A Toddler's Top 10
Every parent with a toddler in tow keeps at least 10 activities in their repertoire to busy their tots for a few minutes while they tend to the urgent tasks of life, such as checking Facebook for the latest and greatest gossip on your old high school friends or calling a friend to share that latest and greatest dirt. As I was saying, every parent has at least 10 activities...wait - you do have a top 10, right?! If you don't, try not to be too hard on yourself. You're not the only one who lets their child play in the trashcan while surfing the interwebz.
Instead of listing a few educational activities to engage our toddlers, I let my 17-month-old do the talking to create a more true-to-life top 10 of favorite toddler activities.
1. Experimenting with the size and scope of the toilet's flushing capabilities. Will a bottle of nail polish pass the test? There's only one really awesome way to find out, but first your toddler scientist will need to test the water temperature in the toilet bowl before the test subject is dropped in to its new ecosystem. All in the name of science.
2. We're streaking! Clothing is a toddler's arch nemesis. They come into this world naked and proud in their natural environment, so it's no wonder that we wind up with baby exhibitionists running rampant around the house and even occasionally in public. Shirt, shorts, diaper - everything must go! Come on, there's nothing on this planet better than running nekkid with nothing but the wind on your cheeks!
3. Nomming on some old cheerios from between the couch cushions. This is one childhood snack that never goes out of style because everyone under the age of 2 knows, there is nothing better than stale cheerios that have been farted on for two weeks.
4. Finding mommy and daddy's most important documents and tearing it into a million pieces. While destroying bills are always a favorite pastime, it's always so much more fun to watch mommy and daddy's reaction to mutilating a paycheck left within a short person's reach. After feeding part of it to the dog, some of our midget researchers prefer to flush the remnants of mommy's shopping money down the toilet. All in the name of science, of course.
5. Chewing on dog toys. While parents of toddlers are asking 'Dear God, why?!', inquisitive tots are asking why not - and wondering what the squeak toy that Fido has been slobbering on tastes like. Why sell the family's heirloom gargoyle statue to buy a new Leap Pad, when these amazing toys have the flavor of fun, mom! And for $2.99, screw the toy store, let's go shopping at the pet store!
6. Table dancing. Our enterprising youngins need all the practice they can get for their future careers as singers, band members and Coyote Ugly dancers. And mommy's reaction to her toddler moonwalking across the kitchen table is almost as entertaining as the face she makes after flushing dad's paycheck down the potty.
7. Sticking fingers, keys and other random objects in electrical outlets. A child's version of Russian roulette, this toddler favorite caters to a scientific curiosity of the study of electrical currents and voltage. Who knows - our Baby Ben Franklins might create time travel one day!
8. Abusing the family pet. Much to the chagrin of our beloved house pets, dogs are a primary form of entertainment once the four-hour Backyardigan marathon comes to a close. While our poor, battered pooches struggle to hide their tails between their legs, Little Johnny always finds the hidden treasure and will once again drag a defeated Buddy backwards to his Batman toy box.
9. Researching Newton's Laws of Gravity. There is no better way to learn g = 9.81 m/s2 = 32.2 ft/s2 than a swift head dive off the sofa. No matter how many times parents agonize over the newest goose egg hatching on the side of our precious mini's heads, our resident scientists are always willing to sacrifice in the name of science.
10. Reciting naughty words. Mommy and daddy say it, so why the hell can't we?! These colorful words are so much more entertaining when recited in front of the congregation at church, because there's nothing better than announcing a shit during a Sunday sermon.
What does your toddler do that drives you batty?