Do you have a toddler? Will you have a toddler? Do you know what a toddler infestation looks like?
It might not be obvious at first; they creep into your life, starting off helpless, innocent without them causing too much mess in the house. You move them around, place them where you need them or want them, they’re no trouble at first. Then, bit by bit they take over. First one room, then another, then the entire house is infested with them and their accessories.
Do not despair, you can prepare for the toddler invasion. First, you need to be able to spot the signs of a toddler infestation. Read my informative post, get a few quick tips, and get ready for toddler troubles.
This is how it starts. The smell. The nappies aren’t too bad at the beginning. Then you start weaning, feeding them solid foods that become solid smells. It spreads through the house, wafting on the smallest of breezes and permeating. No matter what you do, the smell is there because you start imagining you smell it. You’re checking bums every twenty minutes because it’s a windy day both metaphorically and meteorologically.
Once the smell starts it’s time to act. I hope you like being cold cause as the saying goes “whenever God closes a door, a parent opens a window to let the house air out”.
One of the more obvious signs of toddler infestation is disappearing food. While mostly in the form of fruit, beans an toast it’s not limited to those items. A toddler can and will consume any and all food. Did you have a sandwich? Well, now you have half a sandwich. Did you buy grapes but not eat them. Well, now you have no grapes.
The general rule of thumb for food shopping for a toddler goes like this “Buy three times as much as you need; it’s still not enough.”
If you’ve done your weekly shop, revel in the full fridge and cupboards while you can. I can guarantee it’ll be gone in less than twenty-four hours. Your health visitor will still give you a talking to about making sure they eat enough. Even as you’re wasting away.
Are you constantly vacuuming? Sweeping? Finding bits of toast on the sofa and fruit in the bed? The crumbs have started to accumulate. This is directly connected to the disappearing food. Toddlers do not eat everything they covet and claim. Often food becomes deconstructed art pieces spread about the house. Chefs are paid millions to create this stuff and you are being paid bupkiss to clean it up.
Our best advice whenever it comes to tackling the never-ending supply of crumbs in your home is to get a good vacuum cleaner. Get some animals. Cats or dogs, hamsters are okay in a pinch but even more unreliable than a cat. Chickens are great but cause more mess.
Is it noisier than you remember? Even at night when you’re asleep are you straining to hear the snuffles and snores that flow through the house. Are cries, calls and odd screeches now part of your daily background noise. Are they now white noise? If so, it’s too late for you, the toddlers have settled and they’re not leaving.
For those of you not too far through the looking glass, listen out for pterodactyls. These dinosaurs haven’t come back to life al Jurassic Park (yet) but it is a sign of impending toddlers. Other animal noises including wild boar and moose.
If you haven’t stepped on a Lego brick yet you’re in luck; there is still plenty of time before the kids completely take over the house. Unless you’re like me and already own a lot of Lego. Be aware of large but no less painful toys. While you may see that Mega Blok in your path and go around it, you might miss the tower of Mega Bloks in the dark and stub your toe.
Always where steel-toe-capped boots. It’s the best defence.
The toys will accumulate. You know it’s getting bad when you stepdad (or insert another parent here) comes around, tells you your kid has too many toys. All the while planning to buy them a ride on tractor complete with trailer.
You do not need the tractor. The golden rule here is “If you can ride it/play with it yourself you don’t need it.” Much like cats, toddlers will randomly neglect and forget about toys. And then play with the cardboard boxes they came in. Or bits of fluff of the floor. Or saucepans in the case of many toddlers.
When you’ve run out of toy boxes and every trip through the house is like running a queer pride coloured assault course you know you’ve gone too far.
More Than One Toddler
Don’t worry, you’re not seeing double. Toddlers often travel in packs, and you can end up with more than one in the house at any given time. Toddlers aren’t known for signing in, so it’s important to carefully schedule your toddler. Lapses in communication between parents and caregivers can lead to multiple instances of toddler-overload.
Once this happens, the best advice is to ride it out and hope you have enough food in the house. Which you won’t because you have a toddler.
Hopefully, this short guide will give you some of the vital information you need to spot an impending toddler invasion. It’s usually inevitable when you have kids but there are things you can do to prepare. Once you’re aware it’s coming.
In our next post about toddler infestation, we discuss how to catch your toddler and how to tame it.