I’m just coming to the end of two weeks annual leave and it’s been great; exactly the break I needed after a really stressful and busy month at work.
The first week I got to enjoy some much needed quality time with the Child and the second week I packed her back off to nursery and had three days to myself. It was bliss. I managed to sort out a lot of blogmin*, wrote more than one post per week (just) and joined a lot of linkys I’d always been meaning to. I also read a newspaper in one sitting, ate cheesy chips for my lunch uninterrupted and binge watched The Hotel Inspector.
This fortnight has helped me get into my blogging groove but it did get me wondering how on earth I was going to keep up this momentum once I’m back at work. The Child obviously takes up most of my time outside of work so I’ve decided if I can save a few toddlers minutes here and there I’ll free up enough time to continue blogging as I want. After a bit of experimenting I’ve come up with the following my top ten toddler time-saving tips.
1. Don’t wash them
I mean what is the actual point? They’re only going to get dirty again and if you stop washing them, eventually they’re natural oils will start cleaning them. Probably.
I would suggest also forgoing the twice-daily teeth clean but I’m not a monster.
2. Do the crafts yourself
If, like me, your toddler is unable to follow Pinterest’s 86-step guide on making an scale size model of the Jurassic period complete with a glitter, solar-powered meteorite that is timed to hit the model at noon every day. Then just stick CBeebies on, make the model yourself and just say your toddler did it.. Maybe accompany the Facebook post with a photo of said toddler with an artfully applied smear of paint on their nose. CUTE!
3. Get a dog
This cuts down your ‘sweeping up food from the floor time’ to zero. Sure, you might spend time sweeping up the dogs hair because he seems to shed ALL THE DAMN TIME but, if you don’t sweep it up eventually all the balls of fur mat together and you look like you’ve got a chic new carpet that requires no hoovering. Double time-saving whammy high-five.
4. Never leave the house .
It’s just easier but you might want to occasionally stick their arms out a window to get some Vitamin D
5. Don’t cook from scratch
No one really cares except you and, if you’re honest, you only care a little bit when Netmums or Jamie Oliver tell you to. The sooner we all accept that toddlers just want to eat toast and oven-baked crap the less time we can all waste blending, simmering and creaming. And for those days you do care, just prop a colour photo of what you could have made on the table in front of you and call it imaginary play.
6. Forget potty training
Let’s face it, when they’re in their eighties our toddlers are going to start shitting themselves again anyway so just skip the 78 years between now and then and give everyone a break.
7. Superglue any removable parts to toys
If I could add up the amount of time I’ve spent looking for Elsa’s bloody shoe (which doesn’t even belong to the Elsa doll the Child has but her cousin’s Elsa doll) I’d be a blogging superstar by now (because it’s obvs only time that’s stopping me becoming a blogging superstar and not a complete lack of personal marketing nouse or writing ability).
8. Fill the paddling pool with sun tan lotion
Why spend time chasing a toddler round the garden whilst squirting sun tan cream randomly in the hope some of it comes into contact with their skin only for them for spend 10 minutes in the paddling pool before you have to repeat the whole sorry episode when you can combine the two activities? Phew, long sentence.
9. Limit all extra-curricular activities to those that don’t require your attendance
If you do have to leave the house because the children require some mental stimulation and/or physical exercise (selfish) find a class that you can perform the old ‘hug and roll’ recommended by that 90’s documentary Friends. I favour the local ballet class on a Saturday morning – the minute the teacher suggested parents no longer needed to stay I was out of there and in Costa drinking a Chai Latte before the first naughty toe had even been imagined.
10. Give up taking the perfect selfie
Life is too short for that shit.
Literally too short.
*I’m now all over social media like nits at pre-school. Come join me:
Instagram – www.instagram.com/aa10things
Facebook – www.facebook.com/Andanothertenthings
Twitter – www.twitter.com/another10things
A version of this post, including a brand new bonus tip, appeared over on Huffington Post on 28/09/16.