Knock knock! Who’s there?
Oh hello terrible twos, what’s that? You’ve officially entered my house? Well, I’d like you to go please. No, it’s definitely not rude if you leave early, it would honestly be very welcome indeed and no need to call back. That’s it, just shut the door behind you on the way out. Lovely. That’s those dealt with then, what’s next, cup of tea anyone?
I’m now officially the cruellest person alive, according to my 23 month old, because I wouldn’t let him play with barbed wire. I said the n-o word and reinforced it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I did try to explain first, I used serious words such as “ouchy” and “Ow ow ow” as I pointed and cajoled, in the middle of a field. I mimed injury, to Oscar winning standards, I might add, whilst witnessing a tantrum of truly epic proportions, which only ended when a cow came along and crapped right in front of us. Note to self: Take a cow with me wherever I go.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I knew they were coming. I’d been pre-warned. I was expecting them. But, at the same time, I was also kind of hoping that, because I think my child is just. too. darn. cute, they’d avoid us completely and I’d sail, smugly, through the next year with my angel child at the helm. Hmmm, yep, that’s definitely not happening.
I’ve often heard of these ‘twos of terribleness’ reframed, positively, as the “discovery years” and whilst I would like to embrace this concept, I’m struggling. I’m also thinking it can only really mean one thing, the “discovery of just how darn good life as a toddler actually is years” because, seriously, what on earth have you got to be terrible about two year old? I regularly ponder. Look at your life! I’ve even gone as far as to decide that, in our home, this next “phase”, we’re entering, will henceforth be known as The Life of Riley.
Let’s think about it…
These toddlers have seriously got it made. I’m genuinely starting to think that it should, in reality, be me entering this dreaded stage, because life is definitely not as good for me as it is for my little person right now. I’ve been quietly contemplating industrial action, striking to negotiate better working conditions and less hours. However, we all know this would fail because the first rule of the Life of Riley club (aside from there is no Life of Riley club, of course) is one can never negotiate with a toddler.
Once I started thinking about this club, in detail, I decided that life is indeed grossly unfair for all us adult folk out there. And here’s why!
I’ve often heard it described that play is the work of children. Now ask yourself, as lovely as it sounds, what kind of half-arsed job is that? Does it truly exist and if so, can someone please find me an employer who is prepared to pay for such an endeavour. But hang on, what’s that? Oh, yes, you’re right, toddlers don’t actually need an employer because they don’t need to earn a living. For them, everything is free. Say what?
What else is included?
Baths! Every single night my toddler gets to sit back, relax and unwind in lovely, warm lavender bubbles. Let’s take a moment to compare this with the rushed, two minute, shower I’m treated to of a morning, complete with toddler door hammering and repeated requests to get out and play “Toot toot”. Oh how I dream of escaping to wallow, read and drink wine in a steaming, hot, bubbly tub. But let’s face it, in reality, we all know I’d end up with a visitor (child not husband!) using my bumps as a mountain range for Thomas & Friends and who knows what I’d actually be bathing in. But we can all dream right?
And another thing about this club, it gives a free pass for pudding every day, twice a day! And carbs and Pom bears and other really good stuff I’m not allowed to eat, because I’m permanently on a diet, after growing a member for this exclusive association. Not only do they get to enjoy this daily indulgence, did I mention twice over? but they often get it without even having to eat vegetables. In what life form does that actually happen? I’ll tell you; the Life of Riley life form; that magical time when those greens can be refused and pudding demanded which, of course, I’m happy to dish up, willingly, because, oh joy, it means that at least some sort of food substance has actually been consumed today.
Members get naps, they get the park, they get trippy tv, toys and attention. They get carried, or pushed, when they can’t be bothered to walk. They get to run around naked and don’t even have to stop having fun to go and pee. The list goes on. They basically get to have constant fun all whilst shirking any kind of responsibility, taking advantage of the free
meals desserts, unpaid cleaner and threatening tantrum mode when the service just ain’t tip top. See what I mean? Life. Of. Riley.
Now I would say I’m jealous, well I am really, but there is one saving grace:
Toddlers can’t drink wine.
I feel I’m, sometimes quite literally, scraping the barrel here, but it’s the only thing I can really come up with that makes me feel less envious of a small child. And, let’s be honest, I have to say it’s pretty much a leveller. I mean, it’s perfectly normal to end up being carried home, eat a lot of pudding and run around naked after a few glasses of the ole grape juice isn’t it…? No? Just me?
Well hurrah for me then! I do get to join the Life of Riley club after all. I just get to pay for it, very heavily, the next day.
For those, like me, interested in just where on earth this life of Riley phrase actually originates from, I found a rather good answer here!