “Mummy, when it was my birthday yesterday..” a month ago, “Mummy, when we went to the farm yesterday” 4 months ago. “Mummy when baby Ava visited yesterday…” 3 weeks ago! I give up! #DreamTeam

  2. What I’m currently dealing with is “Bedtime Now” = “Play with toys until I pass out two hours later”, but I guess that’s at least semi-predictable. 🙂 #dreamteam

  3. This is spot on!! I’m so glad my eldest can tell the time and has some concept of time and dates rather than the constant “when’s my birthday?” “how many sleeps til holiday?” “is it time yet? “How about now?” Aggghhh…and I get to do it all again with Pops! Thanks for hosting #dreamteam x

  4. Quite glad that Baby Lighty can’t grasp any of these concepts just yet…at least when he’s ignoring me at the moment I can tell myself that he just doesn’t understand yet!! Thank you so much for hosting #DreamTeam 🙂 xxx

  5. So funny! I wish mine would learn about time. I drives me nuts to be late. The little one has taught me a lot of patience though… and after a long day of NEVER… there is always wine. #dreamteam

  6. In stitches over this and crying at the same time. Oh how long must I wait for the hole in my heart to be whole and our family to grow. #dreamteam

  7. Oh, this is so true. The Popple wants everything ‘NOW’ and when I tell her she can have it soon or in a bit, she just says ‘No?’. Of course, there’s no sense of urgency when we’re trying to get out of the house to nursery in the morning…#DreamTeam

  8. Teenagers have a similar sense of time. “Are you ready?” “Almost”. “How almost is almost? Very almost or not at all …”

  9. Haha! Yes! It’s exactly like that. Always. I wonder if we can beat them in their game by preempting their next moves. I find that promising a Trolls sing-along tends to turn Now! into exactly that. Thank you for hosting the #DreamTeam with me 🙂 xxx

  10. Hahahaha ah you crack me up – I’d love to be sat in your head while you come up with these fantastic rhymes (although I don’t think that would be comfortable for either of us!) #dreamteam

  11. This is just brilliant, though is it scary to say I was nodding my head in recognition at these being phrases my teens still use…In a bit certainly has a whole other meaning to them!! Less planking on the floor though thankfully! #dreamteam

  12. Brilliant! I just wish they grew out of it. My four year old needs a rocket up him most mornings! So frustrating! #dreamteam

  13. Classic! I was totally living this dream today as I foolishly decided to walk with both girls to vote, via the allotment and the chippy… as someone who is always dashing here there and everywhere their dilly dallying drives me NUTS!
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

    1. Oh dear Lord!? Via such exciting venues as these? It’s a wonder you got there at all? I try to go via the route of least entertainment. Any leaves, sticks, caterpillars etc are to be avoided like the plague for fear of scientific levels of inspection and associated questions that will ensue! ? Thanks for hosting lovely! x

  14. Haha bless em they really know how to drive us bananas on the time front don’t they. It’s like we are both aliens to each other! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this lovely xoxo

  15. Brilliant and thank you for explaining the Parent Time Plus One concept to me that totally now makes sense! My kids have absolutely no concept of time and getting ready for school and pre-school in the morning drives me crazy! #CoolMumClub xx

  16. Haha. I’m laughing so hard at this! The shouts of “Now mama” happen a lot in our house!

    Also. Our 15 year old has only just learnt how to tell the time… so only another 10 years or so and you’ll get your sanity back 😉

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