Being Dad

Why So Serious Baby?

Being a toddler is really good fun most of the time. Well, I assume it is as I can’t remember and I’m in my 40s. But when I watch Little B playing or chomping on his blueberries (favourite snack!) or running around the garden it does look like he hasn’t got a care in the world.

Then sometimes we catch him with an expression on his face that is sooo serious. Like he’s at a UN meeting and they’ve been debating doing a nuclear deal with Iran for the past twelve hours.

What can he be thinking about? But then I suppose being a toddler isn’t always fun.

For one thing you can’t make your servants parents understand you. You can’t choose what to eat. Well, you can try but as with the general state of communications standing pointing at the fridge shouting “Bibibaddababa” isn’t going to get your chef dad to rustle up an Arnold Bennette.

And then there’s the constant pulling down of your pants. I must say if I was putting the finishing touches to a tower of plastic cups, just in the right way to be smashed mercilessly to pieces, I’d be pretty hacked off if I had my bottom sniffed and was then scooped up, carried to a plastic mat and had a cold wet wipe slapped around my balls.

I should point out that this hasn’t happened. Well, not since that drunken holiday in Corfu. No, I’m kidding.

So, yes, on reflection a toddler’s life is not all fun and games. However this still doesn’t explain the wistful, romantic poet look that often appears when he is watching Iggle Piggle do that bloody stupid dance with his hanky.

As well as the constant annoyances and irritations of life as a one and a bit year old the world must seem like a very overwhelming place. No sooner have you got your head around the fact that you’re a separate person to the people who carried  you around for so long, you have a hundred other things to work out.

Which way does this spoon fit into my food so I can put it in my mouth (not that you know it’s a spoon – you call it a ‘bee-aah’ like a range of other objects). Why have I fallen over yet again? Where did that cat go? What is darkness? Why does water fall apart when I pick it up? How do the trees move back and forth? What do all these sounds the big people make mean? Where does the wee come from? Why are the big people taking my pants down again? Why do I have to stop playing? Why am i back in my cot? Why are you and mummy drinking wine again? Why do you look so tired? And so on.

According to The Experts toddlers make a big leap in development between 15 and 18 months. It varies but this is generally when they become less like babies and more like children. It has something to do with realising that not only do things happen in sequence but you can change the order. There are different paths to get to somewhere. You can eat that piece of pasta OR choose not to eat it. They also start to realise that they have some control over themselves and the world around them.

Hence the start of the tantrums if the world doesn’t obey. But it must give them an awful lot to think about.

Here’s a few guesses as to what is going on in Little B’s mind:

Serious face

Will it be the Ninky Nonk today or the Pinky Ponk? Pinky Ponk is my favourite. Oh I do hope it’s…oh b@llocks. Ninky Nonk. OK. Holding out for the Tombliboos.

Outside serious

Do my lips look red in this photo? No, really do they? Does it look like I’m wearing lipstick? It’s the strawberries. I bloody love strawberries. Oh. And is my right ear sticking out?

B on assault course

Errr. Can you move out of the way? I’m trying to beat my best Iron Toddler time…the guy behind me is catching up

I often think the world was simpler when I was a child and I didn’t have all these choices and responsibility.

But actually, watching Little B I realise that the world is not simpler when you’re a toddler. It’s confusing and it can be a bit scary. But we try our best to make sure that most of the time it’s fun.

Come on, stop being so serious Little B. Give us a smile…

B happy in cot

That’s better!

Do you ever catch your little one with a face like a chess grand master pondering their next move?


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Categories: Being Dad

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5 replies »

  1. Really nice post. I was just thinking the other day that life was not easy for our littlest one. She has her two elder sisters to compete with and can’t even talk yet. She’s too short to open cupboards, can’t change herself and can’t even turn on the TV. Life’s tough for toddlers. #bigfatlinky

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    • Thanks Rob – for some reason you ended up in my spam! Sorry about that – I’ve told Akismet off. It’s certainly a frustrating time. Little B was in a foul mood all day yesterday but so would I be if I couldn’t explain what I wanted!

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  2. Love this post. It had me giggling from start to finish. You are so right with what you have said. My son sounds exactly like yours, just that I would never have been able to put it across as well as you have. The other week I just couldn’t work out what it was he wanted to eat and he was getting so frustrated with me. I was jumping around the kitchen pointing at every cupboard pleading with him to give me a clue. Turns out he wanted a biscuit but he had changed the name of it from the previous week!!
    Love the photo of him doing his Iron Toddler. #FridayFrolics

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